WTF Is Deadstock?


A funny thing happens every time I research eco-fashion. I go in thinking “I’m smart. I know things.” and then five minutes later I’m all “Wuuuuuuuuuuut.” This rabbit hole called sustainability is deep y’all.

Case in point, textile waste. I’ve bemoaned at length the horrors of clothing in our landfills (Refresher: Americans throw away about 70 pounds of clothing per person per year). You know what I never thought about though?


Fabric waste!


I can’t believe this never occurred to me! I’ve had a few disastrous run ins with sewing machines in my day and there was always fabric waste. Fabric isn't produced in t-shirt shaped bolts as far as I know, so yeah those little cuttings are going to end up in the trash. Why I never put two and two together is beyond me. You know what else is even worse?







Deadstock is perfectly unsullied untouched fabric. Pure as the driven snow. If it’s so great why does it just sit there? Companies purchase fabric in hopes that they get enough orders to use it all, but as the ever rotating sales racks tell us, that rarely happens. Sometimes it sits there because of teeny tiny imperfections.


Maybe it’s my overactive imagination, but it breaks my heart to think of fabric mouldering there in the dark dusty corners of warehouses longing to be loved by someone. Ok yeah it’s definitely my overactive imagination. But still! It’s a lot of waste.


Don’t sweat my pets, there’s a gorgeous solution around the corner.


Waste not, want not
— Proverb

Dah Dah Dummmm!!!! Meet Malia Designs, one my fav eco-fashion bag designers. All their bags are made from deadstock or recycled materials.

When I saw the wristlet pictured above I just had to have it. It’s cute, it sends a message of female empowerment, and it’s exactly the right size. I don’t like to carry a ton of stuff and it fits only exactly what I need. Which means I can go out and have more fun instead of lugging some giant monstrosity of a bag.




Their other styles are tons of fun too. Check out their recycled cement bag collection, made from, you guessed it, recycled cement bags. Their unique prints means you'll have a tough time picking a favorite. Although thanks to their reasonable reasonable price point, you could snag more than one if you can't decide.



Their ethics go beyond just using recycled materials. All their products are fair-trade and made by marginalized women in Cambodia. By giving these women an alternative means of income they are less likely to be targeted for exploitation and human trafficking. Malia Designs also provides their employees no-interest loans to further help these women break the cycle of poverty.



Sustainable. Beautiful. Affordable. It doesn’t get much better than that.