Why I’m no longer shopping at JoAnns – Updated

Yesterday I learned that at JoAnn’s, if they have a few inches of spare fabric, the store policy is to cut it up before throwing it away. It’s being unnecessarily wasteful just for the petty reason of preventing someone ending up with some free scraps, even though the company is already taking the loss no matter what. This is kind of along the lines of restaurants poisoning their leftover food so that homeless people can’t get a free meal, and that sort of thing just doesn’t fly with me.

I don’t agree with that sort of wastefulness, so I’m not going to shop at JoAnn’s anymore. I think that it would be better if they let the customers have a couple extra inches, allowed the employees to take the extras home, or even just let the people willing to dumpster dive have it, so that the fabric at least has the chance of being put to use. I just can’t stand pointless waste, and the sort of mind that thinks its better to destroy something rather than let someone have it for free.

So, does anyone know of good places to buy fabric online?

We contacted corporate for JoAnn’s, and they replied that their *official* policy is to donate the fabric scraps to charity organizations. So, if you learn that your local JoAnn’s is throwing away fabric, be sure to complain to corporate about it. Maybe it will inspire them to start enforcing their policy.


9 thoughts on “Why I’m no longer shopping at JoAnns – Updated

  1. I used to work at JoAnn’s and we never did that. If there were a few inches, we would offer it to the customer or put it up for a remnant. Unfortunately, offering it to the employees probably wouldn’t happen for many reasons. Sorry you had that problem. And just to add one more thing, remnants are a favorite of people who do quilting!!!

  2. At my Joanns they either sell it as remnants or offer it to the customer for 50% off if there’s only a little left on the bolt. I buy a lot of fabric at Walmart, its always cheaper than Joanns, but the selection is a lot more limited. I’ve actually started buying things at thrift stores for the fabric and then ripping out the seems. I just posted a blog where I took a sheet I bought at goodwill and turned it into a dress if you’;d like to check it out.

  3. I knew someone who managed a JoAnn’s store and she was always trying to get the store in better order. The management’s attitude was, “women don’t mind shopping in a mess.” Ha!
    The JoAnn’s nearest me definitely takes that policy to heart… the place is a bit of a dump, but they do have the best sales on patterns and notions around. Maybe if you only take advantage of their sales you could feel OK about shopping with them in the future :)

  4. It came up because the fabric I wanted had just a couple more inches on the bolt than the amount that I needed, and the employee made a big deal out of cutting it exactly, then explained the store policy. I don’t know when it was implemented.

  5. I am pretty certain that is not company policy. At my Joanns they always offer the remaining remnant to the customer at half price. I think you just got an idiot worker. Poorly trained and under paid workers is a major problem with Joanns. Years ago they did have a policy of throwing in the garbage all discontinued patterns. I was the happy recipient of hundreds of these patterns rescued by an anonymous worker who donated them to the community theater where I was working. Sadly, if her boss found out she would have been fired. Stupid, wasteful, greedy corporations. I have no idea whether or not they still do that with their patterns. If I order online I like to use Dharma Trading Company if I can.

  6. It is possible that it’s a new policy. During the first year that I worked at Hobby Lobby (2008-09), we went from giving out the coupon discount to everyone even if they didn’t have one, to being required to collect the coupons from the customer and save them so that management could later count to make sure that we didn’t give out any extra discounts — one of my coworkers was even fired for continuing to give the discount to people who didn’t have a coupon! So, I find this thing with Joann’s to be all too plausible.

    Since I’m learning about fabric painting and dying, I’ll probably start ordering a lot more from Dharma Trading. I like how much detail they give about the fabric, and the fact that practically everything can be machine washed.

  7. Interesting. Another reason not to shop at Joannes. But seems I always end up there. I wondered at first if it was something the fabric manufacturers made them do. Kind of like when book covers have to be destroyed if they dont sell, but your call to corporate solved that one for me. Such a shame. I think they could donate this stuff to a women’s shelter or something…

  8. My mother and wife shop at jann fabrics i do not know much about fabric but i believe the accessories are junk and expensive. who wants to by all there supplies online. People shop at joanns because there isn’t anywhere else, there is some small sew type shops around my town I believe 2-3 filled with mostly classes. I am starting extensive research to see if it is profitable to bring real Qaulity crafted by experienced craftsmen to my town. Store policies are for businesses to make profit but people who create are artists and artists don’t need store policies. Watch for my coupons and mailing lists for my store I will give you a high % coupon so you feel like your getting a good deal. That is America now walmart home depot, and apparently joann fabrics. we want to shop somewhere else but it doesn’t exist. You cannot tell me fabric coming from australia to rochester ny is a cheap propisition.

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