Where do I source fabric, materials and textiles for my ethical, sustainable or circular fashion brand?

What's the difference between a good product and a great product? The fabrics and materials it's made with. Well that, and your branding, the quality, the impact and a few other things of course, but the fabrics and materials you choose to use can make or break your brand.

Cheap and nasty materials feel horrible to wear and they don't last, so they're not sustainable. If you're running an ethical, circular, handmade or slow fashion brand, your impact strategy should include sustainable fabrics and materials and they should be environment-positive.

So where do you source the good stuff? Looking locally is always the easiest and fastest option, and sustainable from the perspective of the transport and travel footprint, but sometimes you have to source your textiles a little further abroad when you're searching for something specific.

Interstate and international sourcing is a-ok when you do it sustainably, and this list of textile trade shows, fabric suppliers, agents and material wholesalers will help you find what you're looking for.

The Global Sourcing Expo Australia is the ultimate trade show to connect with more than 900 manufacturers and suppliers from 20 countries.

If you're looking for cotton, the Australian Cotton Conference is a must. 

If you're manufacturing footwear or designing leather accessories or bags, the Footwear and Accessories Show Australia is a good starting point to piece together your supply chain. 

If you're looking for wool or Merino suppliers or you want to learn about the ethical and sustainable benefits of wool, add the Australian Sheep and Wool Show to your to-do list.

If you want to claim an international trip on your business card and fancy a trip to Paris, the Texworld Apparel Sourcing event is worth the expense.

The Premier Vision trade show is worth the trip too, and speaking from experience, you will probably find 99% of what you're looking for here.

Charles Parsons is an invaluable resource for ethical, sustainable and conscious textiles.

You've got the Australian Fashion Council's list of fabric and textile wholesalers and suppliers here.

And Ethical Clothing Australia's list of accredited material and textile makers here.

Urvara can help with recycled cotton, natural rubber elastics and a range of ethical and sustainable textile solutions.

York Textiles is a great place to source sustainable, circular and eco swimwear fabrics.

For organic cotton, hemp, recycled fabrics and sustainable materials, suss out Direct To Source.

It's also helpful to reach out to sourcing agents like Fidele who can help you find textile manufacturers, wholesalers and suppliers that meet your ethical and sustainable values.

You can also reach out to Fairtrade for a list of cotton suppliers. 

Common Objective also lists global textile, fabric and material suppliers and you'll only find ethical, sustainable, transparent suppliers on this platform.

Then there's the old saying, 'It's not what you know, it's who you know' and when you join my Slow Fashion Circle, you'll connect with dozens of slow fashion brands who are more than happy to share their resources, contact lists and personal referrals for their own manufacturers, pattern makers, suppliers, and material sources.

And of course - me! I have contacts globally that can help with ethical and sustainable sourcing, textile manufacturing and material production, so just reach out.

P.S This is a list of virgin and new fabric suppliers. Stay tuned for a list of circular, recycled, remnant and deadstock fabric and material suppliers. It's on it's way!

Claire x

Where do I source fabric, materials and textiles for my ethical, sustainable or circular fashion brand - The Fashion Advocate coach mentor expert Brisbane
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