Zero Waste Sewing 4

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Our Environmental Policy

Aiming Towards Zero Waste Sewing

We believe that enjoying sewing, quilting, embroidery or crafting shouldn’t be at the expense of the environment. We have decided to try to improve our environmental impact in 3 different ways:

Postal Packaging

We have switched over all of our packaging to paper, cardboard and paper tape alternatives as far as possible. 

zero waste plastic free fabric and sewing shop


Products and Packaging

We try to deliberately choose bulk buy haberdashery items such as prewound bobbins, self cover buttons, KAM snaps etc that can be divided up into paper bags instead of coming pre-packaged in lots of single-use plastic. We seal those bags to keep things secure with paper tape. For those items that we package ourselves such as many of our sewing machine feet, we have chosen a recyclable/biodegradable options. As a shop it is difficult to make all products in stock zero waste while maintaining the same quality levels of products in stock. However, if there are comparable items with less waste then we are happy to consider switching.

We also try supporting those who like to make reusable items by stocking fabrics such as PUL which is a very useful fabric for projects such as cloth nappies and cloth sanitary products amongst others. We also have lots of sewing tutorials available with ideas for reducing waste with reusable items such as reusable kitchen paper, reusable shopping bags, bowl covers, snack pouches and face wipes.

Recycling Fabric Scraps

We rarely have any fabric waste from the shop itself as we ensure that all bolt ends left at the end are of a saleable length. We would rather provide free delivery on everything with several set lengths than overcharge on delivery when only a couple of small things are ordered – we just hope that you will pick some scrap busting projects to use up any leftovers!

With our own sewing, we have 2 main options for how we recycle our fabric scraps. Either we use them for scrap busting projects like small for appliques, hexies, dolls clothes, rag rugs, crazy quilting, learning to sew practising techniques etc. But we also believe that sharing  is caring, so if we aren’t swapping scaps, we have also donated unwanted cardboard bolt centres and fabric to local schools and libraries for crafting.

The other way we use our fabric scraps is to recycle them into things we hope other people will love in the shop – like fabric buttons.

We also prefer to use (and sell!) cottons over polycottons to keep most scaps we can’t avoid biodegradable.

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4 thoughts on “Zero Waste Sewing

  • Tara Selman

    I love your policies. I’m trying to create products for sale at out fairs and craft shows using my enormous stash of scraps. I’ve pieced together many lovely new and unexpected fabrics from these and hope to see more people using what’s already there rather than letting that end up in landfill and using only new. Thank you so much for your commitment to our world!

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      Thank you so much. I think if everyone did a little, we can achieve a lot. If you have an Instagram page with your makes on, please reach out to our page. I would love to see how you are using up all those scraps! Linda 🙂

    • Sewing Bee Fabrics Post author

      If you have quite a few in nice condition, I bet they’d be perfect for nurseries/preschool groups for using like giant beads threading onto laces. I often use them to help shape the underneath of paper mache projects. I’ve also seen them painted and strung up as wind chimes or decorated and used as Christmas tree decorations. Maybe a local craft group or school would like to craft with them?