J&O Best Practices for Textile Waste Reduction

Looking to play your part in becoming an environmental steward by assisting in textile waste reduction? Here are some simple things you can start doing today to reduce your sewing waste and environmental impact into our tomorrows.

  • When shopping for pattern fabric, BUY ONLY WHAT YOU NEED
  • MAXIMIZE PATTERN POSITIONING ON YOUR FABRIC LAYOUT BEFORE CUTTING. Make full use of every inch of the fabric without jeopardizing the integrity of the garment once construction begins.
  • MEASURE TWICE. CUT ONCE. Avoid material waste because of careless cuts.
  • CONSIDER MAKING PATTERN SAMPLES WITH INTERFACING RATHER THAN MUSLIN.  Interfacing is an alternate that can be sewed up and tried on the body like fabric. After testing, it can be cut up and used in future sewing projects like facings, waistbands, buttonholes and more.
  • MAKE A PLAN FOR THE LEFTOVER FABRIC BEFORE YOU EVEN CUT OUT YOUR OWN PATTERN. Think about positioning your fabric so that another item also be cut out.
  • CONSIDER ALTERING THINGS YOU HAVE ALREADY MADE INSTEAD OF MAKING SOMETHING NEW. With reconstructed and deconstructed garments gaining popularity,  this can be just as much fun and result in creative designs that will fit right into the current trend.
  • THINK ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF THE SPECIFIC FABRIC YOU ARE USING. From the type of fiber to the work conditions of those producing the fabric, to the applications used. Research the textile mill’s practices and look for transparency just like you would with clothing brands. Visit The Material Sustainability Index  for access to a large amount of relevant information about the impacts of material production used in the apparel, footwear, and home textile industries
  • CONSIDER STYLES THAT ARE TIMELESS IN THEIR DESIGN AND EASY TO COORDINATE WITH ONE ANOTHER WHEN CREATING YOUR WARDROBE. When done right, such designs can sustain their appeal thru the changing seasons.
  • LEARN BASIC ALTERATION SKILLS. They come in handy when the difference between salvaging a garment comes down to the readjusting a seam.
  • NEVER SACRIFICE QUALITY FOR QUANTITY. It can mean the difference between a few yards being put to good use, or several yards being put to waste


Last but not least, if you are ready to do a little redecorating, consider doing it yourself with a little help from our team of professionals at J&O Fabrics. We will assist in making your effort as waste-free as possible while offering the tools and resources you require to give your home, office or additional space the kind of makeover you are looking for.

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