Spoonflower: Leading the Sustainable Textile Revolution

APR 18, 2018 updated Jun 10, 2021

Spoonflower strives to ensure that our fabrics are good for you and good for the earth. Through our low-waste digital print process and organic fabric options, we seek to provide products made safely and sustainably. While the textile industry is rife with sustainability problems, see how Spoonflower has worked hard to reverse this direction. 

4 Ways Spoonflower Is Going Green in 2018 | Spoonflower Blog
Going green: it’s in our nature! Featured designs

Spoonflower: Leading the Sustainable Textile Revolution | Spoonflower Blog  Spoonflower: Leading the Sustainable Textile Revolution | Spoonflower Blog Spoonflower: Leading the Sustainable Textile Revolution | Spoonflower Blog

Reducing Waste

4 Ways Spoonflower Is Going Green in 2018 | Spoonflower Blog
Community events like the RARE Bear sew-in repurpose slightly flawed fabric and prevents it from ever making it to the landfill!

Spoonflower’s print-on-demand process is designed to minimize fabric and ink waste. Since you have the ability to print the exact quantities you want, just the way you want them, there are no leftover materials. Marketplace fabric that is returned to the factory is donated (designers still earn their commissions!) to programs like the RARE Bear sew-in, a grassroots outreach initiative for kids with rare diseases. Unprinted fabric remnants are available to local artists and makers in the Spoonflower community. Fabric that doesn’t meet our high standards never makes it to the landfill, as it is shredded for industrial applications like car upholstery and furniture stuffing, bedding and flooring.

Keeping It Clean

Spoonflower’s pigment printing process consumes very little water to begin with, making it an eco-friendly solution in the textile printing industry. Our pigment inks are mixed from 4-8 basic colors as your fabric is printed, so unlike screen printing, there’s no mixing of colors in advance.

Featured designs by indybloomdesign and emilysanford

To ensure products are safe, we select the best-in-class fabrics, inks and dyes. All of our wallpaper options are printed with water-based latex inks that carry the GREENGUARD Gold certification. We avoid fabrics with any flame-retardant applications, and our fabrics pass tests ruling out harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde and lead.

Sourcing the Best

To meet increasing demands for natural textiles, we developed three organic fabrics: Organic Cotton Sateen Ultra, Organic Cotton Knit Ultra, and Organic Sweet Pea Gauze™. Along with all of the fabrics we offer, these are sourced from a small group of trusted fabric vendors that observe fair wages and work standards. 

Make a reusable tote bag for the farmers’ market with Organic Sweet Pea Gauze.

To add to the environmentally-friendly lineup, we offer Recycled Canvas made from 10 recycled bottles per yard or meter and a Smooth wallpaper made with up to 10% post-consumer waste. Our Smooth wallpaper is not only removable, but recyclable as well: in fact, Smooth and traditional wallpaper are both eligible for LEED credits. Unlike most peel-and-stick wallpaper, our Woven wallpaper is completely free of vinyl, which is considered one of the most toxic plastics for our health and for the environment.

Continuing to Grow

Spoonflower invests in sustaining a healthy environment by working to reduce our ecological impact in everything we do, from recycling and composting in our office to printing packing slips on recycled-content paper. We have two factoriesone in Durham, N.C. and one in Berlin, Germanyto reduce shipping transit to consumers, thus cutting our carbon footprint. Our office break rooms are full of handmade fabric dish towels, tablecloths and napkins, and we stock our shelves with reusable silverware and dishware. We have a small garden outside our North Carolina headquarters that is filled with herbs, lettuces and cherry tomatoes planted (and enjoyed) by our employees. Since 2015, we’ve diverted over 4,124 pounds of waste from the landfill into compost. Additionally, we have avoided 536 pounds of methane which is the equivalent of 10,724 pounds of CO2 or driving the entire circumference of the Earth.

Sustainability is at the heart of all that we do—you could say it’s in our nature to go green.

Set the stage for a DIY eco-friendly gathering with these five tips from Cherry Blossom Events.

If you’re looking for a few tips on how to incorporate a greener way of thinking for your next celebration or just on a regular basis, follow these five from the party planning experts at Cherry Blossom Events.

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  • Kani Hinshelwood

    Great to see Spoonflower thinking about sustainability. I was wondering if including hemp material/bamboo in the fabric types was on the roadmap? (hemp is a very sustainable type of fabric and often overlooked).

    Also it would be great to see some more recent articles on this subject as well.

    • Hi Kani,

      We’re so glad you enjoyed the article and thank you for the fabric requests! Our Research and Development team is always testing new substrates and we are very committed to our sustainability efforts. Bamboo is an especially popular request! You can learn more about our sustainability efforts and earth-friendly products here. We also have a collection of all our sustainability blog posts available here.

      Take care!

  • Patricia Ballard

    Thank you I really appreciate all you are doing to supply a SAFE product. Love that you are helping young artist to grow and expand their work. Be blessed for all you are doing.

  • Deborah Renfro

    After reading more about your amazing company, I am in awe of Spoonflower’s ecological and environmental efforts to make a such a positive difference. You are an inspiration to our society. One can only hope that all industries that impact our environment would follow your lead.

    • Thank you, Deborah! Sustainability is at the core of what we do and it means a lot of hear your feedback.