Quick Fixes to Get Your Old Stock on Trend
I'm all about exploring the many ways to choose sustainable fabrics and eco-friendly designs. You may take care to establish a clothing line that treads lightly and protects the earth, but what about stock you don't sell? Most companies inevitably end up with piles of left over stock from last season. Have you ever wondered where old trends go when they retire?
What Happens to Last Season’s Trends?
Many take up space in back rooms or basements, some are sent to discount retailers and a small percentage are donated to charities. The majority, however, are sent to landfill. See this article on the Daily Finance, "What happens to all of those clothes retailers can't sell?" for more information. This happens for several reasons. For starters, most of the textiles used today just aren’t recycled.
It isn’t that the material isn’t recyclable, but rather that a system isn’t set up to sort textiles from other waste. The brands may not want to take on the additional cost that setting up a recycling stream would cost. Another reason is that some designers fear their brand will be tarnished if they give the leftovers to charity or them sell on for cheaper; it would jeopardise the perceived quality of their brand.
Consequences of Sending Old Stock to Landfill
More important than the above reasons are the environmental consequences. A jaw dropping five percent of all landfill waste is made up of old textiles. Let’s keep clothing out of our landfills. When truckloads of outdated fashion are sent to landfill, it perpetuates the already enormous challenge of waste management. It pollutes the earth, contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, and contaminates soil and groundwater.
The Simple Solution
Instead, why not redesign and repurpose what you already have? This doesn’t just benefit the earth by reducing waste and pollution, you also create a more sustainable business model and save those pennies!
Making quick fixes to old stock is an easy and profitable solution to a huge problem. There are loads of ways to update last season’s designs to make them cutting edge and trendy again. Let’s explore three quick fixes to refresh your tired designs in an eco-friendly way.
Add Print Or New Details
One way to awaken a plain design is to add new prints. Consider updating solids by adding trim or a sash with an eye-catching print. Tops or bottoms with colourful printed pockets are all the rage right now. Or, take an outdated shirt, and add a belt for form and a printed skirt to create a trendy new dress. For inspiration, look at these beautiful designs in my blog about sublimation printing. Something that can be done quickly and easily on polyester or other synthetic materials.
Change The Styling
Subtle changes are inexpensive yet can make a huge impact in a design. Experiment with style adjustments like shorter hems or more shapely necklines. For example, you can easily create a gentle sweetheart neckline simply by bunching up the material at the centre. Or, transform tired turtlenecks into t-shirts or tanks with a few careful cuts and stitches. Did you know that manufacturing the textile fabric for a single t-shirt uses more than 700 gallons of water?
Do a Colour Swap
Maybe the print and styling are already perfect, but last season’s designs are pastel when bright hues are in fashion. Or, you’ve got lively summer tones when you need something more subdued for fall. You’re in luck because all you really need is a different colour. A little dye in the right shade can instantly turn a design from drab to captivating.
Ditch the idea of trend led fashion all together. Take a look at another article I wrote on How To Create an Anti-Trend brand. Don't follow the trends and your stock won't go out of style.
We need to change the way society looks at fashion by turning old designs into a renewable resource instead of disposable items destined for landfill. Start by looking at that pile of old inventory in a whole new light. By changing up outdated fashion with different colours, patterns or styles, you can prevent waste and create a more sustainable fashion brand and cycle.
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