ADELAIDE STORE OPEN WED - FRI 10-4, SAT 12-4. 308A GLEN OSMOND RD FULLARTON
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The Drapery set out to be a supplier of natural fibre fabrics, seeking out organic and sustainable wherever possible. We're not perfect, but we take many steps to reduce our impact on the environment, including these:

 

NATURAL FIBRES

The vast majority of our fabrics are 100% natural fibres, and therefore will biodegrade at the end of their useful life. Currently the exception is stretch fabrics that contain elastane, which is not biodegradable. This is one of the reasons we do not stock a large range of stretch fabrics, although we do recognise their benefits for comfort and mobility. 

FIBRES WITH LESS ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Linen can generally be grown with natural rainfall, and no chemical fertilisers or pesticides. It does not require intensive processing to become beautiful cloth.

Hemp is an environmental superstar, although its production for fabric is currently limited and results in high prices. It is a fast-growing, high-yielding crop and like linen, does not require chemical intervention or intensive processing. Modern hemp has been selectively bred for longer, finer fibres that can produce fine fabrics that still retain hemp's excellent durability.

Organic cotton is grown without synthetic pesticides and fertilisers, which is better for the immediate environment but also for the growers, surrounding communities and long-term viability of the land.

If you would like to delve deeper, here's an excellent online resource for information about the environmental credentials of all kinds of fabrics: https://goodonyou.eco/category/made-from/

NO GENERIC 'VISCOSE' OR 'RAYON'

Viscose and rayon are both made from wood cellulose. Whilst they're ultimately biodegradable, the process to turn the wood into thread is chemically intensive, and can be very polluting. And the timber? It could be from anywhere, even old growth forest. So we do not stock viscose or rayon, even though it means saying 'no' to some beautiful fabrics.

Fortunately, there are alternatives. Tencel, Lyocell and EcoVero are viscose-type fabrics that are produced from sustainably grown timber and made with a closed-loop process that captures and re-uses the processing chemicals.

NO BAMBOO

To become fabric, bamboo must go through the chemically-intensive viscose/rayon process (see above). Therefore that's a no from us. It's not all bad, but at the moment it's easiest for us to avoid.

QUALITY FABRICS THAT LAST LONGER

'Buy once, buy well' is an excellent adage for many things in life. So okay, you may not buy fabric only once, but you get the idea. Many of our repeat fabrics are ones we've personally put to the test: Japanese double gauze that's still going strong as a shirt after ten years. Denim that ages into faded beauty. Wools that are a joy to bring out each winter. On that note, if you are ever disappointed in the quality of a fabric you have bought from The Drapery, please let us know. We'll do our best to put it right, and your feedback will help us and other sewists.

 

OUR PACKAGING

PAPER

In the shop, many of our customers bring their own bags or go packaging-free. Where packaging is helpful we're happy to pack in brown paper (with recycled content) or brown paper bags (100% recycled).

STICKY TAPE

We use brown paper tape, paper washi tape and/or biodegradable cellulose clear tape.

POST BAGS

All our parcels are sent in compostable bags and the paper postal labels are attached with cellulose tape, so the whole thing can be put straight in your compost bin or council green organics bin. Even the little bags we send our Drapery lollies in (online customers will know them!) are biodegradable cellophane. We use Australia Post's Parcel Post, which is carbon-neutral.

RE-USED PROTECTIVE PACKAGING

Occasionally we post something that needs a bit of protection (like our ceramic pattern weights). We have a collection of bubble wrap, cardboard etc. that we have received and re-use to pack these items.

 

RECYCLING

In addition to our council's kerbside recycling service, we use a commercial recycling service. If you visit our shop you may have noticed the large green bin out the front. This takes our soft plastics and cardboard - the inevitable result of fabrics being shipped to us from all over the place - for professional recycling.

 

FABRIC SCRAPS AND END-OF-LIFE GARMENTS

A few uses and resources we recommend:

Scrappy quilting (quilts made with garment scraps tell such great stories!).

Visible patching and mending: here's an article from the lovely Peppermint magazine to get you started: https://peppermintmag.com/visible-mending-instagram/

A great project that uses scraps and is stuffed with them: https://blog.closetcorepatterns.com/fabric-floor-pouf-free-sewing-pattern/

Textile recycling: https://upparel.com.au/clothing-recycling/

Composting: https://www.1millionwomen.com.au/blog/how-compost-fabrics/