Deadstock: Everything you should know about the topic, including 8 designers you should know
It’s not news that all the resources we use are finite. Therefore, people are working in all sorts of places to find alternative ways to counteract a shortage. The fashion industry, with its surplus of unworn clothing and the high consumption of materials, is also a major driver in this direction. This leads us to ask ourselves: How can we put an end to all this overconsumption. One way to do this is to reintegrate unused material back into the cycle. In addition to terms such as re-design and upcycling, the term dead stock recently gained more and more importance.
We explain what exactly is behind the term deadstock, which designers work according to this principle and how you can benefit from it. For this we brought an expert on board: Christopher Raeburn, designer of his own fashion brand Raeburn. The finalist of the Zalando Sustainability Awards has been involved with his brand since it was founded deadstock materials and tries to make a contribution to a sustainable fashion industry in this way.
Why do designers use this approach?
How sustainable is deadstock?
3 tips for consumers
Is deadstock the future of fashion?
Deadstock designers and brands
What is dead stock?
Literally translated, the word deadstock means “dead”, i.e. goods that are not for sale and unworn. More precisely, it is a collective term for clothes and accessories that nobody wants because they are “old season”, slow sellers or have defects that prevent them from being sold. They are therefore not used for various reasons and are stored with producers, sellers and brands. The term, which has meanwhile become a kind of buzzword of the sustainability movement, extends not only to fashion pieces but also to other sectors and poses a challenge to the industry: what happens to deadstock?
“As a brand and as an industry, it’s important to rethink what it means to create products that last. It is now becoming increasingly clear that hardly anyone is talking enough about longevity (in fashion) – which is a real problem. Of course, it’s great that the conversation is about topics like recycled materials and zero-waste design. But that’s no use if more and more new products are produced. Instead, we should rely on these three principles: reuse, reduce and recycle!”, Christopher explains to us in an interview. And he’s not wrong about that. That is why more and more designers are concerned with how existing materials or clothing can be recycled.
Why do designers use this approach
It is de facto about giving old pieces and materials a new value – i.e. creating something out of something that already exists that has a place in the future. One man’s trash becomes another man’s gold. The whole thing is a sustainable practice, since nothing new has to be produced for the time being and material that would otherwise end up on the landfills in developing countries is given a new purpose. Doesn’t sound bad at first and like the solution to the problem of overproduction and the ever-growing mountains of textile waste. According to forecasts, these approximately 92 million tons of waste per year will amount to over 134 million by the end of the decade.
Deadstock also brings advantages from the perspective of designers and brands who opt for this type of production. Apart from the high sustainability factor, a unique design language is created in this way and the process of creative work is also completely different. In addition, deadstock is a cheap alternative, especially for prospective fashion designers who are still in training, to produce their collections. Because even on a small scale, i.e. with friends, family and acquaintances, there are enough materials that are suitable for this. For example, an old pair of jeans that can no longer be repaired or sold on a second-hand platform can be saved from being thrown away.