We have always been committed to conscientious product sourcing and we consider the origins of all of the products we stock. When offering a range of products as large as we do, it is far from possible to ensure complete transparency on everything we stock, however, we are continually increasingly our offer of sustainably produced goods and making improvements to our supply chain.
Since our conception, we have striven to work with suppliers who have an ethical regard to production and, in particular, the impact of their production methods on the environment. Transparency is not easily found within the fabric supply chain, textiles go through many processes during manufacture - fibres can be grown in one country, woven in another, printed in another and then transported to a distributor who can sell it to retailers all over the world - a beautiful printed cotton might have visited several different continents by the time it reaches our shelves. Suppliers are not always keen to share information about their sources so it can be very difficult to know the origin of fabric - because we find beautiful fabric as irresistible as you do, we accept this where we have to but that doesn’t mean we stop asking the questions!
Clearly, distance travelled matters when it comes to the environmental impact of a product, hence we try our best to buy directly from source to minimise textile miles. We stock fabric that has been produced in China, Japan, India and the US but increasingly we are sourcing from Europe where much of the world’s linen and organic cotton is produced. This year we plan to add 4 major new Ray Stitch 'in-house' European fabrics to our exclusive organic and oeko-tex lines.
Much of our certified organic cotton comes from India and is produced by a very small family run producer; the bamboo which makes our bamboo silk is produced on a farm in China which has been an organic producer for many years; our linen, which is intrinsically a more sustainable fabric than cotton, is produced in Europe. All of these fabrics come directly to us from source and we plan to develop many new fabric ranges with these known and trusted suppliers over the coming years.
We strive to keep very in touch with new ideas and innovative production methods; we regularly attend the Sustainable Angle’s excellent annual Future Fabric’s Expo where we have met new suppliers and collaborators and are endlessly informed and inspired by talks and lectures from innovators within the fashion and textile industry. There is much to change, in both method and attitude, but we feel that, together with our community of conscientious designers and craftspeople, we will drive the changes further towards responsible consumption.