Ethical Fabrics And Why We Need To Use Them

with our industry experts

This Masterclass is all about fabrics, led by founder of this The Sustainable Fashion Collective and our sister business Offset Warehouse. We'll dive into the world of ethical materials, and specifically why we need to be using them to create our responsible products.

"For me, working more sustainably means combatting fast, disposable fashion. To make a product that transcends seasons and is cherished for decades to come, it needs to stand the test of time in a way that doesn't harm the environment or the people who make it."

The production of textiles is a vast subject, so this topic will be an overview of the facts in order to give you the general picture of what’s going on and, how it affects the planet and people. If you’d like to read about any of the issues in more depth, there are lots of links to useful and interesting articles at the bottom of this section.

In this Masterclass you will learn:



  • Introduction To Why We Need To Be Using Ethical Fabrics

    with Charlie Bradley Ross
    Summary

    A short video on what to expect in this month's Masterclass, including a roundup of the issues that conventional textiles cause.

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  • The Environmental Impact of Textile Production

    with Charlie Bradley Ross
    Summary

    Did you know that an estimated 20,000 litres of water are required to produce just 1kg of cotton fabric – that’s enough for just one t-shirt and a pair of jeans? Or that an estimated 8,000 synthetic chemicals are used worldwide to turn raw materials into textiles, many of which will be released into freshwater sources? Staggering! 

    In this video, we take a look at the jaw-dropping effects that irresponsible fashion production has on our planet. Once you have the knowledge, you can empower yourself to make more informed decisions on the best textiles to choose for your products.

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  • The Social Impact of Textile Production & A Fabric's Effect On You

    with Charlie Bradley Ross
    Summary

    In this video, you'll learn about the social cost of textile production; from raw material to end product, how does it affect the people who produce it? Social impact also encompasses animal welfare. So the animals that create or contribute to the raw materials, how have they been treated? In the second half of the video, we take a look at how fabrics can affect your health and your customers' health as the wearer too. We'll discuss some of the nasty chemicals to avoid. We'll also take a look at some the companies and organisations doing amazing things (full list below).

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  • Where to Start With Ethical Fabrics

    with Charlie Bradley Ross
    Summary

    Now you're aware of the environmental and social impacts of textile manufacture, it’s time to choose your fabrics - but where to start?

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  • Increase the Lifespan of Textile Products

    with Charlie Bradley Ross
    Summary

    Did you know, extending the life-cycle of a garment by nine months, can reduce their carbon, waste and water footprint by 5-10%? Here, we share our tips for extending the life cycle of your products, both at the manufacturing level, and tips to share with customer to help at the consumer level.

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  • Toxic Chemicals Guide

    with Charlie Bradley Ross
    Summary

    Understanding the chemicals used in clothing manufacturing and in the production of textiles is central in the debate around sustainable fashion. In this downloadable, we list the toxins to watch out for in your production. 

    Don't forget to watch the amazing live webinar with Chemsec, for advice on how to approach your producers to ask them for the list of chemicals they're using to manufacture your products.

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Interviews


Technical Tutorials


Past Events


Textile Exchange's 2019 Preferred Fiber and Materials Report - market shares of all materials, their social and environmental impacts and innovative material science companies you can read up on

Labour Behind The Label Reports - up to date reports on supply chain news, tools for checking up on brands, and explanations on production routes for fashion items

Systain Report (referred to in video two)

Love Your Clothes

Cottoned On

Greenpeace’s Detox Campaign

The Higg Index from the Sustainable Apparel Coalition

Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals’ Roadmap to Zero - a collaboration between key industry stakeholders to reduce hazardous chemicals in the entire supply chain. The ZDHC Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (ZDHC MRSL) is a list of chemical substances that you can use to up your knowledge, but also as a tool when working with textile suppliers.

Clean By Design led by NRDC

Waste Resources & Action Programme (WRAP)’s Sustainable Clothing Action Plan (SCAP)

Oxfam and Marks & Spencer’s Shwopping scheme


Additional Reading

Building A British Fibreshed And Its Benefit For Fashion

Friday Jul 3rd, 2020
  • Series on Wool
  • Regeneration
  • Ethical Manufacturing
  • Fibre Production
  • Interview
  • Yarn Production

What is Regenerative Agriculture?

Thursday Jul 2nd, 2020
  • Animal Welfare
  • Education
  • Fibre Production
  • Series on Wool
  • Social Issues
  • Regeneration

Eco producers, manufacturers and innovators at Première Vision September 2019

Monday Sep 30th, 2019
  • Fabric
  • Fabric Sourcing
  • Ethical Manufacturing
  • Production
  • Design
  • Yarn Production
  • Fabric Production
  • Leather

Tips for attending fabric trade shows like Première Vision

Monday Sep 30th, 2019
  • Fabric
  • Ethical Manufacturing
  • Design
  • Fabric Sourcing
  • Fabric Production

Innovative Materials for Fashion: The Questions You Should Be Asking

Monday Jun 24th, 2019
  • Types Of Eco Fabric
  • Fabric
  • Eco Designers
  • Fabric Sourcing

What is banana fibre and how do you make textiles from it?

Monday Jun 3rd, 2019
  • Ethical Manufacturing
  • Fabric
  • Fair Trade
  • Types Of Eco Fabric
  • Garment Making

Sustainable Fashion In Australia - Menswear!

Tuesday Jan 31st, 2017
  • Eco Designers
  • Eco Dyes, Dyeing & Finishes
  • Interview

New Eco-Labelling Initiative 'Labelwise' Helps Us Shop Responsibly

Tuesday Nov 22nd, 2016
  • Ethical Manufacturing
  • Fair Trade
  • Production

An interview with the founder of the sustainable footwear brand MDMAshoes

Tuesday Nov 1st, 2016
  • Business In Fashion & Interiors
  • Design
  • Eco Designers
  • Eco Dyes, Dyeing & Finishes
  • Ethical Manufacturing
  • Fabric
  • Garment Making
  • Interview
  • Production
  • Upcycling

The Search For Sustainable Denim

Friday Aug 19th, 2016
  • Business In Fashion & Interiors
  • Eco Dyes, Dyeing & Finishes
  • Fabric
  • Types Of Eco Fabric