Deadstock fabric transformed into beautiful sustainable fashion – the ethics behind GAIA clothing
What is deadstock fabric?
‘Deadstock fabric’ is surplus fabric resulting from overproduction, excess stock or cancelled orders. It is often unwanted and thrown away.
Instead of sending it to a landfill, sustainably-minded designers can choose deadstock for new products, using their skill to create beautiful collections and, in this way, give new life to potentially, polluting waste materials.
To understand more about the beautiful creations that can come from deadstock fabric, Aim interviews Bella Williams. Bella is the Founder and creative force behind GAIA, an independent womenswear label with sustainability at its core.
GAIA is an alternative for women wanting a versatile and refined wardrobe without compromising on ethics. GAIA’s signature combines relaxed silhouettes and novel proportions with clean lines and precise detailing. The collection is produced in the UK in limited quantities using premium-quality natural and deadstock fabrics.
What was your inspiration, and what does ‘GAIA’ mean?
I was inspired to create pieces that people will love for a long time without harming the environment or the people making them. Sustainability is integral to the brand’s foundations. Therefore, the name GAIA, which is derived from the Greek mythology meaning Mother Earth, was chosen to reflect those values.
You use deadstock fabric, what else makes your pieces sustainable?
I try to consider how every element of the brand can be improved. Although I don’t believe a product can be 100% sustainable, my main priority is to reduce waste.
I consciously design with longevity in mind in terms of style and construction and consider how the materials can be broken down, repurposed or recycled at the end of their life. The upcoming collection is made up largely of vintage textiles and deadstock fabrics as I am committed to limiting what we produce and interested in making use of what already exists.
Where are your clothes made and who made my clothes? #whomademyclothes?
The collection is designed and made by hand in our UK studio, in small quantities to minimise waste. Gaia outsources a small amount to select local factories that I work closely with to ensure that the high-quality construction and ethical standards are met on every piece. From summer 2021, the collection will be almost entirely made up of deadstock fabrics sourced from designers, factories and warehouses across the UK.
What’s in your clothes? #whatsinyourclothes?
When producing new fabrics, I choose natural fibres over synthetic for the superior quality and durability, avoiding materials produced or treated with toxic chemicals. I look for non-toxic and natural dyes, such as the indigo used in our denim, and prioritise cruelty-free manufacturing.
The core range is made up of organic cotton, wool and peace silk. Peace silk is a non-violent alternative to traditional silk as no harm comes to the silkworms in the harvesting process. The cotton used is Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and OEKO-TEX certified. The fabrics are largely sourced directly from mills located across the UK and Europe, with every garment labelled with information on the fabric origin.
How do you wish people to treat your clothes?
I would love for people to wear my clothes for a lifetime! I encourage repairing damaged and worn-out clothing until you are ready to finally pass them on – some of my most treasured items of clothing belonged to my grandmother in her youth. I keep this in mind when designing and ensure that the construction is of the highest quality. This way, the garments are built to last.
If you love sustainable clothing and are looking for more ways to be conscious with your fashion check out my blog ethical shoes here!
I hope you’ve found this blog helpful. As always, you can support me and the site by buying me a cup of coffee or sharing the site with a friend. Your support means the world to me!
Do you have any pieces made from deadstock fabric? Comment the brand’s name below.