What Is Dead Stock?

CO5B9384 1

In recent years, dead stock textiles have emerged as a sustainable solution within the fashion industry, gaining popularity and recognition for their environmental and economic benefits. With examples ranging from Harris Reed’s Dead Stock Collections to Conner Ives unique creations crafted from surplus materials, it’s evident that the creative potential of deadstock is endless.

At this moment, there’s over 92 billion pounds worth of excess textiles sitting in warehouses—materials left over from previous collections or the result of overproduction in textile mills. Historically, these materials would have met grim fates, being destroyed by burning or slashing and sent to landfills. However, as the industry searches for ways to reduce waste and implement circular solutions, dead stock materials are taking center stage in the sustainability conversation.

Last Yarn defines dead stock as excess inventory, leftover or verified old material from designers and fabric warehouses that has not been sold or used for its inventory purpose.

Deadstock criteria include:

From fabric/materials mills, garment factories or other brands/designers it must be: 

  1. Previously developed fabrics, trims, or yarns 
  2. AND fabrics, trims, and yarns that are leftover, returned/rejected, or aging 

From jobbers/re-sellers it must be: 

  1. Fabrics, trims, or yarns that were sold for re-sale that meet definitions above 

Utilising dead stock offers a myriad of benefits beyond just being environmentally appealing—it’s also lucrative. Brands can bring in revenue from what would otherwise be wasted, or save on their textile budgets. 

Why does dead stock exist in the first place? There’s no single answer, but rather a combination of factors, including over-ordering of materials by brands, overproduction by textile mills, flaws or errors in production, and rejected materials that didn’t meet quality standards. 

Pros of using dead stock include reducing the number of fabrics headed for landfills, promoting accessibility with no or low minimum quantity orders, and reducing the amount of fresh textiles used in manufacturing. 

Sourcing dead stock materials has become easier than ever. Last Yarn offers local and luxury deadstock fabrics from your phone at an affordable price, making fabric sourcing easily accessible for independent designers and small businesses.

While dead stock materials may not be the ultimate solution to fashion’s waste problem, they represent a significant step forward in creating a more sustainable and circular fashion industry. Not only are we helping clean up fashion’s footprint but we hope to usher in a new era of openness and accessibility, making dead stock a viable option for fashion brands looking to embrace sustainability.

Shop our selection of dead stock fabric.





Join the conversation