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Ethical Brands That Are Turning Waste Back Into Fashion

Deadstock fabric and unsold inventory are weighing down the fashion industry, which is already a major contributor to pollution. With all of this continuing to rise due to fast fashion, several companies within the industry are actively trying to fight it and make a difference by using that very waste to their advantage.

Several fashion brands are dedicated to using and upcycling deadstock fabric and fashion waste to create unique and timeless pieces, proving that circular fashion is the future. Here are just a few of our favourite brands to support.

Sustainable Clothing Brands that are Upcycling Instead of Throwing Away


Tonlé is a San Francisco-based womenswear brand made entirely from surplus fabric discarded by apparel manufacturers in Cambodia. The brand’s motto is “every thread matters,” and while larger scraps are used for clothing, smaller scraps are still used, being cut into strips and individually hand sewn into “yarn” for new clothes. The scraps left afterward are mixed with recycled office paper and sticky rice to make tags. The brand’s efforts leave only 2-3% waste compared to an average of 40% in a typical factory.


Ukranian brand Sinobi uses metal-free leather deadstock and leather waste. The brand surplus material that has been produced for another brand but left unused or leather that has been wasted during another brand’s production. The minimal waste approach continues to their packaging, with each pair of sandals coming with a shoe bag made from the leather waste generated in Sinobi’s own production.


Virón is a Parisian brand whose circular business model is also based on a customer take-back scheme. Their shoes, which are made with vegan leather, upcycled canvas, and recycled rubber soles, can be sent back at the end of their life for the soles to be ground down and recycled to create new soles.


SOTTES is a Swiss clothing brand that creates handmade unisex clothing using 100% upcycled fabrics. The brand uses discarded fabric that they collected over several years to create a library of upcycled materials used to create their collections.


MYAR Men’s Spring 2020

MYAR upcycles and customises vintage army uniforms into unique tailored pieces. Their materials include globally sourced military garments and second-life fabrics that have been certified by ReLiveTex, verifying that they have been saved from landfill or incineration. MYAR retailors and customises the garments through printing to create modern designs, with every MYAR garment coming with a QR code to discover the origin, recreation, and production process of the piece.

Final Note

Despite the many negatives of the fashion industry, we’re so happy to see brands step up and use their ingenuity to create clothing that utilises waste and proves that circularity in fashion is possible. By supporting brands like the above listed that make it their mission to upcycle, we’re also preventing further waste caused by individual consumption.

Ellora Sharma

Ellora Sharma is a 26-year-old fashionmonger from Leeds. She discovered her love for fashion through the many intricate and flashy designs found in the Bollywood films she religiously watched when she was younger (and continues to watch to this day). She has since developed an affinity for colourful and distinctive clothing, and loves to experiment with her style on the daily. She wants to help others find the same kind of joy and fun in clothing as she has.

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