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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