Being an Ethical Business - Reducing Waste
Are you taking part in Plastic Free Lent? Did watching Blue Planet II increase your awareness of just how much we throw away?
It really opened my eyes and made me start to think about what I send to landfill and how I can recycle and reuse so much more than I do.
Someone asked me recently what I do with all the fabric offcuts and scraps from Tutti Frutti Clothing.
I've written this bog post to answer that question and perhaps give you some ideas if you ever end up with a lot of fabric scraps.
On Becoming Zero Waste
As an ethical company, not only do I want to produce an ethical product, but I want to behave in an ethical and sustainable way.
My packaging is fully recyclable, I encourage you to donate or resell your outgrown kids clothes – but what about the waste that Tutti Frutti Clothing as a business produces?
The majority of my business waste is fabric offcuts.
One of my aims for 2018 is to work towards becoming as close to zero waste as I can as a business.
I'll be honest, its not just as easy as using up all my scraps.
There will always be some pieces that I can't use,sell or give away and I send those to be recycled at my local Recycling Centre.
However, I do I try to use as much as I can and this blog post will hopefully tell you a bit more about what I do to make sure as little fabric wasteas possible is sent to landfill.
If you sew too I hope that it gives you some ideas and if you have any other ideas to add I'd love to hear from you in the comments!
New product alert! Who knew hairwraps would be so popular?! Just last week I posted this photo in my Facebook group of a new product I am trialing. They got some really positive feedback and so they will be entering the Tutti Frutti Range soon!
What is more, these hairwraps are great ‘scrap busters’ too! I will be offering them in surprise prints like I do with the kids undies. Aren't they super?
Make them into Undies
I sell kids undies in packs of 3 but you can only buy them in surprise prints. This means that you aren’t able to pick and choose the fabrics that you get. Why? Because my undies are all made from the pieces of fabric that are too small for me to make clothing from but too useful to get rid of!
I store all the offcuts that are big enough for kids undies in a big box and make up piles of undies whenever I have a moment. Each pair is different but doing this ensures that no big offcuts go to waste.
I am often left with tiny pieces that look no good to anyone. I will be using these up by making them into simple, easy hairband. At shows or fairs they will be wrapped around my business cards and available for you to pick up for free.
Maybe I should include them with orders as a little freebie too – what do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on that one!I
Use them for Craft
Craft plays quite a big role in my house. My children love sticking and gluing and enjoy making things from the spare fabric they find lying around!
Dresses for peg dolls, tiny purses and superhero capes for teddies – if I give them a bit of tape and glue and a pile of scraps they can play for hours!
I also discovered a use for the cardboard boards inside the fabric bolts - my children have taped several together and made a raft for our lounge!
Sell Them to Other People Who Sew
If I can’t find a use for the pieces I have left over then more often than not, someone else will.
Cloth pads (CSP), patch pockets, applique, reuseable breastpads – all these items require smaller pieces of fabric. I make up bags of small pieces and sell them through a number of facebook groups to pad makers or other sewers who need them.
Donate Fabric Scraps to Others
If you don't want to sell the scraps on then consider donating them to local craft or community groups.
Recent bags of offcuts have gone to my childrens school and a local rag rug group.
You could post them on facebook or ask around - there will always be a crafter somewhere who can rehome them for you!
I'd love to hear your ideas for using up fabric scraps. Do comment below and let me hear your ideas!
We are aiming in the same direction here at Kuvrs.com HQ. I keep the “lycra” scraps that look big enough to make something from in a bin and when it’s full I sort through to see what I can make from them. I’m constantly having ideas but finding the right item that’s cost effective to produce is a challenge ( isn’t it strange that tiny things can take SO long to put together!) The smaller really scrappy bits we send to the local Play Store too. I can’t bear to put them into landfill, they’re too colourful! I may look for sewing groups to pass on some scrap packs to – it’ll be nice to see what they make from them.