Introducing Offset Warehouse, the world’s first online destination to combine affordable ethical-fashion shopping with hard-to-find sustainable fabrics. Founded by 25-year-old Royal College of Art graduate Charlie Ross, the site was born from her own frustrations sourcing ethical fabrics in the smaller quantities she needed, as well as her desire to change the perception that ethical fashion is more expensive.
You can order ethical fabrics with a minimum of only a meter (1 yard), making it easy to buy sustainable fabrics both a single garment or a larger eco-fashion collection. (Offset Warehouse also offers wholesale prices for large orders.)
Our choice of fabrics are only the beginning, Ross tells Ecouterre.
Speaking with Ross, it’s clear how passionate she is about her mission. “Sourcing ethically is so important,” she tells Ecouterre. “It’s irresponsible decisions in design and production that have caused so much devastation to the environment and repression of the workers who are behind the scenes.”
Our choice of fabrics is only the beginning, Ross adds. “In a product’s lifetime, from design to sale, everything we do has an impact on someone or somewhere else—good and bad,” she says. We have the power to control most of these choices and consequently, the impact we create. Sourcing is one of the very first steps of the cycle that can make a huge difference both environmentally and socially.”
In addition to the shop/haberdashery side of the business, Ross also serves as a consultant for ethical-fashion businesses. In the foreseeable future, however, she plans on revisiting an old passion from her university days: designing menswear. “Every now and then I get a bit restless and my mind wanders and gets excited about doing a mini-collection,” she says. “But I have to stop myself and think realistically. First, I need to get Offset Warehouse properly established. Then, I’d love to do a line!”
Sourcing ethically can save you money, Ross says. “Why wouldn’t anyone want to be ethical when they source?” she asks.
Ross is happy to enable the bigger picture in the meantime, however. “If you need more convincing, embracing more ethical choices isn’t just about helping to preserve an environment you’ll never see and people you’ll never meet,” she says. “It can also mean improving your own health and your overall quality of life.” Plus, she adds, the better choice isn’t necessarily more expensive. “In fact, it can save you money,” Ross says. “Why wouldn’t anyone want to be ethical when they source?”