How we Roll
Over the past few decades, major retailers have driven down prices at the expense of quality and ethics. Our wardrobes have become disposable and our consumption is wasteful.
We’re on a mission to tackle fashion’s waste problem and make quality clothing accessible again. We want you to pay for the things that matter: craftsmanship, quality, sustainability. As a digital-first brand, we offer everything directly to you, without unnecessary markups.
Here’s how we do it.
The Raw Materials
It’s estimated that over six million tons of fabric are lost annually during clothing manufacturing. Some of this waste is in the form of scraps, but some of it is left on the roll. This is where we come in.
We think of ourselves as modern-day treasure hunters. We source high quality surplus, aka excess, fabric from European factories, warehouses, mills and even directly from luxury brands.
Conventional business models are notoriously difficult to manage and it’s all too common for creative and operational decisions to result in leftover rolls of perfectly good material. Rather than let this stock go to waste, we snap it up and give it a new life.
Absolutely everything we do is driven by our ‘fabric first’ approach because you can’t make a good product without good raw materials. It’s as simple as that.
The Design Process
The unpredictability of the fabric we find is our unique design challenge. Once we find a roll, we let the fabric dictate the design. We match each fabric with the appropriate product type using our extensive archive of curated vintage designs and patterns, our go-to for design inspiration.
It can take up to a year in the traditional fashion calendar for a design to hit the shelves. Our lead times can be as fast as six to eight weeks from fabric discovery to final product, allowing us to more readily respond to your demands.
To create clothes that last, we take exceptional care to find specialist European factories and workshops that uphold the standards of traditional high-end manufacturing. We also try to make everything within 150 miles of each fabric source. Not only does this minimise our carbon footprint, but it also means that the producers often have a greater knowledge of these materials because they have worked with them before.
We often produce in the off-season, benefiting both the factories, which can maintain a steady workflow, and ourselves. It allows us to produce our small (by industry standards) orders more efficiently and to deliver products to market much more quickly than a conventional brand. We’re not talking fast fashion here, but we want to ‘close the loop’ as quickly as possible, creating new value for each existing fabric roll.
Production runs are wholly dependent upon the size of each roll when we find it. Therefore, everything we produce is part of a limited edition, making it extra special ;).
Every piece has a story, and you can even check the provenance of your item to discover where the roll was found, who made the garment, and the size of each edition. You can also follow us on Instagram @excess_only to be the first to see when new fabrics and styles are added!