Monday, January 20, 2014

Project #EcoClutterBuster: Our Social Fabric Donation

Fabric donations loaded up to bike to Our Social Fabric
Next on the list of clutter to bust was fabric. Friday when I had a spare moment, I packed up some fabric that I've been hanging on to but will never use. Saturday, I stuffed it all into a pannier--sadly, I was only able to part with a couple bags & a roll--more on that later. While the baby was having her long morning nap, I headed outside in the crisp air on my bike, coasting downhill to Our Social Fabric.

Our Social Fabric is a fabric recycling initiative based in the Downtown Eastside. Textiles are one of the most common household items, making up a huge  proportion of our garbage. Unfortunately, despite the volume of this waste, few options exist to reuse or recycle salvageable textile items – next to none for those items that can't be resold. As a result, these textiles end their still-functional lives in the landfill or waste-to-energy incinerator.

Our Social Fabric believes that this unnecessary waste can not only be avoided, but channeled to create positive change in Vancouver. Aside from the obvious benefits of reducing waste diverted to landfills & waste-to-energy facilities, textile recycling provides local creatives with the raw materials to produce clothing, crafts, & more.

Our Social Fabric accepts donations of fabric from the movie industry, upholsterers, window covering businesses & people like me with overly large fabric stashes. After organizing the fabric bolts, 1+ metre long pieces & notions like zippers & patterns, they have regular sales on the weekends.

Some of the buy-by-the-bag bins & by-the-metre bolts at OSF
At Our Social Fabric sales you can buy fabric by the metre for just $2-5 or in pieces by the bag for $25 or $40 for two. (NOTE: they only take cash or credit cards, NO debit) If you need fabric, it's a great place to buy it. If you want to get rid of some lengths you'll never get around to sewing with, please donate! They don't take tiny scraps, preferring easy-to-sell 1/2 metre lengths or larger. If you have anything you're not sure of, email them ( or visit their donations page for more information.

Another way you can help Our Social Fabric in their recycling efforts is to volunteer. They need people to help out with the sales every couple of weeks, cutting, giving out bags, carrying bolts around. Shifts are only two & a half hours long, plus you'll get to take home a bag of fabric for free!

Our Social Fabric is located at 871 East Hastings, Vancouver, BC. They're open during biweekly sales on Sundays or by appointment. To stay up-to-date on sales & other happenings with OSF, join their mailing list here, follow them on Twitter or like their Facebook page. For more information, please visit

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