Our Social Fabric

Our Social Fabric is a textile recycling initiative, a non-profit that collects donations of fabric and sells them to anyone who wants to buy. The fabrics come from individuals as well as from businesses – garment factories here in Canada (yes, they do exist), film industry, and so on. They are fabrics that aren’t needed and would end up in the landfill, thus adding to the massive volume of solid waste that we dispose of each year.

Instead, volunteers sort out and price the fabrics, organize them in bins according to colour, or leave bigger amounts on bolts – you can buy the whole thing, or get a piece cut for you. OSF announces their sale dates on their website and their Facebook page, and people go and shop. You can also find patterns, books, notions and other sewing-related stuff.

It’s like a treasure hunt – you never know what’s there. In October I scored a 3-meter piece of gorgeous purple silk that’s going to become a dress. (Part of it also became a cape for my little boy, now also called Captain Purple – the only preschool superhero with a genuine silk cape.) And here’s my loot from yesterday’s sale – also called a new dress, a new pair of pants, and who knows what else…

There’s a second piece of the same purple silk, some beige linen-like fabric (although I suspect it’s a blend of some kind), and the light blue, heavily woven, wonderfully drapey, unknown fiber pieces of fabric that will become a wearable muslin (I hope) for the purple silk dress. Missing from the lot is a 4-meter piece of blue cotton that someone (aka. Captain Purple) was turning into a fort when I took the photo… 

Ah, here he is, after pulling down his fort when he needed a scarf instead. 🙂

So that’s yards and yards of fabric that cost me $24 (but only because the silk was a bit more expensive than others) and didn’t end up in the landfill.

The only question I have is, why didn’t I check OSF out years ago?


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