SOURCING SUSTAINABLE TEXTILES
BY SUMMER RAYNE OAKES, CO-FOUNDER WWW.SOURCE4STYLE.COM
Summer Rayne Oakes is the co-founder of Source4Style, the premiere destination for designers to source sustainable materials from suppliers around the globe. Prior to this, Summer Rayne authored the best-selling style guide, ‘Style, Naturally’, she hosted shows on Discovery’s Planet Green and she still models the world’s runways. She is the creative director behind numerous environmentally preferable brands, from her signature collection of eyewear with MODO to a shoe collection with Payless ShoeSource.
Here she shares her 5 tips for sustainable sourcing for emerging fashion designers:
1. BUY VINTAGE AND END-OF-ROLL MATERIALS
This helps to reduce the industry’s excess textile waste and it also reduces upfront sourcing costs.
2. MINIMIZE WASTE IN PATTERN MAKING
Rethink pattern making to minimize textile waste.
3. PURCHASE PFD OR PFP
Designers who know they will use a material season-after-season may consider purchasing PFD (prepared for dyeing) or PFP (prepared for printing) textiles that they can dye themselves, or alternatively using a professional dye house. The cost of these materials are often more affordable, or they can be purchased at larger quantities with a cheaper price per unit.
4. SAMPLES HAVE MINIMUMS TOO
You have heard about “production yardage minimums” and it is important to note that “sampling yardage”, which is the yardage that is often sampled prior to placing a production order, often has minimums and/or cutting fees too. Suppliers that sell by the roll tend to avoid cutting a 10 or 15 yard sample from a roll unless they are confident that they can sell the remainder of the roll to the person buying the sampling yardage. If not, the entire roll will become incomplete and unsellable and the remainder will be sold to a jobber for a discounted price. Worse yet, the entire roll will become waste.
5. SWATCH IT UP
Think of swatches as the samples before the sample yardage. Swatches are a critical component to any designer’s design process, serving as material inspiration for upcoming collections by giving designers the opportunity to touch and see the material before committing to sampaling yardage or production yardage.