“We must be doing something wrong,” we thought. The more knits we produced, the more leftover yarn was piling up around us.

In our search for a better way, we learned that leftovers, or deadstock, can happen for a lot of reasons throughout the fashion industry supply chain. Overage margins to avoid running out of material, human error, and intentional over-ordering contribute to deadstock. And, since it’s simply not possible to make clothes and goods without trimming away the ends, leftovers are inevitable.

The fashion industry is the second most water-intensive industry in the world and produces as much carbon as the UK, France, and Germany combined. Our planet’s natural resources are wasted when textiles are wasted. You could say that deadstock is a hidden tax our planet pays for fashion.

This price felt especially unwarranted to us in our manufacturing base of Lima, surrounded by deadstock alpaca wool and Pima cotton—some of the most sought-after fibers in the world. We decided to create a third fate for deadstock. Because it’s senseless not to use perfectly good waste.

Designing based on leftovers is tricky. So is knitting with them. Lucky us, the skilled hands we needed were already in our community.