Transparency Is Everything.
At Sew Eco Fabrics we take our responsibility of being sustainable seriously.
This page isn't about what we are doing to save the planet (ok, maybe a smidge) it's about showing you, our customers, how we do business.
Sustainability is important to us, we want to see our business have an impact not just on the planet, but on our community and the well-being of everyone involved.
What is Sustainability?
Most people think that sustainability is just about the environment, but it's not.
Not sure what I'm talking about? Let's talk about buzzwords, greedy CEOS, and sustainable businesses all over the blog. Click 'learn more' for a read on what sustainability is really about.
Within the Business
From receiving our products from suppliers to your front door:
Social & Human
> Real Living Wage. All employees will be paid at the very least 'A Real Living Wage' but we aim to contribute more through company growth. Not only will employees have sustainable pay, but they will also receive benefits like the option to become a shareholder of the business, a sick pay scheme, yearly bonuses, and bursaries for further education or training.
> Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality are stitched into our values. From our online content to our products, representation and action will always be in focus.
> Giving Back Scheme. Every year, charities will be selected for donations from our profits. This scheme is to give back and support charities that help minority groups, better education, and provide resources to those less fortunate. More about this scheme will be outlined on our blog (coming soon!)
> Leftover and scrap materials from offcuts, will be donated to local schools for repurposing in textile classes
> All resources, packaging, and materials will be environmentally friendly (any naughty packaging that makes its way to us, will be responsibly repurposed or disposed of).
> No unnecessary materials will be purchased. We've kept our packaging to a minimum, keeping our waste down and using only what we need.
> We have partnered with Ecologi, an organisation that helps businesses (and individuals) offset their Co2 emissions for the everyday running of the business. For every order placed, 1 tree is planted and a bulk contribution will be given throughout the year from the business, depending on profits.
> Our Products. All are chosen purposefully to ensure only the best and greenest fabrics make it to your sewing machines. We are doing the hard work for you, so you can simply shop and sew without a guilty conscience.
> When Sew Eco Fabrics gets off the ground and moves out of the spare room, local small businesses like Store and Secure Bournemouth will be helping store and keep all the fabrics safe. This way, we are giving back to the local community and supporting other small businesses whilst we build ours.
> Money is tight for a lot of people, and our well-being and hobbies shouldn't be put on hold just because we don't have a lot of cash at hand right now. That's why we've provided the option of Klarna at our checkout to spread the cost whilst still enjoying all the fabrics you could wish for.
Sourcing our products
Finding sustainable suppliers can be difficult. In a world where everyone out-sources, mills are half way round the world, and businesses that don't share much of the manufacturing journey.
There are very few businesses where you can see/read about sustainability within their supply chain. Most have a closed warehouse/supply chain policy and there isn't much opportunity for seeing standards for yourself.
That is why we've done our best to choose the suppliers who provide the most information on their values and standards within the supply chain.
The standards and values I look for in my suppliers:
> They share the same eco values as this business. Being passionate and dedicated to sustainability, it's a must.
> A wide variety of green credentials on their fabrics. This would include a variety of sustainable and deadstock fabrics.
> Sharing more transparency on the manufacturing process i.e. closed loop system, natural dyes.
> They have regular visits with their mills to check on working/social standards.
We will be sure to revisit these standards with suppliers regularly, to make sure they are continuing to meet these standards.
At Sew Eco Fabrics, we've always been conscious of the impact of the textiles industry.
Sustainability is one of our core principles, we want to change the narrative, and push the unethical standards of the capitalist business world that we've all been enclosed within.
Opening a fabric shop isn't just about selling pretty fabrics. It's about changing the narrative (whilst loving our job at the same time) and creating a safe, inclusive, and diverse space for all.
Schemes and Initiatives we hope we can implement in the future. i.e. when the business grows from surviving to the thriving stage:
For future employees:
> Diversity, Inclusion, and Equality are stitched into our values. This is a safe space and with all future employees, policies and practices will be in place for this to be a welcoming workplace for all.
For future children:
We hope to work with schools in the future, to provide inclusive and safe spaces for all children, where they can learn and build their knowledge of sewing and sustainable textiles.
For the less fortunate:
With a sewing space in the future, we hope to cater to all. This would be whether individuals cannot afford a sewing machine of their own, or anyone who wishes to spend time together sewing.
We hope to have a space, not just to sell fabrics, but a cafe-like area where you can book out a sewing machine and sew to your heart's content (with unlimited free biscuits)
We also would like to push forward a scheme that will help individuals who cannot afford sewing machines outright, to slowly pay their way towards their machine. This doesn't typically mean credit schemes, but a nonmonetary scheme.
These schemes and initiatives have a purpose involved. We hope to provide opportunities and inspire everyone to sew - but to do that, we need to grow our business so that these dreams can come alive. So bear with us whilst we do just that and watch this space