When Senior Sustainability Reporter Whitney Bauck published Fashionista’s inaugural “deadstock” explainer in 2017, the term was still largely unknown among sustainability advocates and fashion generalists alike. “It seemed like everywhere I looked,” she wrote at the time, “I was coming across proud assertions from brands about their deadstock fabric usage.”

Deadstock, or the fabric that goes unused by the mill or brand that fabricated it, has now grown into a relatively ubiquitous entry-point for those labels looking to combat the industry’s waste crisis — and perhaps, one day, even working toward circularity. Sourcing deadstock, however, requires a bit more expertise than simply negotiating with one’s factory partner to pocket all its scraps. But in the years since deadstock first formally entered our collective fashion vernacular, a new spate of apparel companies have cropped up to do things right. They’ve also maybe, just maybe, made the planet’s estimated 92 million tons of annual textile waste even a pocket less mountainous.

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