When you’re planning collections, one of the most important steps in the process is choosing fabric. The weight, touch and feel are important upon first look, but drape and fit will prove just as important once samples are made. However, if you’re a new company or designer looking for both a fabric supplier and threads that are sustainable and socially responsible, it can be a pretty tall order.
In comes Source4Style. Founded by model and eco-fashion advocate Summer Rayne Oakes, this site connects designers and suppliers in a way that was never possible before. For instance, let’s say you wanted to design a dress with only organic cotton. You may have in mind what type of fabric you’d like, but the biggest challenge moving forward would be finding a supplier. Most suppliers don’t have ready contact information just sitting in the phone book or a functioning website to visit. Business is typically done over the phone or face-to-face, recommendations come from word of mouth, and even then you’ll want to shop around.
From a pure sourcing standpoint, this site is a massive improvement in the industry. But when you add the eco-friendly and sustainable element in, the true value of this resource becomes evident. You can not only search by fabric type, color and other key filters, but you can search for suppliers based on their sustainability rating – recycled, handmade, organic, fair trade, craft preservation, vertically integrated. In addition to being a great sourcing resource, the site curates articles and posts from a-listers in the eco-fashion world like Amanda Hearst, Angela Lindvall and Marcella Echavarria. One of the more useful articles I found today was entitled “Top 5 Sourcing Tips for Emerging Designers.”
So, kudos to Source4Style and their efforts to democratize sustainable fashion for more designers and more companies. This site will ultimately help drive eco-trends that will have positive impacts on our planet and people for years to come. We look forward to watching it grow!