Collaborative purchasing of eco-friendly fabrics

I’ve been speaking to Rise Up Productions about manufacturing our first range. One of the challenges is that labels need to commit to spend a lot of money up front on eco-friendly/Fairtrade textiles and fabrics – as the minimums for these are quite high (e.g. 300 m2 for a single fabric).

Rise Up is trying to aggregate demand for such fabrics to enable smaller labels, such as myself, to be able to access such fabrics more affordably, and in smaller quantities.

I spotted this press release in a trade publication the other day, but couldn’t find it online, so I’m reproducing it here to help “spread the word”.

Opportunity to collaboratively purchase eco-friendly fabrics

Rise Up Productions is looking for designers interested in working collaboratively to source eco-friendly fabrics from around the globe.

Managing director Bronwyn Darlington said she hoped designers would collectively purchase eco-friendly fabrics to secure more reasonable pricepoints.

“By buying collectively, we might be able to introduce these fabrics into the market,” she said.

And she stressed the fabric sources she used offered a high quality that could easily be sought by after by local designers.

“We don’t deal with people who are working with experimental handicrafts, we are working with those who have been supplying Europe for years,” she said.

“The fabrics perform excellently and offer exceptional printability. We are also able to specify exactly the make-up of the fabric and we look at every step in the production process.”

She stressed volume buying was essential to secure an affordable price.

“Sustainable fabrics are not the cheapest,” she said.

Darlington is also determined to build a profit-for-purpose business creating clothing labels that have a minimal environmental footprint.

For example, pyjamas in the Rise Up range are made in Australia from Fair Trade certified cotton from India and any profit from their sale will be put towards an Oxfam donation. Similarly, sales of hoodies in the collection will lead to profits going to Opportunity International.

“The concept is eco-sustainability and a minimum footprint and that we give all our profit away,” Darlington said.

She plans to soon launch a second higher end fashion label called Ayoka.

Darlington suggested the significant consumer spending dollar was larger than funds competed for by charities.

“The consumer dollar is much bigger and we need to think more creatively to channel those funds into worthy projects,” she said.

  • Hi Grant,

    I’m looking at doing something similar but for ready-made shirts instead of fabric. I’m starting to get requests for custom t-shirts from actual paying customers! I’m definitley keen to start printing on organic/FT fabric.

    I was wondering if you have any tips or recommendation around which shirts are (for lack of a better word) best? Also if you know of anyone wanting to share in a bulk purchase?

    I spoke with the folks at Organic Cotton Advantage a while back so I’ve got prices and what not but i’m not sure I’m prepare to fork out for the 20 shirts you need to purchase in orfer to get the discounted rate.

    Any thoughts?



  • Hi Phil. We’re well overdue to catch up for lunch – sounds like now might be a good time 😉

    OCA have got the lowest minimums I’ve seen – even for non-certified manufacturers. There are some options in the digital/direct-to-garment printers that will supply smaller volumes, but usually at a significant premium.

    Happy to chat further if you want to give me a call…

Comments are closed.