Ancuta Sarca from London-a shoe designer- is a familiar name for unwanted Nike sneakers with vintage kitten heels. Ancuta Sarca is an upgrading sustainable brand-struggling to coping with their original vision in size and scale.
Ancuta Sarca’s signature product arrives like a storm and sells out in stores like Browns and LN-CC. Her only limitation is keeping pace with reorders: there isn’t enough Nike deadstock in the UK.
Sarca is focusing on some factors to strengthen a sustainable business. Sarca’s footwear for Spring/Summer 2021 and onwards will use upcycled fabrics from UK shoe factories rather than Nike from 2020. Her shoe heels use a scratch from new materials than deadstock.
Missing of Nike association was a risk for her brand, but Sarca was willing to listen to her creative instinct first and retailers responded positively. Existing wholesale partners have also come with bigger orders.
For sustenance, tackling waste is fundamental for industrial operation. Deadstock only exists because the larger brands have excess fabric or products.
All the damaged items or pieces that can’t be sold can create a new collection. Some designers are always created from 100 percent deadstock. The retailers secure approval from the brands before work. But it makes sense for big brands to consider a more circular approach by uplifting them and make sure that they don’t end or worse.
100 percent upcycled products are growing fast with sales up 300 percent in 2019/20 alone, meant change. About 40 percent of Bode’s (a fashion designer) collections are now made from vintage or deadstock fabrics transparently.
Many designers are struggling to keep up with 100 percent upcycling. But lack of good fund, rely on department stores, struggle to fulfill orders that are required in certain quantities, colorways or styles are faced by them when they start making new products.
French designer Marine Serre worked hard and sells to 90 doors worldwide after three years in business.
Fashion companies need to work with uncompromising investors for sustainable ethos. There is enormous pressure from investors to grow at a very large scale. It’s that tension and expectation of growth that ends up with companies cutting corners. The right investment partner is tough. Investment from venture capital or private equity creates a lot of problems because they want to grow at an unsustainable rate. They create more control over a company and change their main mission of maintaining quality.
Most sustainably focused designers don’t aspire to be global brands from their very existence. If the focus is only on the scale, that’s where the problems begin.
Sustainable fashion brands can be bigger and can take over a decade to build a business. They remain far from unnecessary risks and have been able to manage their whole supply chain for the entire time with an unlimited scale.