Did you know that you can get yardage from the amazing Cloud9 Fabric Collective in Australia, at shops? I have been a fan for so long but I did not know this. Where have I been, hiding under a rock?!* Yep, and from Spotlight, no less. And maybe other stores too? Please do comment if you know of other shops around Melbourne that are stockists. And yes, I know I could have bought the fabric online but there is something to be said for going into a shop, seeing the colours and feeling the texture (organic and so, so soft!), watching someone cut your order to size and then going home with it there and then. Yep, super old school.

Here's a selection of what I've bought recently:

Leaf Sampler from Eloise Renouf's First Light collection for Cloud9. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Leaf Sampler from Eloise Renouf's First Light collection for Cloud9. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Rows. Columns. Pink. From Sarah Watson's Garden Secrets collection for Cloud9. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Rows. Columns. Pink. From Sarah Watson's Garden Secrets collection for Cloud9. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Midnight Flora from Elizabeth Olwen's Wildwood collection for Cloud9. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Midnight Flora from Elizabeth Olwen's Wildwood collection for Cloud9. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Escapade from Avril Loreti's Let's Have a Party collection for Cloud9. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Escapade from Avril Loreti's Let's Have a Party collection for Cloud9. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

True Colours from Avril Loreti's Let's Have a Party collection for Cloud9. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

True Colours from Avril Loreti's Let's Have a Party collection for Cloud9. Photo by Susan Fitzgerald.

Now I'm hoping I'll soon be able to get, locally, the Cloud9 collection from Skinny Laminx, called Up, Up and Away, Kindred from Lisa CongdonLandscape from local superstars Ink & Spindle and the brand-new, amazing TWO collections from Leah Duncan, Lore and Yucca (here's a full list of designers & their collections - pretty impressive). Fingers and toes crossed.

And if you're not familiar with the US-based Cloud9, here's a bit of background, from their website:

Since 2009, Cloud9 Fabrics is the proud leading source for organic cotton fabric for the home sewing enthusiast. Cloud9 Fabrics uses only 100% certified organic cotton in the manufacturing of our base cloths and eco-responsible low impact dyes for printing and dying. We work closely with mills that are committed to ethical and responsible conduct. This includes respecting the rights of all individuals, a devotion to sustained social compliance, and an accountability to the environment. We work with artists who inspire us, so that we may inspire you. Cloud9 Fabrics is committed to bringing beautiful and unique fabrics to the home sewing marketplace and places a strong emphasis on the distinction of our artists, designers and licensing partners.

And why organic fabric? Cloud9 put it so well:

Organic cotton has a low-impact on the environment and handlers. It is grown and harvested by methods that do not use toxic pesticides, herbacides, fertilizers or defoliants. It relies on natural methods which includes (but is not limited to) crop rotation and cow manure for soil fertility; beneficial predator insects; lengthened growing periods for natural defoliation; and hand-picking, which results in less waste. The statistics from various countries on the health issues of the farmers and handlers of chemically treated crops are startling. The health benefits of organically grown cotton are clear, as are the environmental aspects: reduced toxins and pollutants which infiltrate both the soil and water systems and consequently all living things. It might also be interesting to know also that the cottonseed meal, which is a byproduct of the ginning process, including that of chemically treated cotton, is fed to livestock and can come to us in the form of cottonseed oil in our foods.

As an aside, years ago I remember reading co-founder/creative director Michelle Engel Bencsko's new year's resolutions (well, that's what I think it was...) on her blog - an inspiring list of how she was going to expand the business. Well, her hard work really has paid off, it's great to see. Now to find the time to actually do some sewing...

* Disclaimer: I have such a huge fabric stash that I've not allowed myself into a fabric store for a very...long...time. So while I've been under a rock, the entire rest of Australia is probably aware that you've been able to get Cloud9 here forever!

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