Did you know that 11 million tons of fabric is sent to landfills per year and 20% of the world's water pollution is a direct source of the fashion industry? This alarming amount of fabric waste has made the use of textile waste a popular choice for eco-conscious designers and for the eco-conscious shopper. Garment factories and textile mills almost always have enormous amounts of leftover fabrics, known as deadstock fabric.
The reason why so much fabric is left over after a production run is because the fabric was dyed the wrong color, over order of fabrics, or there is a surplus of fabric that is unsold by the textile companies. In most cases, these fabrics are sitting in storage untouched waiting to be dumped into the environment.
Why has the pollution rate become more alarming now than before? The fashion industry increase in pollution has spiked due to fast fashion companies. They have incredibly high volumes of production orders with fast turnover rates. It’s not sustainable for the environment and can lead to unethical working conditions for garment workers (see Rana Plaza tragedy).
What to do with all the deadstock fabric?
Since there is a vast amount of leftover fabrics, one of the ways other than preventing the problem in the first place, is that eco-conscious designers can purchase and use them. In turn, the deadstock fabric can be turned into a beautiful item and saved from a landfill. Secondly we can also encourage textile companies to either recycle or upcycle.
What are we (at Madison Grace Boutique) trying to do?
With this in the back of our minds, we at Madison Grace Boutique consciously designed one of our best sellers the Quinn Mini Backpack with deadstock fabric. We partnered with social enterprise Rags to Riches (R2R) for this exclusive collab. R2R sourced the vegan leather and fabric used in this production and found them sitting in fashion warehouses about to be dumped in the landfill.
"The energy consumption has already been used and it’s a waste of resources if they were to be left sitting in a landfill,” said Claire Pettibone, Founder of Madison Grace about the materials used in the Quinn backpack. She adds, “what I love about this piece it hits all the value marks: it’s up-cycled, it’s vegan, and it provides ethical work in marginalized communities in the Philippines, while being functional and stylish for the customer.”
Don’t let the up-cycled and deadstock terminology let you think the backpack is of lower quality. The handmade craftsmanship is surprisingly high quality. The Quinn mini backpack can turn into 3 bags making it versatile as well.
Not everything in the Madison Grace Boutique is made out of deadstock fabric. Claire adds, “if overproduction and upcycling tugs at you, then we have this piece to offer. Whatever value you have, you can find something that speaks to your heart- whether it be made in the USA or a piece made out of biodegradable materials we have that too. This is just an option for our customers.”
The Quinn Mini Backpack is easily becoming one of our favorite pieces and has become a bestseller. What makes this piece so special is that you are literally getting a one of a kind piece while you empower artisans and diverting yet another waste to the landfill.