Slow & Sustainable Fashion Find No. 1: Excess Only

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Navigating the world of slow and sustainable fashion can be overwhelming. You can easily spend days going through all of the incredible new brands popping up and still be unsure where to start. So, to help, I’ll be occasionally sharing some of my favorite brands.

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THE BRAND: EXCESS ONLY

First up in this series is Excess Only. This beautiful brand came onto my radar a few months ago when I received an email from one of the founders. In her message she explained that the newly launched company had set out to tackle fashion’s waste problem by sourcing “beautiful excess fabrics from Europe’s top brands, factories, warehouses and mills, transforming them into limited edition pieces that tell a story.” How amazing is that?!

Rather than lower prices at the expense of quality and ethics, Excess Only wants customers to pay for the things that matter: craftsmanship, quality, sustainability. Like other digital-first brands, Excess Only offers everything directly to the consumer without excessive markups by doing a few things - outlined below.

We’re on a mission to tackle fashion’s waste problem and make quality accessible again
— Excess Only

THE HOW: MATERIAL & PRODUCTION

From Excess Only’s website, “it’s estimated that over six million tons of fabric are lost annually during clothing manufacturing.” Some of this waste is no more than scraps while other times it’s full rolls of fabric, and Excess Only works to source these high quality, surplus fabrics “from European factories, warehouses, mills and even directly from luxury brands.”

Once they’ve found fabric, the Excess Only team let’s the fabric dictate the design and they match each fabric with the “appropriate product type using our extensive archive of curated vintage designs and patterns, our go-to for design inspiration.”

We often produce in the off-season, benefiting both the factories, which can maintain a steady workflow, and ourselves.
— Excess Only

To create clothes that last, Excess Only takes exceptional care “to find specialist European factories and workshops that uphold the standards of traditional high-end manufacturing.” The result is a reduction in carbon footprint and that the producers often have a greater knowledge of the materials because they’ve worked with them before.

Since production is entirely dependent upon the size of each fabric roll found, everything Excess Only produces is limited edition. Every piece has a story and you can follow the story of each roll via the description under each product.

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THE PIECES: SILK DRESS & WOOL BLAZER

After taking a look at their site and reading more about their approach, I eagerly accepted the gracious offer to receive 2 pieces from their collection to share with you - a silk slip dress and gorgeous wool blazer.

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First up is the silk slip dress. I have it in size XS and it fits beautifully. The only alterations I needed to get the look you see here was taking up the straps slightly. For reference, I am 5’3 (and 3/4) and my measurements are 36” bust, 26” waist and 37” hips and the smallest size is perfect - slim but not tight. I love how it skims of body and falls softly away from my ankles for a delicate swishy flare that looks great with boots, flats and heels. Though the entire dress isn’t lined, the bust area is and it gives the most luxurious effect that allows me to not feel too conspicuous.

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Next is the blazer which features the most beautiful plaid wool material and classic tailoring. It has 2 buttons and a perfect, slightly tapered waist that looks so beautiful with pants, jeans skirts and dresses.

When it comes to fit, this blazer runs large and even though I have this in the smallest size, it’s too wide in the shoulders and waist. You can see below that the shoulders extend too far beyond my natural shoulder line but that happens a lot for me and my ideal size in blazers is typically a 2 petite.

Other than that, the construction is impeccable and the material is heavenly. The pattern lines up everywhere it should and the stitching is even, strong and neat and comes fully lined. Plus, you can even have the sleeves taken up to suit shorter arms. I was able to have this done on my blazer and the result was perfect for my shorter arms.

Overall, I can’t recommend this brand enough and I am so excited to see what else they bring to market and follow their journey to tackle fashion’s waste problem one roll of fabric at a time.

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