If you do some digging around sustainable fashion, you may start to notice a conversation budding among some pioneering brands boasting that they source from deadstock fabric. But what is deadstock fabric anyways and why should you care? We’re so glad you asked…
What is Deadstock?
Deadstock fabric is basically leftover bolts of fabric from past seasons of any given brand. It starts with, you, as a brand, ordering bolts of fabric each season for your new collection. Your textile suppliers place a high minimum on the order which means that you must order more fabric than you will actually need to produce your collection. This leaves you, season after season, with leftover fabric just collecting dust in the back of your atelier, or worse depleting your limited budget for a storage unit to house it all. And for what?
You may have heard that 15 million tons of used textile waste is generated in the US in one year, but did you ever think about how much never even gets made into garments? That’s right, some of this waste never even makes it’s way to the consumer once before getting tossed in Earth’s bin (cough, landfills, cough). By sourcing deadstock fabric, you not only can purchase lower quantities of fabric, but can also directly reduce the environmental footprint in the fashion industry. Skeptical if this works? The posterchild for deadstock sourcing is Reformation, if you need an example.
Difficulties in Deadstock
Deadstock is still something being sourced at a grassroots level, as sourcing it often involves having an industry connection. A few fabric stores in the Garment District sell it, however it tends to come with a premium markup. But beyond merely finding such fabric you have to consider, how do you scale with limited run fabrics? How do you plan production based on unknown variables? These are all key components to consider when building this new strategy for your brand.
Great news! THR3EFOLD is starting a sourcing community in the near future! If you are interested in sourcing deadstock fabric please email us today to be put on the list for the beta invitation. We can’t wait to close the loop with you.