From Deadstock to Design

We all know Earth Day should be more than just a single day. That’s just a fact. To move the needle on any sort of systemic environmental change, a company should invest in these social responsibility measures from the start. It should not be a disingenuous afterthought. A popular term you many have heard floating around in the fashion world is deadstock, which is a way of upcycling. Deadstock refers to existing fabric/material that did not sell, was produced in surplus or from previous collections that can end up in the landfill if not reused. Gaining in popularity, a brand-new British company is simply named Deadstock Fabrics. Companies use deadstock and re-create these landfill-destined fabrics into brand new products.

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What’s old is new again for these brands helping to slow the roll of the fast fashion engine…


Who knew that making clothes from deadstock saves about 10,000 pounds of CO2 emission each year? Jordan Nodarse, the Founder and Designer and his team at Boyish did. Designed in Los Angeles, Boyish uses ethical and sustainable practices when developing and manufacturing their jeans. They hunt for vintage rolls of eco-friendly fabrics to create their jeans and full collection of apparel.  I myself adore the Joaquin, which can serve double duty and be worn as a dress or a jacket. To certify their sustainable efforts, Boyish has invested in metrics that reflect this effort.

To achieve this, they focus on using a transparency supply chain platform, Retraced, utilizing the international Global Recycle Standard (GRS) that verifies the third-party certification of recycled content and finally measuring/scoring their sustainability performance through the Higg Index (developed by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition). The Boyish site also has a Consignment Shop that ensures that your pre-worn items will also have another life. In return, you earn money towards a new pair. Every purchase on Boyish is a win-win, as they plant a tree for every purchase on our website through 1% for the Planet and One Tree Planted.


Sustainable French fashion brand Gaâla was founded by husband-and-wife duo, Kelly de Gaâlon and Alexander Zhalezka. Being one of 8 siblings, Kelly is not a stranger to upcycling clothing. Hand-me-downs were simply a way of life. Cut to her time in Shanghai, where Kelly took her hobby and expanded it into a career.  Developing Gaâla to fill a gap in the market; classic French styles made from high quality fabric sold at accessible prices. This is thanks to their team of talented Belarusian tailors and cutters, who work in the small-scale workshop with ethical standards including compensation with an above living wage.

Maintaining a quality standard, Gaâla handpicks their deadstock material from around the world. From Italian fashion houses for the luxury leftover cotton, viscose and wool to Hangzhou, China, for the traditional silk.  Not straying far from home, they also use linen from Belarus to create their limited quantity designs.

All Things Mochi

Years ago, I came across All Things Mochi and their collection that celebrated cultural, traditional methods of embroidery all around the world. I purchased a beautiful green off the shoulder top complete with embroidered mirrors on it, and it’s definitely one of the most unique items in my closet. It’s been almost a decade since All Things Mochi started showcasing different cultures through the handicraft of local artists for a contemporary market.  Since then, founder and Designer of Mochi, Ayah Tabari and her team have re-framed their business’ fast fashion model to a slowed down, refined approach. All Things Mochi now has three collections: Mochi Reconstructed, Mochi Signatures and Mochi Finds.

Mochi Reconstructed, includes repurposed pieces and Mochi fabrics from previous collections combined into one-off creations. Mochi Signatures, includes unique favorites from Mochi’s most coveted collections (much like my mirrored top). Finally, Mochi Finds are a curation of vintage classics. Same Mochi flair with and fresh new focus.

Mary Benson

Born and bred in Yorkshire, Mary Benson has always had a strong affection for all things sustainable as she can often be found perusing vintage markets, charity shops, flea markets, church summer fairs and jumble sales for her next great find. Establishing this into her brand ethos, each item in her collection is handmade with deadstock material from her unique dresses and totes to her housewares including pillows and throws.

All products are made-to-order in her London studio, cutting down on waste and overproduction. Her small and nimble team handles all the sewing, printing, graphics, social and customer service (thanks to Mary’s mum, Christine). The limited quantities of product ensure that shoppers are always treated to something new and unique be it for children, daywear, and even a wedding.


Ever since my good friend gifted me a reusable nylon bag last year, which I carry in my work bag daily – I am hooked. Since then, I have purchased a few of their well-designed/fitting masks (the adjustable nose piece, straps and neck underlay makes it the most comfortable ones I own to date!). BAGGU was created to eliminate unnecessary waste, and has made a commitment to never incinerate or landfill their deadstock products.

I find myself frequently perusing their online store for products in their coveted strawberry print (still sold out!) I also love that BAGGU launched a series of deadstock bags using half and half prints. They also have reusable bags are assembled from one continuous piece of recycled nylon material, with the neck of the bag used to construct the carrying pouch. And when your bag is all worn out – you can recycle it with BAGGU for a discount off a new one.


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