What is Fashion Deadstock? A sustainable solution for it ๐Ÿ‘š

Clothing overproduction
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A lot of businesses will promote positiveness and sustainability in the near future of fashion. A report from McKinsey & Company says that circularity, including deadstock in fashion will be unavoidable this upcoming years. In Fact, in a survey from the “State of Fashion 2021” respondents highlighted digital and sustainability as the most significant market opportunities for this upcoming year by 30% and 10%, respectively.

The clothing overproduction issue

Sustainability and circularity in fashion aim to meet customer needs and wants. Produce items with higher quality embracing long-lasting relationship between products & customers. Manufacture products from recycled and biodegradable materials. Resell and repair garments. Promote actions for garment disposal and aftercare.

“Up to 40 % of garments are not sold at full price, but at some degree of discount, also some garments are not sold at all,” says Anna Granskog partner in Mckinsey & Company. It is estimated that out of 100 Billion garments produced yearly 20% go unsold[2].

The unsolved fashion paradox also presents how some other luxury fashion brands incinerate clothes in perfect conditions rather than sell them at discounted prices to avoid brand-damaging. For instance, in 2017, Burberry burned up ยฃ28.6 million unsold stock, including clothes, accessories, and perfumes. Also, Richemont, owner of Cartier and Montblanc, bought back ยฃ430m worth of watches between 2016-2018, of which hardly half of it could be recycled.

What is fashion deadstock?

As the word could talk itself, deadstock refers to the unused stock by brands or mills. It includes sample products or fabrics, damaged goods, wrong fabric colours dyed, or even garments in good condition stored with no future use plans. Sustainable fashion designers and brands, such as Reformation, are starting to buy fashion deadstock due to its sustainable nature while reducing the chance of those items advancing to the landfill. However, the quality test of fashion-deadstock still is a challenging job due to non-specified fabric discrepancies.

A sustainable solution ๐Ÿ‘š

Decreasing fashion deadstock could make a tremendous positive impact on the environment when looking at the sustainable fashion future. In my search to answer this question, I found the brand Misha Nonoo an on-demand manufacturing business. This company cuts, sew, and ships every product that is ordered within 7-10 days.

Fashion clothing environmental impact

In a Google talk podcast on sustainability & the future of fashion, the founder of Misha Nonoo expresses, “We do not hold finished stock instead, we have a store with finish looks in different sizes from 2XS-2XL for customers to try on and create the specific styles and sizes needed”.

At the same time, Sophie Slater, co-founder of ethical feminist fashion label Birdsong. A brand that produces fashion clothes sustainably, pays fair wages and, supports local fashion. In an interview, Sophie Slater says: 

“The industry is producing a vast amount of garments yearly that we can not even wear. Big companies produce billions of garments, and also spend billions in making you want them”. [1]

Boosting the green future of fashion with zero deadstock ๐ŸŒฑ

I couldn’t agree more that producing less clothing will aid relieve the planet and landfills. Some fashion brands will have to be more agile when responding to retail analytics to boost best-selling products while cutting the slow seller productions or adopt on-demand manufacturing business models and go sustainably at zero waste.

When talking about agility reformation business, for example, adopted a fast fashion business model the brand can go from design concept to shipping to customers in a little time window of four weeks. They produce small runs of clothes instead of having overstock and, whatever is selling more could be produced in as little as two weeks period.[2]

Let’s participate in the future of fashion, drop your thoughts below #fashiongeek


[1] Bravo, L. (2020) How to break up with fast fashion. Headline Home.

[2] Thomas, D. (2019) Fashionopolis โ€˜the price of fast fashion and the future of clothesโ€™. Head of Zeus Ltd.

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