We’re about to do something new. It’s almost 2019 and we really want to shake things up because we’ve been working with just denim for about 2 years now and it feels right to start venturing into new materials.
With sustainability at the core of our internal business, it definitely is tricky finding sustainable fabrics to work with. As of now, we have sourced all of our non denim (pretty much only french terry) from an amazing company called Organic Cotton Plus as well as Queen of Raw (below). Organic cotton plus creates much of their certified organic cotton fabric in Texas and recycle all the water they are using in the dyeing process. To work with this company is great because we’re supporting USA-made as well as a business with sustainable practices.
But let’s face it, when it comes to buying sustainable fabrics, the options are pretty limiting. The majority of the options very simple weaves (like the stuff tee shirts and sweatshirts are made from) in basic colors. However, we’re trying to push ourselves and make the most unique pieces of clothing possible, so with a limited range of sustainable fabrics to choose from how does a designer really create new and innovative looks?
We’ve been dealing with this question for the past several months when one evening we met Stephanie. *Steph* is the co-founder of a New York based platform called Queen of Raw who seeks to give designers a range of amazing dead stock options from all over the world, diverting vast amounts of waste from the landfill or from being burned. She does this all while allowing people in the supply chain of the fashion industry to make MORE money and act MORE responsible. (Seems impossible doesn’t it?)
The fact is, there is a ton of fabric and raw materials out there, and not every fabric mills and textile producers get their quantities right. Maybe the designer cuts a style and no longer needs the fabric, or maybe a specific style was not going as well as planned and manufacturing stopped. Either way this is an industry-wide problem and is prevalent with the largest companies in the world.
Most people would think that it would make sense for that fabric mill to hold onto the fabric until someone else needs it, but that happens so often that there simply isn’t enough space and it makes more economic sense to throw away or burn this left over. It’s hard to believe but some of these factories need to get rid of thousands of yards of leftovers. (A 1000 yard bolt of denim can make about 750-1000 denim jackets, just for reference...). This is the step in the supply chain that we are so happy to be entering. Once something is produced but then abandoned from its original purpose, the fabric becomes “dead stock.” It is a stock of fabric whose need is now dead but of course is still just as perfect as when it was still needed. This unfortunate occurrence happens with every kind of fabric like denim, leather and suedes, giving us the perfect opportunity to work with Stephanie from Queen of Raw.
Over the last couple of months we have been working towards designs that are even more unique that incorporate materials such as leather and shearling. Within the next couple of weeks these designs will become available for purchase, both online and in person in select locations!
Using a completely new spectrum of materials such as these is both exciting and fulfilling knowing that without sources like Queen of Raw, and subsequently us, these materials would most likely go right to waste. We have hopes that soon our entire supply chain of denim, leathers, french terry and whatever else we use will come from dead stock resources. Stay tuned for these amazing designs to be here very soon and please reach out to us with any questions or comments you have on this shift in how we do things. We would love to hear from you and talk about the topic, how we design, or whatever else is on your mind.