My Lost Stock Box Arrived! Here Are My Thoughts…

Photo montage of items from Lost Stock

My Lost Stock Box is here! Like a sustainable fashion mystery box or loot crate, the charitable initiative supporting garment workers caught my eye back in May of this year. Well, it’s been 12 weeks, and my box has now arrived… It’s time to share an unboxing review with you all!

What is Lost Stock?

Lost Stock is a new initiative that sprung up earlier this year, amid the covid-19 crisis. Essentially, when much of the world shut its doors, high street and fast fashion retailers decided to take it one step further, cancelling existing orders with their factory partners and plunging garment workers into uncertainty around their jobs, their pay, and their ability to maintain their current standard of living. (If you haven’t already, please sign the #PayUp petition – many retailers are still denying payments).

The premise of the initiative is simple. Garments from the existing cancelled stockpile will be sent to you, while the money you pay will go to SAJIDA Foundation, a Dhaka-based non-profit organisation bringing ‘health, happiness and dignity in the lives of the less fortunate’, as well as Bangladeshi factories who have seen their stock orders cancelled.

(And if you’re wondering, why Bangladesh?, you may be surprised to know that the South Asian country is the third largest exporter of fashion in the world, and a haven for exploitative fast fashion brands).

Lost Stock’s slogan ‘Buy a box. Support a worker for a week.‘ was too much for me to resist. Directly supporting garment workers and getting to review clothes? I’m in!

Placing My Lost Stock Order

Screenshot of Lost Stock Box order

So, onto the order. This was the bit that really hooked me in – the ability to customise my order! It would be very difficult to upload all of the existing stockpile online, so instead, Lost Stock offers a customisation service, which covers:

  • Gender of clothing
  • Size, from XS to XXL)
  • Age range, from 16-24, 25-34, 35-50, to 50+
  • Colours, either Brights or Darks/Neutrals
  • Pattern, either Plain or Patterned

At the time of my order, the options were slightly different, with two additional selections – fit, and style. I chose the following options:

  • Gender: Female
  • Size: S
  • Age: 25-30
  • Colours: Neutrals
  • Pattern: None
  • Fit: Regular
  • Style: Regular

My box promised ‘at least 3 items of clothing’, with a cost of £35 plus shipping. On arrival, I was surprised to discover four garments in my package, especially now that the number has been solidly confirmed at three for future orders.

Looking at this on a purely monetary basis, the four garments would each be worth an average of £8.75. This is a lot lower than I would spend on a brand new piece of clothing, but then again I don’t buy fast fashion anymore. Either way – I knew quality wouldn’t be very high, and I’m not here to critique that. Instead, let’s take a look at the box, and the pieces themselves…

My First Impressions…

When my Lost Stock parcel arrived earlier this week, I have to say the first feeling was disappointment. Instead of being met by a recyclable cardboard box, I was faced with a compostable mailer – which is only compostable if taken to a special recycling facility (I believe).

Setting that aside, I was met with four individually plastic-wrapped garments. The plastic here was expected – it’s common practice in most garment factories.

Inside those bags were four garments in an oddly cohesive colour scheme, which I’ll call jungle neutrals. I had a plain white vest, a teal strap top, a green strap top, and a patterned green dress. Eh, not really my style, or my order specifications, but I’ll come onto that later.

All four garments came without tags, and their brand labels had been cut out or replaced with a Lost Stock one. Even the composition labels had been trimmed to hide their retailers (except for one, which had a sticker placed over it. Underneath: Matalan. Perhaps one of the most evil high street brands out there, so it wasn’t really a surprise, although I’ve not heard anything about Matalan cancelling their orders).

Once I’d unwrapped everything, it was time for a photoshoot…

Garment #1: Plain White Vest

Composition: 100% cotton

Suitable for 25-30 year old? Yes

Estimated size: UK 10

Worth £8.75 or more? No

Review: This is the Matalan top, and I’ll be honest, it’s a bit shit. The cotton is so thin you can see my nips in the right lighting, the fit is poor, but at least it’s still within the specifications of what I ordered: neutral, plain, and no pattern. I wouldn’t pay £8.75 for it, but then again I wouldn’t buy a vest from Matalan in the first place. It’s passable for being in my box.

Garment #2: Teal Strap Top

Composition: 100% viscose

Suitable for 25-30 year old? Yes

Estimated size: UK 10

Worth £8.75 or more? Yes

Review: Moving onto top number two, and it’s ok. The teal colour is fine. The crochet style trim is ok. The fit is alright. What I’m trying to say is, it’s mediocre, but it does the job, and it fits all the specs.

Garment #3: Green Linen Strap Top

Composition: 52% linen, 48% viscose

Suitable for 25-30 year old? Yes

Estimated size: UK 10

Worth £8.75 or more? Yes

Review: This is my favourite item out of the four. First off, it’s predominantly made from linen, which is one of my favourite fabrics. The fit isn’t great, but it’s fine when tucked into shorts or trousers. Paired with some nice second-hand accessories like my Alienina rope bag and mock-croc slides, and I like it!

Garment #4: Patterned A-Line Dress

Composition: 55% linen, 45% viscose

Suitable for 25-30 year old? No way

Estimated size: UK 10

Worth £8.75 or more? Yes

Review: I think my face just says it all in these photos. I hate this dress. It’s a horrible colour, a horrible pattern, a horrible fit, and a horrible shape for my frame too. How is it suitable for a 25-30 year old? How is it neutral? The only way I can rationalise this dress being in my order is that it was a ‘bonus’ item. Next time, hold the bonus.

Would I Recommend Lost Stock?

Well, first off I have to say my package is good value, with three of the four pieces seemingly worth more than the price I paid overall.

However, I’m unhappy with the overall fit and style of the pieces. And putting aside my picky, keen eye for fashion, I think I’d still be unhappy because of the fit, the colours, and especially the patterned dress. I feel like all four pieces are a UK 10, while I would say a Size S is 6-8, so I think the sorting could do with improving. And out of the four items, I would only keep the green strap top. That leaves me with three items I don’t want.

My concern grows when I imagine that many of the 112,275 people who have purchased boxes will also be disappointed with their garments too, and will dump them on charities or in the bin. This could create a larger waste problem, despite all good intentions.

If you’re like me and you’re unhappy with your Lost Stock items, there are a few things you can do:

And on that back of that, would I recommend Lost Stock? Sadly, I wouldn’t. I’d recommend donating to the SAJIDA Foundation directly, or the following organisations (as recommended by ethical fashion writer Bel Jacobs):

A direct donation might not be as thrilling as the promise of a box of new clothes, but in my case, it’s less disappointing, less wasteful, and still fulfilling.

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47 Comments

  1. Car
    September 30, 2020 / 10:37 pm

    Ordered in May. Received my box today 30 Sept. Beyond disappointed with the items and feeling let down. A little more honesty expected from such an enterprise. I have been wondering for some time if this is a scam ? ? ?

  2. Emma Blain
    September 27, 2020 / 10:01 am

    Hi. I was also beginning to wonder if I has been scammed even though I got fairly regular updates by email. But I got an email earlier this week saying the parcel had been dispatched and it arrived yesterday. The tops are OK although I probably wouldn’t have bought any of them if I had seen them in a store. One thing I did notice was at least two were made in China not Bangladesh as I had expected.

  3. Patricia Pemberton
    September 27, 2020 / 9:14 am

    I received mine yesterday and like you my first though was disappointing as it was a box but a plastic bag. Then I felt even more disappointed when I opened the bag to thee tops. One shapeless long sleeve top with elastic at the end of the sleeves, a ruffled too and a tencel shirt which is the best and the only one I will keep. I am going to donate the others to charity. And yes I should have given my money directly to the charity as it seems to just be a gimmick which has not worked f

  4. Roz
    September 27, 2020 / 12:35 am

    Well I’ve just received my “box”, i.e. bag containing 3 flimsy short tops that look they they were made in 2002. I feel completely duped and very silly. Someone’s having a laugh. Lesson learnt – you can’t trust things that sound too good to be true 🙁 Shame on whoever has scammed us all. On a positive note, I’ve discovered your blog, lovely x

    • Car
      September 30, 2020 / 10:44 pm

      I totally agree with you ! Plastic package, each shapeless item in individual plastic packaging. I am very embarrassed I fell for this scam.

  5. Krys
    September 14, 2020 / 6:28 pm

    Just to note: they only mentioned they had $2 Billion in orders cancelled, at £35 a pop, for 115724 boxes, they’ve more than doubled the order cancellation value at a little over £4 Billion.

    So, regardless of whether I ever receive the items (ordered 3rd June) – at least the charity got a fairly large boost for the families.

  6. Ruby roo
    September 13, 2020 / 9:14 pm

    I wish I had not entered into this. I ordered 2 boxes on 25th may and have received nothing. I genuinely thought I was doing something good to help the factory workers but it seems I have been scammed £77.98 I wish I had just directly donated the cash to a recognised charity.

    • Olga Mathews
      September 24, 2020 / 9:02 pm

      I have finally been a tracking number, checked with Royal Mail and they have it so will wait and see. I’d more or less kissed goodbye to it, feel like it’s a scam. Are they actually sending out Matalan rejects?

    • Anne Summers
      September 25, 2020 / 9:04 am

      same here. I’ve received a tracking order today but I’ve been told more than once that my order is just about to be packed, so I’m close to feeling that I’ve been scammed.

    • Car
      September 30, 2020 / 10:52 pm

      Me too ! Ordered in May, today a packaged of the most disappointing low quality bizarre shaped items arrived in multiple plastic packaging. I thought I was doing a good thing, nope I did a daft thing !!!

  7. Marian Moylan
    September 11, 2020 / 3:03 pm

    Thanks for your honest review. I ordered on the 28th May and have yet to even receive a tracking number. I think if they don’t respond to this email I will cancel, hopefully get a refund and donate direct to Sajida instead. So disappointing that what sounded like a great idea has been so poorly executed.

    • besma
      Author
      September 11, 2020 / 4:03 pm

      I’m sorry to hear that your package hasn’t even arrived yet – I’ve heard that a few times now. Whatever happens, I hope you find a way to support garment workers and enjoy fashion still!

      B x

  8. Catherine
    September 6, 2020 / 5:59 pm

    Unfortunately I actually think most of the items you received are Matalan. The button vest top certainly is as, and I think the bobble top is as well and they were selling a nearly identical linen dress last year.

    • besma
      Author
      September 8, 2020 / 12:09 pm

      I think you’re right Catherine – I started to see more people posting that items they’d received are also being sold by Matalan at the same time. I think it’s fair to say that the items are worth far less than £70 even when bought full-price from Matalan too.

      B x

      • Zuleika
        September 20, 2020 / 11:10 am

        I found your review looking for other people’s experiences of Loststock. I ordered a box on 24th May, for my husband’s birthday at the end of July. I received an email a month ago saying his box was finally being packed but it’s been radio silence since. Maybe he’ll receive it for Christmas!

        But I really wanted to comment to say that I love the way you styled the green dress with your brown belt. It still may not be something you wear again but I think it looks lovely on you.

        When I was a size 10 I found most clothes were labelled Small so maybe for 6-8 an Extra Small would be more appropriate.

        • besma
          Author
          September 21, 2020 / 10:55 am

          Hi Zuleika, thanks for the kind comment, and I’m sorry to hear that you haven’t received your clothes yet either. I’m getting increasingly worried as I keep hearing the same story for so many people – why has Lost Stock not sent out updates?

          I think you’re right – I always get nervous ordering XS, as they could be size 4-6, but in this case I think that would have been a better choice.

          B x

  9. Maxine Harries
    September 6, 2020 / 5:00 pm

    I ordered my box on the 02/06/2020.

    Still haven’t received it.

    Just about to get my bank to reverse the payment. After now contact or response to email

    • besma
      Author
      September 8, 2020 / 12:09 pm

      I haven’t received any email responses either Maxine! I would recommend contacting them via Twitter if you can – that’s the only place I received a response (even if I didn’t think they were good enough responses).

      B x

      • Foske
        September 12, 2020 / 12:24 pm

        It says you can’t post comments on twitter!

  10. Caitriona Hughes
    August 30, 2020 / 6:37 pm

    Just got box ordered for my husband- 3 teeshirts and 1 shirtsleeve shirt. Size, quality and colour all good, though material a little thin. Seems we were lucky.

    • besma
      Author
      September 8, 2020 / 12:10 pm

      I’m glad that you and your husband are happy with your box! It does seem like happy customers are few and far between though…

      B x

  11. Lucy Palmer
    August 27, 2020 / 5:55 pm

    Hi
    Sadly I feel the same way as everyone else, I ordered 2 boxes & a gift card in may. So far just one has arrived (mens) 2 polos & 2 t shirts. Quality is very poor – fabric is thin, they are too big and haven’t washed well – the sleeves are twisting.
    Really not looking forward to getting mine now.
    Such a shame – I feel completely duped.
    Lucy x

    • besma
      Author
      September 8, 2020 / 12:14 pm

      I’m sorry to hear you’re equally unhappy with your first box Lucy – I hope the other box was ok. I’ve seen a few nice items on the swap groups on Facebook, but sadly they’re few and far between.

      B x

  12. Kerry Kay
    August 25, 2020 / 7:17 pm

    Hi, I ordered three boxes back in May and still not received anything! Gutted reading all your thoughts, I really hoped this was a win win!

    • besma
      Author
      September 8, 2020 / 12:11 pm

      Hi Kerry, any update on this? I’m starting to hear more and more people are cancelling orders as they still haven’t arrived, way past the 8 weeks estimated delivery time. For reference, mine took 12 weeks to arrive.

      B x

  13. Davida
    August 22, 2020 / 1:29 pm

    I received mine yesterday which had more or less the same items you had! They were from Matalan and I managed to hunt the items down and at full price they didn’t even make the £35 mark. It’s not the costs of the items; it’s the false advertising that is slightly irritating. I’m going to put the items in a clothes bank.

    • besma
      Author
      September 8, 2020 / 12:15 pm

      I think that’s a good point – for people who bought the box based on the ‘£70’ worth, it’s definitely false advertising.

      B x

  14. Louis Barron
    August 19, 2020 / 9:41 pm

    Absolutely disgusting! I ordered two male boxes.

    One was received today and well two denim shirts exactly the same just different shades and two t shirts exactly the same just different colors
    Very very disappointed at items that would even cost overall £10 from primark

    • besma
      Author
      September 8, 2020 / 12:16 pm

      It’s a real shame to hear that the boxes of menswear are equally poor! Disappointment all round.

      B x

  15. N R
    August 19, 2020 / 8:53 pm

    I received my parcel today, I ordered about 12 weeks ago. I have received one white cropped top (I’m 36 with two kids, so not going to be wearing that!) which is far too big for me and two slip dresses of the same design (pretty sure they’re nightdresses!) one pink, one green. I won’t be wearing any of them, they are cheap looking and poor quality, certainly not worth even the £35 I paid for them. I feel like it’s a big scam, making people feel too guilty to return because of the charity aspect.

    • besma
      Author
      September 8, 2020 / 12:17 pm

      See this is my point – I wouldn’t have minded the white cropped top! And instead I got a patterned dress! The selection and sorting process is really flawed, and that in my mind is inexcusable as it’s a core part of their service. Don’t offer something you can’t provide.

      B x

  16. Karen
    August 19, 2020 / 10:38 am

    Hi
    I received my package last week containing 4 items. 2 matalan vest tops, 1 Oasis top and a teal/green linen dress. The items are all too big really and my initial thought was to send them back but stopped as it effectively was supposed to be for charity,. Whilst I was disappointed, I am sure I will maybe alter the dress and bum around the house in the other stuff.
    Having read your comments above, wasn’t the main reason for doing this to help the fashion stock pile of clothes and also help people less fortunate than ourselves and not to get £70 worth of clothes for half the price and then moan if they don’t meet our exacting standards? Just a thought?

    • besma
      Author
      August 19, 2020 / 11:51 am

      Hi Karen, thanks for sharing your experience – I’m glad you’re able to still enjoy your items. I’m less concerned about the monetary side of things – and only really did price comparison on the average money paid – but I do think it’s misleading for Lost Stock to say boxes are worth double the £35 price tag. My aim was the same, to support garment workers, and I’m frustrated that only 37% of each box goes to charity, while also creating waste. In the end, I’ll stick with direct donations!

      B x

  17. Amy
    August 18, 2020 / 2:12 pm

    Thank you for posting this! I ordered ‘darks’ and got two white tops (including the tank top you have above), a pale grey tank top and a mustard yellow dress. I wrote to the company asking to return the clothes (keeping the full amount I spent and just counting it as a donation) and they replied with a template email saying “we don’t offer exchanges” and outlining the options to swap or donate clothes. They also appear to have edited their website retrospectively to say that if you order ‘darks’ you may get white clothes, which it didn’t state at the time of ordering. So disappointed and wouldn’t recommend Loststock to anyone! I hope it at least helps a family somewhere.

    • besma
      Author
      August 18, 2020 / 4:04 pm

      Hi Amy, thanks for sharing your experience. Does this mean that they refused you a refund? I’m not sure that’s legal… And yes, I noticed that certain parts of their service have changed since I placed my order too. I’d be ok with that, had they stuck to the parameters that were they when I ordered. Sadly I don’t think they did.

      B x

  18. Caroleparker
    August 18, 2020 / 8:30 am

    Hi I’ve just received my lost stock parcel 3 cheap and nasty tops worth no more than £20, ever been scammed feel like I have,never again.

    • besma
      Author
      August 18, 2020 / 11:59 am

      Hi Carole, I’m sorry to hear you had a bad experience too. I’ve written to Lost Stock with questions and I hope they’ll get back to me.

      B x

    • Paula smith
      August 22, 2020 / 12:03 am

      Got mine today and I feel exactly the same.
      Also feel like is this money actually going to these families .

      • besma
        Author
        September 8, 2020 / 12:15 pm

        According to their site, 37% of the overall price goes to Sajida Foundation, so yes I believe it is, but I wish I’d just made one full 100% donation instead.

        B x

  19. Richard
    August 17, 2020 / 10:26 am

    I ordered the Men’s version, like you, i was surprised to receive 4 items, but disappointed that they were all £4 T-Shirts from Matalan…. So much for my massive savings over retails and the ‘value of at least £70’
    It seems like a lot of ‘Charity Initiatives’ this is actually no more than a consumer ripoff exercise

    • besma
      Author
      August 18, 2020 / 12:00 pm

      Hi Richard, thanks for sharing your experience. I’ve only heard from a handful of people that they’re happy with their box – the vast majority seems to feel very disappointed. As I said to Carole, I’ve written to Lost Stock and hope they’ll respond.

      B x

  20. Kerry
    August 16, 2020 / 1:13 pm

    Hi Besma. It looks like you were lucky with your Lost Stock boxes. Having worked within the development sector for over 20 years, I was keen to support this initiative but sadly, like you, I won’t be recommending them. I ordered 3 ‘boxes’ back in May for my 15yo, my 18yo and myself (40 something!). On Friday, I received 2 of the 3. Mine has not arrived. Each contained only 3 items and the only wearable thing was a black version of the Teal Strap Top you have. Nothing else fitted or it was age inappropriate. One (very frumpy) dress in my 18yo box (size 6/8) was too big for me (size 12/14)!. Her other 2 t shirts were the same style just different colours, so if you didn’t like one, you didn’t like the other one either. And here’s the final straw, one item we received had a ‘Made in China’ label still in the clothing. I don’t feel this was good value at all. I’m afraid at least one of the parcels is going back to them and I’m going to try and get my money back on the one they have yet to send.

    • besma
      Author
      August 16, 2020 / 6:29 pm

      Hi Kerry, thanks for sharing your experience with Lost Stock. I feel we’ve had similar disappointment here, and it’s at the sorting part of it. It’s sad really because if they hadn’t promised to sort clothing to suit styles we can pick on the website, I don’t think I would have minded as much. The poor execution of the service is inexcusable in my opinion, and the Made in China label, along with accusations of Lost Stock deleting negative reviews makes me question their ethics, transparency, and general business practice.

      I hope your box arrives soon, and has some items you’ll wear, but honestly it feels like a long shot.

      B x

  21. Joanne
    August 16, 2020 / 12:06 pm

    I received my lost stock bag yesterday after waiting 12weeks they tell you in the initial advert get £70 of clothing for £35, bargin you think, WRONG. I received 3 of the worst tops ive ever seen im a 48year old woman size 14/16 and i got a very short top with tie front and when i moved all you can see is my not very flat stomach made from the thinest cheapest material on the market, next a vest top (too tight) and a peach fluffy lacy top (yuck) all not in the category that was asked when ordering i would not recommend lost stock go straight to a charity shop or just give your money straight to the charity, worst order ive ever done and ill never do it or recommend to a friend again.

    • besma
      Author
      August 16, 2020 / 6:31 pm

      Hi Joanne, thanks for sharing your box and disappointment here too! This confirms it’s not just me who has had a poor experience and that a direct donation to charity would be much better placed. I hope you can find a good home for your items, but honestly I feel like the service was oversold and under-delivered.

      B x

  22. August 15, 2020 / 5:56 pm

    I’ve just received my box and am very disappointed.
    I asked for brights and received a grey vest, a black vest )identical to your white one and a dark brown with orange giraffe print very odd shaped polyester dress.
    Only 3 items for me.
    I think they saw us coming

    • besma
      Author
      August 16, 2020 / 6:32 pm

      Hi Catherine, what an odd mix up! I would have loved grey and black items (most of my wardrobe is neutral) but hey, I got greens! The sorting seems to be a complete failure and Lost Stock need to be held to account, even if they’re doing something charitable. I’m going to write to them and see what they say…

      B x

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