Breaking Down Deadstock & Why it’s Sustainable

Deadstock is a term that is gaining popularity in the sustainable fashion movement.

And while designers have always used remaining inventory from larger companies for their smaller scale production, the term “deadstock” can come across as negative.

In actuality, it’s one of the few sustainable practices that is commonplace in the apparel industry. With increased awareness about our industry it’s a practice that’s being discussed and celebrated. Deadstock textiles have been part of our brand story from the beginning, though we have only recently begun to promote this practice as part of our sustainable mission.

This is due to a purchase we made last year from a company who was retiring. They sourced textiles from some of our vendors and had inventory of textiles that are no longer produced or are cost prohibitive to source in small quantities. Many of them could be dead stock purchased fifteen years ago. However none of them have sustainable fiber content and we understand it may be confusing to our customers to see us using so many conventional textiles.

We view the Deadstock textile styles as some of the most sustainable we have produced in our career. Those textiles were stored in a warehouse basement in SODO Seattle and were unlikely to be useful for other designers.

Michelin Vest and Bibelobis Pant

RZ Cigarette Pant

We moved them roll by roll using a hand truck and movers to lift the heavy rolls up a flight of stairs into a moving truck to drive them ten minutes to our warehouse. All of the textiles had to be cleaned, carefully inventoried and each roll had to be tested. It is a huge labor to use them, another reason they are called Deadstock. Without our unique company ethos and educated distribution channel, those textiles would likely have been dumped in a landfill.

Over the course of three seasons this unique inventory has allowed us to tell different stories that otherwise would not make sense in our collection. Camilla and I have always been designers who work best with constraints. Imagining uses for these unusual textiles has been a joyous design journey and an achievement we’re proud of. By using the leftovers of another business we continue to wage a war on waste while conserving natural resources.

And yes, sometimes Deadstock textiles are less expensive. That allows us to design more complicated styles, execute complicated patterning and cutting while producing limited production runs in the United States. In all cases the savings were passed along to you in much lower prices than comparable styles using sustainable fibers.

-davora and camilla

We also love Seamly’s discussion on it.  

Bloc Sweater, Terry Tap Pant & Long Polar Slippers

Site Login

Lost your password?