Honestly sometimes it's hard to know if you're really helping to create change or just simply adding to the issue.
At the end of the day to be truly eco and sustainable it would mean giving up just about everything and living out in the bush. In reality though if we all continue to live consciously we can create change and ultimately live happier healthy lives on a respected and loved planet.
Our business has been built on our ethos and transparency. Every single thing we do is well thought out, and we consider not only the planet but the people. We just want to do good whilst doing something we love.
So this brings me to one of the core foundations that has built our business. DEADSTOCK.
Pictures: Purchasing headstock and then the limited pieces we produced.
Is it really a sustainable option to help reduce textile waste? Well yes and no. There has been a lot of hype around deadstock fabric and that it could be the way to move forward with production for brands that want to be sustainable. The problem is that there is no way of actually tracking or knowing if it really is true deadstock or just available stock fabric. There is also the ongoing use of companies using hype words to sell - known as Greenwashing. Using the word deadstock has become almost a normal term for just using any fabric that already exists and one that you or your business has not had produced. I guess it will always come down to transparency and doing your own research and asking the questions. Don't believe everything you see on social media, look deeper.
Available stock fabric is fabric that is produced frequently and made more available as they know even if they don't have a current buyer it will eventually sell. For example Jersey cottons for Tshirts will always sell as there is always a brand creating T-shirts Therefore this is available and not always produced directly for a brand. Some brands then call this deadstock or ends of rolls. Its produced with purpose. No mills or suppliers calculate deadstock into there budget there intentions is always to produce and sell.
In reality, most surplus fabric is and always has been sold eventually, whether to a fabric store or smaller clothing brand. Fabric mills don’t like to waste their money and resources by sending fabric to the dump or burning it.
Buying and using deadstock fabric is still a great option for smaller clothing brands and designers that don’t need to reproduce a style or make large quantities, but it is certainly not the only or most sustainable way to produce. We still need to use more sustainable fabrics to begin with.
When sourcing deadstock we always aim to buy natural fibers such as linen, cotton and hemp. We also only buy from our trusted suppliers that receive literally only leftovers directly from the mill. The rolls are usually anywhere from 30-200m. I still think that buying leftovers is a better option but it's not for everyone. When buying true deadstock it takes a lot of work as often deadstock ends up as deadstock in the first place due to damage or the weave. We have to check every meter to make sure it is usable. We have been aiming to source more vintage fabrics but this too is tricky as they are often damaged or stained.
I hope to see more larger brands producing eco fabrics with natural dyes as this is where the change will be. Smaller brands will then be able to purchase the leftovers which in turn makes it all more eco. Fashion will always continue so we need to make changes in the right direction. Quality garments that produced ethically with consciously considered fabrics.
A great article that I urge you to read is The Myth of the ethical shopper is old but it's good. Here