Nona Source – Repurpose model for deadstock accelerates circularity in fashion

Marie Falguera on the resale of deadstock items from exclusive fashion houses as a solution to the fashion industry's waste problem

Ninth Source
Source & Copyright by Nona Source | Nona Source Showroom La Caserne Paris

Author: Julia

Nona Source stands for the most important pillars of contemporary fashion: democratization, quality and sustainability. The approach is realized through a repurpose model, where the digital resale platform offers leftover fabrics from luxury houses for resale. As a result, Nona Source gives established brands and upcoming talent access to high-quality fabrics at fair prices. At the same time, the model manages the reuse of existing resources in the sense of circular economy.

Co-founders Marie Falguera, Romain Brabo and Anne Prieur du Perray were supported in the creation of Nona Source by DARE, an incubator for the implementation of innovative projects by LVMH. In an exclusive interview with Haus von Eden, Marie Falguera talks about the challenges of upgrading leftovers and shows her approach to solving the fashion industry's waste problem.

Marie Falguera, co-founder Nona Source

What was your moment of change?

It all started in 2017 when Nona Source Co-Founder Romain Brabo, an expert in materials purchasing and manufacturing at Givenchy, first discovered the "sleeping beauties", those high-quality fabrics stored in our Fashion Maisons' warehouses. He saw the opportunity of giving them a new life by boosting their creative potential through a resale platform.

After developing the platform for over 14 months, Nona Source was officially launched in April 2021. Today, an active community of over 800 mindful creatives - from brands to designers - use our e-shop to purchase textiles. Since the opening, we have already repurposed 170 kilometers of different fabrics and given them a new life.

LVMH sponsors Nona Source, what opportunities does this open up?

Basically circular economy is based on extending product's lifecycle. For high-end brands,attributes like high quality, durability, savoir-faire and services such as repairing are already native to their luxury products. High-end brands have sustainability in their DNA and do not have to develop any fundamentally new business models.

However, the circular economy not only offers the opportunity to reduce environmental pollution, but also the opportunity to innovate. The launch of Nona Source, a new circular service based of precious resource management at the LVMH Group level, materializes their strong commitment to promote circular creativity.

nona source fabrics

Source & Copyright by Nona Source

What exactly is behind the "Sleeping Beauties" and their competitive pricing?

Our "Sleeping beauties" are the leftovers remaining unused in luxury brands’ storage spaces at the end of fashion production cycles, and are basically depreciated. Nona Source collaborates with the LVMH Group’s fashion and leather goods stores Maisons by buying these end-of-line products.

Our first commitment is to upcycle these deadstock fabrics and leathers by putting them back on the market at a competitive price. Our prices are 60-70% below the originally paid gross price. Only through this approach of accessibility to everyone, sustainability can be established along the entire industry.

Who is your target group and what do you offer your users?

Nona Source's customers are both young designers & emerging brands, as well as established brands, in Europe and UK. One reason for this is our exclusive yet wide range of textiles - the online shop has more than 1.200 carefully curated fabrics and is updated every 6 weeks. However, our USP lies in the unique user experience: buyers can find high-quality materials at competitive prices in just a few clicks. Whether silk, linen, cashmere or leather - both our quality and our prices are incomparable.

We also offer a new digital sourcing experience, with a high-rendering of texture, drape, fall and colors. We also opened two showrooms, in Paris and London: professionals can book private appointments with a Nona Source expert via our website.

What are the biggest challenges in the process of upgrading fabrics?

One key challenge is traceability. When a garment becomes deadstock at the end of the production process, the knowledge about the fabrics is often lost. That's why Nona Source works closely with the Luxury Maisons to collect these data (composition, weight, quantities per color etc.) to facilitate the inventory, the sorting and the revalorization online. We do not buy any material under IP (Intellectual Property).

nona source experience

Source & Copyright by Nona Source

When it comes to circular fashion, we face a problem of scalability. How does Nona Source address this issue?

For me digitization is key to accelerate the sustainability transition and to reach more designers and brands. That's why Nona Source's e-shop provides high visibility on available stocks as well as facilities the repurpose of fabrics.

Limited quantity is another opportunity to revalue materials, with the notion of quality and rarity, by supporting new creative processes such as: eco-design, repurpose and capsule, which are experiencing an increased demand from today's customers.

Do you think resale models are the solution to the fashion industry's waste problem?

In order to find a sustainable solution to the waste problem in the fashion industry, we have to extend the lifecycle of products on the one hand and create new cycles of consumption on the other hand. This means that resale alongside reuse and repair must be part of the solution. However, that is not enough. Rather, these models must be understood as approaches to promote innovation and opening up new business opportunities.

Another key solution: increasing the proportion of recycled materials. However, it is questionable whether the industry can do without virgin material at all, since garments and materials still need to meet durability and recyclability criteria. But, it is precisely these aspects that are essential in order to achieve significant effects and to minimize negative environmental impacts in the first place. Their implementation is therefore considered an important challenge for eco-design and innovation.

What is your vision for Nona Source and what can we expect in the future?

One of the fundamentals Nona Source is based on, is to reduce the level of waste produced by the fashion industry. Therefore, we promote a sustainable and eco-friendly approach to design, manufacturing and consumption in line with the "circular creativity" strategic pillar of the LVMH Group’s environmental program, LIFE 360. We have started with fabrics, but in future also other unused resources such as yarn could be revalorized and added to the loop.

The next step is to accelerate our positioning as a new sustainable and accessible sourcing solution in Europe and UK. In May 2022, we opened our second showroom in London. We also partner with Institutions such as La Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode or the British Fashion Council in the UK. Extending the pool of our B2B customers is key to maximize - and normalize - the reuse of luxury, elevated fabrics. Circular economy is a fantastic playground for committed people to built a more sustainable fashion industry.

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