Next up in our series of interviews Sustainable Stories with Hairy Jayne is Polina of Good Fabric. We’re chatting with ethical indie business owners who have created inspiring sustainable brands. Good Fabric’s intention is to bring a guilt free fabric shopping experience with a vast range of beautiful and colourful sustainable fabrics.
Based in London, Polina is a slow fashion expert with a history of working for big fashion brands. She started her ethical indie business after learning to sew and then finding that sustainable fabric options were very limited in colour and pattern. All of the fabrics she stocks have at least one eco credential to others to sew their own handmade garments with an ethical supply chain.
Her selection is indeed very colourful and varied – from patterned organic cottons, to eco friendly Tencel to Econyl swimsuit material made from nylon fibres and plastic bottles that would normally end up in landfill. Polina has made it her mission to help sewing enthusiasts to create exciting conscious handmade wardrobes – since the fast fashion industry is one of the worlds biggest polluters.
1. Why did you decide to start your sustainable fabric brand?
When I used to work as product developer within the fashion industry, we would always discuss the product and touch on the sustainable option, but often it would be disregarded either due to cost or complexity of manufacturing. It was incredibly frustrating that sustainability was something we would compromise on, as if it wasn't important.
So when it came to setting up Good Fabric and being my own boss, I knew what were my priorities and non negotiables were. Not to ever lose track of it, we described Good Fabric in one sentence: sustainable fabrics don't cost the Earth. This is the official sentence, but there was an extra bit, which i still very much stand by - 'and don’t look like potato sacks'.
2. How does sustainability come into the day-to-day running of your ethical indie business?
It is all about simple steps that we all can make as individuals, that make a great difference. All the packaging that we receive from suppliers is re-used to send out our bigger orders, so nothing gets wasted. We take our recycling rubbish home to be put into our recycling bin as unfortunately our offices don’t have a separate recycling waste collection.
Our parcels are dropped off at the local depot which is a lovely walking distance, so we try and carry the parcels to the office as much as possible and avoid driving if we can. It goes without saying that all of own packaging is fully recyclable too.
3. What step have you taken behind-the-scenes to be more eco-friendly?
We have partnered with Ecologi to offset our carbon footprint and be part of climate positive workforce. Through monthly contribution to Ecologi we are funding projects that prevent greenhouses from entering atmosphere and also we plant minimum 5 trees per month.
We love Ecologi for their transparency and simplicity, it can be very overwhelming and confusing when you start looking into how you can be more sustainable as a business, Ecologi makes is super easy and clear. Wish we have joined them sooner.
5. Tell us a little about your sustainable best-seller.
Hands down our Econyl swimwear and sportswear regenerated nylon lycra is our most popular. The fabric is made entirely from trash, such as plastic bottles and carpets, so it is an amazing waste solution technology and a great alternative to traditional polyester. Furthermore, Econyl can be recycled again and again without losing its properties, so it is truly circular. As an added bonus, our current supplier has over 40 colours so we really hope to expand our range with every delivery.
6. What's your favourite eco credential, and why?
We are the biggest fans of the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification. It is the most comprehensive standard when it comes to textiles and textile products. A lot of eco-credentials, as lovely and important as they are, only look at certain aspect of textile manufacturing. But GOTS looks at everything, from start to finish.
It starts with the farmers and their well-being, the soil and seeds, removal of harmful pesticides, working conditions, salaries, transportation, storage, the list goes on. It has incredibly strict guidelines and any fabric or product that’s been granted GOTS certification is of the highest environmental standard.
Our hope is that one day, this standard to be the new norm, the bare minimum that we should accept. So we have a long way to go, but by supporting and buying GOTS fabrics and finished products, we are making teeny tiny steps toward a better and cleaner environment.
- - - - - - - - - -
Find out more about the GOTS certification by visiting their website:
And learn more about Good Fabric by visiting