These Deadstock Designers are Re-imagining Sustainability

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The fashion industry has undergone sobering reflection in recent years, calling into question whether the planet can sustain the constant production and consumption that we have grown accustomed to. With brands endlessly churning out collections and drops, there is an inevitable amount of materials that get left untouched. In years prior, these materials have been neglected, discarded, and even burned, leaving many wondering about the sustainable ethics behind some of our favorite brands. Fashion consumers, led mostly by Gen-Z, have become increasingly focused on the ethics of the companies in which they patron and many have opted to only shop at brands who are concerned with sustainable transparency. Despite these concerns, there has been a crop of both established and emerging designers who are responding to this conflict through the innovative repurposing of otherwise unused textiles – aptly titled deadstock fabric. So what exactly is deadstock?

To put it simply, deadstock is any material, fabric, or textile that is no longer in use or production. Recent studies have shown that there is almost 3.8 billion pounds of textile waste annually, displaying the harrowing prevalence of textile production and overconsumption. Amidst an industry-wide push towards sustainability, deadstock has become increasingly popular amongst designers looking to bridge the worlds of aesthetics and eco-conscious design.

In an attempt to minimize the impacts of fabric overproduction, designers have incorporated repurposed textiles and unwanted materials (even from their own past collections) as a way to give new life to products that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill. By utilizing deadstock materials, designers are reducing the footprint that would have been expended creating new textiles and cutting down on the extensive carbon emissions that go into shipping and transport. Whether it be revamped denim from vintage stores or a quirky 2000s print, these innovators have welcomed the challenge of reimagining what many would consider unusable waste. Here, CR dives into some of the brands who have been at the forefront of reimagining the fashion system through deadstock fabric.

Alexander McQueen

Creative Director Sarah Burton has taken sustainability and eco-consciousness into consideration for the brand’s most recent collections. With a bevy of overstock fabrics such as up-cycled wool flannels from previous McQueen seasons, the brand has evolved seamlessly while keeping the ethos of Lee McQueen in mind. Graphic tailoring and intricate textile manipulation show that brands can be on the cutting edge of innovation while remaining focused on sustainability.

Collina Strada

Deadstock and up-cycled materials have been a natural choice for the eco-conscious New York brand who recently showed their quirky designs at the collaborative Guccifest. Creative Director Hillary Taymour has utilized deadstock textiles in a way that fulfills her brand’s mission of radical transparency and adds to her light-hearted designs. The brand’s vibrantly printed Fall/Winter 2020 collection was made almost entirely of deadstock fabric and incorporated a variety of accessories that toyed with the brand’s cheerful take on sustainability like sparkly garden tools and water bottles.


There is virtually nothing that defines Prada quite like their signature nylon backpack and accessories. Under the brand’s new Re-Nylon campaign, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons have taken an eco-conscious approach that fits firmly into the house’s established DNA. With an extensive capsule collection of ready-to-wear and accessories created out of regenerated nylon, Prada has stealthily become one of the leading sustainable forces in the luxury sector.

Acne Studios

With their recent Repurposed capsule collections, the Stockholm-based house has revitalized their minimal chicness through an eco-friendly lens. Essentials such as blazers and shirting made of textiles from previous collections speak to the house’s philosophy while exploring themes of sustainability. The collection’s limited drops display the brand’s focus on ethical consumerism, something which many brands have become increasingly receptive to in recent years.

Marine Serre

The Parisian label has made strides in the industry through stylish apocalyptic predictions and an unrelenting focus on sustainability. The majority of the brand’s accessories are repurposed from vintage stores and the eponymous Creative Director has coined the phrase “regenerated” to describe her upcycled ready-to-wear creations which include revitalized denim, cotton, and silk. For the brand’s Spring/Summer 2020 collection, Serre offered an in-depth look into her regeneration process, laying out a possible future for a sustainably focused high-fashion. See how Serre’s materials were brought to life here.

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