The sewn goods industry is in trouble.
Millions of tons of fabric waste are generated each year. The process of growing cotton for new products is often highly pollutant and toxic for the environment. Many overseas factories are dangerous environments for their workers, and pay them barely anything at all. China – the source of many, many sewn goods – now has a deliberate campaign of ethnic genocide against Turkic people groups, and puts thousands to work in forced labor factories making goods for the West. Too many products ignore sustainable practices and use textiles containing micro-plastics, which bring increased pollution to our waterways and oceans. Forests are being cut down at an alarming rate.
“Worker rights of fast fashion employees are strongly violated” (Euronews, 2019)
We want to make a difference, both here in North Carolina and around the world. As a sewn goods company, we want to be thoughtful and sustainable in our production work. We want to reuse whenever possible. We want to use renewable resources as often as we can. We want the products we sell to create beauty in the world, not more pollution.
This is a journey.
We’re learning, changing, adapting. As a small business, we have limited access to many ethical goods suppliers, so our products aren’t going to be perfectly sustainable. And we want you to know the hows and whys. We want to be transparent. For all the products in our sustainable collection, we’re going to let you know upfront what’s good, what’s not so great. Hopefully by increasing our collective knowledge of the sewn goods industry, both customers and suppliers will invest dollars and effort in increasing access to sustainably produced materials that will then be turned into ethically produced goods.
Small businesses that focus on sustainability need to band together.
“Volume-based business models simply cannot become sustainable” (Los Angeles Times, 2019) Making a difference in the fashion industry is an uphill battle, but small batch sewn goods manufacturing might be the best positioned to make it happen. From being able to pivot quickly to ensuring a good workplace environment, now’s the time for the sustainable handmade shop to thrive!
Customers need to be educated. Good suppliers with low MOQs need to be shared. And the value of sustainable fashion and home goods needs to be elevated.
If you have questions, please let us know! We’re a really small operation, so it’s easy to overlook things or to just not even know what we don’t know. Through your insights, we can continue the journey and become more and more sustainable, ethical, good. And that’s our dream.
Introducing the Sustainable.Store Collection:
Made from donated upholstery sample squares, these Ramble Carpet Bags are made to be crossbody wallets or bum bags that hook to your belt with the carbiner clips. Every single bag is one of kind. Shop the collection!
The Ramble Crossbody Carpet Bag, Krypton Blue Phone Bag$20.00
The Ramble Crossbody Carpet Bag, Tidal Blue Green Phone Bag$20.00
The Ramble Crossbody Bag, Geometric Blues Carpet Bag$20.00
The Ramble Flap Black Crossbody Bag, Small Carpet Bag$20.00
The Ramble Crossbody Bag, Brown Senegal Carpet Bag, Belt Bag Made in NC$22.00