Green Sourcing – Stock Fabric
We, Yau Yuen, are trying to improve our business model to fit in a much greener approach to save our earth.
Recycling fabric? or Stock Fabric?
There is no doubt more and more people are concerning environmental sustainability in the garment and textile industry. As one of the most polluting businesses in the world, textile mills are seeking ways to produce more environmental friendly fabrics some years ago - which is now called “recycling fabrics” today, and is adopting by big name players in the garment industry gradually.
However, producing these recycling fabrics are costly. Along their supply chain - from the collection of discarded clothes and plastic bottles, to documentation on each production steps for recycling certification, monetary term is everywhere. The high cost is then becoming a concern to fashion brands and labels, after all, businesses have to take care of their balance sheet, or at least not making loss for their season collections.
As a result, we want to promote a better sourcing concept – STOCK FABRICS.
Stock fabrics, or we called “stock” in this article, is not a new born idea in the garment and textile industry. Back to the time in the 90s, mills are weaving textile products countable in containers – because people are richer and more willing to spend money on their dressing. Excessive yardage are remaining in garment factories due to different reasons, say, damages or demand miscalculation. These yardages will finally move to retail shops or other production sites for a smaller design programme in a discounted price. And at the end, different parties would enjoy a lower cost, or have a lesser loss by utilising most of the stocks.
Most people may have a negative feeling against these stocks, but most of the time, veteran merchandisers and designers would rather happily, and proactively to search for them and fit in their garment programmes. In fact, not all of these stock are “old-fashioned”, “damaged” and “stained”. Quite oppositely, you might be well benefited by following points:
You will have a chance to discover their uniqueness, or even a little vintage, antique in style. Every year in the past, weaving mills would list out their one-time special textile items, which will not be easily found in the later years. Due to the reasons above, there is a chance they were not utilised and at the end moved to some fabric houses. In this case, you can only look for them from these fabric houses but not from your fabric agencies.
“Sleeping beauties” be the vocabulary described by Mr. Romain Bravo, an LVMH’s expert in material purchasing and manufacturing, after he realised the value of stock and trying to use them more after his detailed understanding of textile market status.
- Cost effectiveness
Unlike newly launched products, stocks are not the stars or focused items at the beginning of season. These older clothes were introduced and exposed in front of the camera in the past years so they are gradually being forgotten at the corner of the warehouse. Same to the damaged stocks (or we called “B or C grade fabrics”) that has slight flaws on the surface, they will be missed out because garment factories are not able or difficult to use them. But at the end of the day, they occupy space and owners will try to put a price cut on them for sale. In this case, small labels or even domestic tailors could spend less in your material part, so as to ultimately becomes more competitive against big players.
- Sustainable production
Unlike recycling fabrics, although there are still lack of import regulations concerning the use of “stock fabrics” in the world (In fact, it is also very hard to define stock even such regulations exist), you are ACTUALLY reducing waste for our planet! Imagine 18 million tonnes of clothes were thrown away by end consumers in 2020, imagine an even larger amount of raw fabrics were disposed without processed into garment products, just because they are in excess or having an evadable damage/flaw by proper trimming.
Say you are launching 10 styles, 20 pieces of dress each for your new season collections, you are saving about 500 yards of stock from the landfill – equivalent to 40 - 100kgs of waste depending on your material chosen. 100 designers around your area, 10 tonnes will be well utilised.
To being “more eco-friendly” in this recession time after Covid-19, you are not necessarily sticking yourselves on “recycling fabrics”. We invite designers to take a deeper look at these “sleeping beauties” and try to revitalise them in your fabulous designs, and we trust your dresses will make no differences or even outstand those which is made of mainstream materials.
Our vision as greener fabric supplier in Asia
In 2021, we have 49 degree Celsius in West Canada and 18 degree Celsius on the land of Antarctica. With extreme weather become more common, Yau Yuen is eyeing ourselves to become a greener fabric supplier by providing recycling items and quality stocks for fashion labels in Asia. With our 2 million yards of bulky inventory in our Hong Kong warehouses, the project will cost lengthy time.
We seek your attention and support in the future and hopefully we could stay together and protect our Earth!