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A Guide to Eco Friendly Sewing

sewing machine

In a world of fast fashion, you can make a real difference when you choose to utilise the power of sewing machines

Not only do you get the pleasure that comes from being creative, but handmade garments are generally much more thoughtful. They can be made with your body measurements in mind, so you’re guaranteed to have pieces in your wardrobe that fit you perfectly! 

Spending the time to create and repair your garments is much more sustainable than purchasing fast fashion pieces. Fast fashion can be made too fast and with flimsy material, and they’re often damaging for the planet in terms of transport also. Avoid supporting unethical labour and buying poor quality clothes by becoming a sewist for yourself!

Here is a guide to eco-friendly sewing, touching on practical project ideas, the most sustainable materials, and tips on repairing your existing clothes.


Buy less fabric

Rather than buying and keeping rolls and rolls of material, you may decide to collect fabric fat quarters of your favourite prints for inspiration. You could even quilt these together eventually and use them as a blanket! That’s much more friendly for space than a box full of material rolls, and we can guarantee it’ll be cheaper too. A quilting project also doesn’t require too much time or skill, so that could be an excellent idea for when you’re feeling creative but too burnt out to start a serious project.

Buying in excess can often end up being wasteful, and the fabric is no exception. Try not to buy a giant reserve of material, and instead try to stick to purchasing what you intend to use within the next month. It’s far too easy to fall into the trap of ‘saving money’ by buying bulks of fabric when they’re on offer, but that would still be a waste of time and funds if the materials never get used!


Repair before replacing

You don’t have to bin your wardrobe to practise eco-friendly sewing entirely! Starting from scratch isn’t necessary at all, and you will save material by editing or updating your clothes before attempting a garment from the beginning. Holes in your clothing can be fixed with a freehand sew, meaning you’re in no hurry to buy or make new clothes from scratch. Your embroidery machine can also personalise and freshen up that T-shirt that you’re tempted to throw away, and for a much lower price than a brand new T-shirt would be.

The lifetime of your clothes will multiply as you become more skilled in repair, and you, therefore, won’t need to buy new clothes as often. Fashion consistently cycles around, and you’ll be well equipped with vintage repaired pairs of jeans and jackets while other sewists have to try and replicate that look with brand new material. You’re promoting sustainability while keeping up to date with the trends!


Choose sustainable equipment

If you’re a beginner, try to stick to considering beginner sewing machines. Not only will a beginner machine best suit your skillset, but it’ll take less energy to run, and it’ll be most efficient for the types of tasks that you’ll want to complete. Likewise, if you don’t have a great deal of space or travel a lot, consider compact sewing machines! A bulky sewing machine would be so inefficient because you wouldn’t be able to use it properly and it would sit going to waste.

Don’t be afraid of buying locally supplied threads and fabrics, either. They may be a little more expensive, but they’ll be sustainably produced and much better for the environment than the thread that’s travelled halfway around the world! Garments that you make with quality materials will last much longer, which saves you effort, money, and time in the long run. 


For further guidance on eco-friendly sewing, as well as what type of sewing machine will best suit you, please feel free to contact us at Singer Outlet. Our live chat option can provide you with some quick answers!


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