Sew Eco Scores, Explained.

Wondering about the Eco Score on our Fabric Listings?

If you've shopped with us before, you might have read our Sew Matters page.

The Sew Matters page explains all about our values and the mission for the business. We are here to give sewists the best fabrics, whilst at no cost to the planet or people. Our business runs on ethical practices, sustainable movements and building a business that changes the narrative from choosing profits over people and planet.

That's why we are transparent on what types of fabrics you're buying. In the best case, we'd love to supply 100% sustainable fabrics, but that isn't always realistic within the textile industry. 


If you were asked what 'Sustainable' Fabric was, would you be able to answer?

Not sure? That's ok, the sad reality is that many companies have greenwashed the word sustainability so much so, that it's becoming a confusing subject. At this point, eyes roll when they see another sustainability marketing campaign, and I really don't blame them.

Unfortunately, it's led to the majority not knowing what it really means. That's why to make it easier, I've written a blog post on it.

"Most people think that sustainability is about the environment, but it's not.", I recommend giving it a read as it'll help guide you through the Eco Scores with more knowledge on the journey to sustainable fabric shopping. 


Reality Check with Our Eco Scores

As you go through the Eco Scores, keep in mind this is all about the manufacturing and the ethical practices to make the fabric. From Seed to Shop as I like to put it. We haven't factored in the quality because when it comes to sustainable materials, they are going to be high quality without a doubt.  

Some may argue if it's a good quality fabric, yet doesn't hit any factors within this eco score rating, it can still be sustainable because the quality will make it last longer.

However, our mission here is to build a selection of fabrics that do good from their beginning, not just the journey it makes after it's made.

That's why within these scores, we are representing the fabrics that are being made as we speak, for us -Sew Eco Fabrics- to then purchase to sell to you.

But where does that leave deadstock fabrics? 

Good question! Being that we are using the Eco Scores to rate the fabrics manufacturing practices, they will more than likely end up in Eco Score 1. This is why it's important to understand the differences in fabrics, and where they are coming from. Deadstock still deserves a second chance, and if that's not to be burned or ended up in landfill, thats a win on our books.


Eco Score - 1

The unsustainable bare minimum.

Fabrics will include natural materials, i.e. Cotton, Hemp, Linen. Synthetics will be avoided as best we can - because eww, plastic!

The fabrics will not have any eco-certification.

Although the material is natural, without certifications, it means that the fabrics cannot be traced back through it's manufacturing process.

It means that the fabrics may have undergone unwarranted manufacturing practices and the working conditions for the workers are not monitored.

Unsustainable manufacturing will look something like:

  • Dyed with synthetic chemicals, that contaminant water systems

  • Made by workers who are paid and treated poorly in their roles

  • Grown with chemicals and an unsustainable consumption of water

We will avoid stocking fabrics without any eco-certification, but sometimes that might not always be possible based on the fabrics available. Our deadstock's more than likely will fall under this category because their manufacturing cannot be traced, but the fabrics don't deserve to be burned or thrown into landfill - so we sell them to give them a second chance of becoming something beautiful.


Eco Score - 2

Our bare minimum standard.

Fabrics will include natural materials and have at least one eco-certification.

This certification is still a step in the right direction, but this doesn't make it sustainable. We know only a limited amount of information on the manufacturing process or the working conditions of those who made the fabrics.

For example: If a fabric has OXEO-TEX 100 Standard certification, it simply means it wasn't made with harmful chemicals.

Top Tip: When you see fabric stores advertising eco-friendly fabrics it is more than likely it has a eco certification label.


Eco Score - 3

Fabrics will include natural materials, an eco-certification (or multiple) and at least one of the following:

  • Organic Harvesting
  • Fair wages and Working conditions for the workers who manufacture the fabrics
  • Regular Supply Chain Visits for Standard Inspections
  • Fully traceable manufacturing
  • Open & Transparent Suppliers
  • Fabric is Recyclable, Biodegradable or Compostable


Eco Score - 4

This is the best score our fabrics can get.

Fabrics within this category will be sustainable, they will be plant-based, natural fabrics. Carry many eco certifications, along with sustainable manufacturing practices and working conditions.

You'll find these types of fabrics, will have many ecological benefits and have a full loop life cycle. The fibres of the fabrics are also certified as compostable and biodegradable, thus fully convert back to nature.


These scores are written with the best intention to provide with as much information on the fabrics you're purchasing. They are to be used as guide, not all fabrics will sit perfectly within every category, but shows you where they sit within the sustainability spectrum. If you're unsure, you're always welcome to drop us an email and we can answer any questions you might have to the best of our ability.

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