IS DEADSTOCK FABRIC SUSTAINABLE?
What is 'deadstock' fabric
Deadstock fabric is the name given to unwanted fabrics in fashion houses and mills. For example, if a textile mill has produced a lot of fabric for a fashion house order, but then that order has been cancelled. This fabric is then called deadstock as it is no longer wanted. In fashion houses, they generally order more fabric than they need to produce garments to allow for extended orders, should the product be successful. Unfortunately, fashion moves so quickly that consumers demand the next best offering, and so, these surplus fabric orders are left unused, and so become deadstock.
So, using up deadstock fabric is sustainable right?
As in life, nothing is ever straightforward. There are many opinions surrounding this, and it comes down to the individual.
Deadstock fabric can literally be composed of all fibres. With fashion houses (in particular with fast-fashion productions,) there are a lot of synthetic cheap fabrics. These are fabrics and fibres that will not biodegrade, and will exist on our planet for years to come.
Using up these products may be seem like a good idea as they are already in existence, however it feeds the bigger problem of the fashion industry.
As we all know, the fashion industry creates too much too fast. To eliminate this problem, we should be creating less waste, and look at the circularity of a textile piece. If deadstock fabric is now sought-after, then it becomes a demand. Consequently, fabric mills and fashion houses will just continue to overproduce as they know that any excess, unwanted fabrics they will end up with, will be bought by someone else. These big companies then don't feel the pressure or the need to address the problem in the first place.
Here at A KIND CLOTH, from first opening this fabric store, I made the choice not to stock any deadstock fabric, as I did not want to add to the demand for excess stock. I choose to stock fabrics that are biodegradable, and try look at the manufacturing processes of the fabrics to ensure the wellbeing of workers and the planet throughout the supply chain. Transparency is incredibly difficult to seek out within the supply chain, as there are so many people and transactions involved throughout the chain. And so we must try where we can.