Deadstock is the new reusable fabric that is making headway among emerging sustainable brands. Unique and unrepeatable, this fabric gives collections an aura of exclusivity that leaves fashion insiders indifferent.
But what can be considered deadstock in concrete terms?
This concept refers to fabrics or textile materials that are discarded by other brands. There are many reasons behind this practice, among them; because the colour doesn't fit, there is a defect, in the end they don't use the fabric, the brand closes down?
These leftovers are thrown away, discarded, ending up in landfills. The worst thing is that resources have been wasted to manufacture materials that in the end are not used. As you can imagine... This is far from a sustainable practice.
That's why there are brands that use this waste to create new garments with a very low environmental impact. Making "waste" into fashion.
Is deadstock as sustainable as it seems?
The answer is not a simple yes or no, like many of the important things in life, there are nuances and different perspectives.
In this particular case, we have to differentiate between deadstock and available stock.
Available stock refers to fabrics that large companies overproduce in order to obtain a greater volume discount, knowing that the surplus fabrics can be sold to other companies. This practice is carried out, for example, with fabrics for making T-shirts. There will always be someone who wants to make T-shirts and is willing to buy those fabrics....
In this case, sustainable brands are not rescuing this fabric that would otherwise end up in landfill. They are perpetuating overproduction because they give the big textile companies a reason to continue operating as they have been doing up to now.
If available stock is used, there is usually a larger amount of footage than in deadstock, therefore many more garments can be made and the collection will not be as exclusive as it can be if deadstock is used.
Real deadstock, by definition, is that fabric that brands, for various reasons, will not use. In this case, especially emerging brands can benefit from buying these surpluses. First of all, because they are giving a second life to a surplus fabric and secondly because it allows them to create a limited and unique collection, as these fabrics will not be available again.
How do you know if the brand is using deadstock or available stock?
In an industry as opaque as the textile industry it is very difficult to know if you are buying deadstock or available stock. The best thing to do is to talk directly to the brand so that they can show you how much fabric they have bought or they can give you a list of their suppliers to see who they work with.
In these cases, trust in the brand will be key. Look for brands that have been committed to sustainability from the very beginning. Apart from deadstock, they are committed to organic, sustainable and certified fabrics. And if you have any doubts, ask, ask, ask and ask, this will also help you to see if the brand promotes a culture of transparency (so necessary in this industry) or if its practices are closer to greenwashing...
Brands have a responsibility to incorporate sustainability into their DNA. Consumers have a responsibility to inform themselves about what they are buying and what effects it has on the planet. Sustainability is everyone's business!
If you're interested in finding out how to make your wardrobe more sustainable, we've put together a handy guide to get you started. You can download it here!
And keep stopping by our blog for more articles on sustainability, we look forward to seeing you every week!