We are pretty old-fashioned about most things. That includes the values that we bring to the way we operate, and the contribution we make to the communities that we enjoy being part of.

We work with artists, small-scale makers, and businesses and organisations that strive to produce authentic, high-quality products that last and do what they say on the box. We pay a fair price for goods that enable makers to generate stable incomes that will sustain their businesses, families and communities.

We donate a variety of goods and materials to individuals and causes related to textile craft and to those in need. Some recent examples are fabric donations for children's craft workshops, Christmas gift boxes for Women's Refuge, and fabrics to Shut-In Stitchers, who work in Arohata Prison to teach the women to learn new skills by making a patchwork quilt.

This year we were also proud to donate a handmade quilt to the international art auction to raise funds for those working on the ground  to support communities affected by bushfires in Australia. Organised by France-based Ruth Rebouricourt, our donation raised more than $500 Australian Dollars.

Recycling, and being efficient with resources is also really important to us. It probably started when we earned our Thrift badge while in Brownies and Girl Guides. We encourage our customers to use what they have, buy the exact amount that they need, and to value and incorporate vintage materials alongside the new ones.

In store, we use paper-based and recycled packaging. As far as possible, we repurpose or recycle waste materials. This includes donating bubble wrap and packaging to several local charities, which supports them by reducing their packaging costs, and arranging for the recycling of products such as plastic bags and polystyrene. It takes time, but it's important to us not to squander resources that can be utilised in some way. 

Fabric-a-Brac is our cornerstone community initiative. It actually rivals summer holidays as one of our favourite events on the calendar. Fabric-a-Brac has now grown into a regular event in four New Zealand regions, spread to Australia, and raised thousands of dollars for local hospices and other charities. While it is certainly an great place to fossick out unusual and vintage sewing and craft supplies, it is the community that really has us hooked. It is wonderful to catch up with our Fabric-a-Brac family, and to admire the garments and items made with materials found and bought at the last one. We have attended most of the Fabric-a-Brac events over its 11 years, and are proud to donate fabric, cash and time to help ensure its success. Add your name to the mailing list so you can join in the fun next time.

Find out more about Fabric-a-Brac