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Our Social Fabric
270-1275 Venables Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Memberships : NA
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Since Dec, 2021
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About Company

Our Social Fabric (OSF) is Canada’s only non-profit fabric store selling donated deadstock online and in-person, keeping ‘waste’ fabric out of landfill and getting it into the hands of creatives. 

Our vision is to eradicate textile waste from Canadian landfills. 

We are run by a small but passionate volunteer Board, supported by a small staff and many dedicated volunteers.

As a non-profit our sole focus is sustainability and maximizing the amount of ‘waste’ fabric transferred into the hands of makers. We are not driven by profits. Our prices are affordable as we only charge enough to cover our costs. Our prices are up to 75% less than regular retail prices. 

We have been operating since 2009. With over a decade of experience we have an established team of volunteers and networks to make sure textile donations make their way into the hands of those that can use it. During that time we are proud of the role we have played and continue to play in nourishing and supporting Canada’s fibre arts community and slow-fashion movement. 

In 2020 we kept an astonishing 29 tons of textiles and sewing related materials out of landfill! 

Our fabrics are available to buy at weekly in-person sales at our brick and mortar store in Vancouver and 24 hours a day via our website. We offer shipping across Canada.

All our fabrics and sewing related materials are donated to us. We accept donations of clean unsewn fabric and sewing related materials from the film industry, theatre, manufacturing and individuals.

History of Our Social Fabric

SMALL BEGINNINGS

Our Social Fabric (OSF) was founded in 2009 by Leandre Melançon, a set decorator in Vancouver’s movie industry, and Kim Cathers, a fashion designer with a passion for upcycling and using recycled textiles. Leandre and Kim began to collect waste fabric, predominantly from the movie industry, and stockpile them in a storage locker, holding occasional sales in the parking lot. They sold to emerging designers at low prices.

The enterprise grew and it became obvious we would need more permanent space. We took up a free residence in the mezzanine space of Frog Box, a socially responsible moving box company. 

Sales were held on weekends, when Frog Box was closed, with fabric sold by the bag. This was a huge improvement over the parking lot, but still meant hauling fabric out before sales and putting it away afterwards.

With our own space we could hold more frequent sales and were given the ability to measure, bundle and tag the fabrics. We still received donations from the movie industry, but more and more from manufacturing, designers, estates and home sewers. The building was sold in 2016 so it was time for us to move.

GROWING AND MOVING

After a long search, in May 2016 a space was found in the Russell Building at 1275 Venables Street, which we shared with 3H Craftworks and Common Thread - two organizations that work with people with mental health issues or special needs in a sewing capacity

Sales became extremely popular and we outgrew our space. In May 2018, we tripled our floor space, moving within the same building to our current second floor location. The larger space allows us to give a better shopping experience for our customers, create promotional displays, hold workshops and small events and gives us much more space to receive and sort donations. 

EXPANDING ACROSS CANADA

In 2020, the OSF team reacted quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whilst our brick and mortar store was forced to close for some time the management team pivoted and took the business online. The website was first set up for mask making supplies and over time expanded to include a full range of fabric, notions and patterns. Now we are happy to have a diverse customer base all over Canada alongside our vibrant in store shopping events!

Our Social Fabric is still a non-profit focussed on eradicating textile waste from Canadian landfills. We are currently run by a board of seven volunteer directors and a whole host of regular volunteers. 

Company NameOur Social Fabric
Business CategoryTextile Recycling
Address270-1275 Venables Street
Vancouver
British Columbia
Canada
PresidentNA
Year Established2009
EmployeesNA
MembershipsNA
Hours of OperationTuesday 10am-6pm Wednesday 10am- 2pm Thursday 10am-6pm
Company Services
  • Textiles
  • Sewing
  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Sewing Machines
  • Retail
  • Ecommerce
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