This World Environment Day, we can’t help but wonder, how can we do our bit to atone for the huge impact fashion has on the planet? Switching up our habits is the least we can do to become more sustainable shoppers. But when you’re doing all you can – renting clothes, choosing sustainable fabrics, mending and repairing, wearing your wardrobe 30 times… what’s next?
Wearing something once and binning it is a style sin, but what about the stuff that never even makes it out the store?
Over production is one of the fashion industry’s most shameful secrets. According to made-to-order brand, This Is Unfolded, 30% of new clothes never even get sold. While ASOS is really clear that all their returns are put back up for sale, so many brands aren’t transparent on their clothing’s journey and too many unsold items end up in landfill or incineration.
Why do so many clothes get made and never sold?
It’s actually cheaper for manufacturers to overproduce – although the cost for the planet and garment workers is high. In the quest for profits sustainability doesn’t get a look-in.
So, what if there was another way? Enter Made to Order fashion. We’re stepping off the hamster wheel of fast fashion to make a difference. We know you still need a fashion fix (hey, us too) but made to order allows you to shop consciously without creating overstock. Made to order sounds fancy but this isn’t five figure couture. At the moment, the Made To Order market is mainly made up of smaller, indie labels, but Ralph Lauren is set to be the first big name brand to join the revolution. They are currently trialling ‘Create Your Own’ garments online – where shoppers can choose from hundreds of colour options – but the goal is to eventually make all of their garments from scratch. Until then, GLAMOUR has found five brilliant independent brands that will shake up your wardrobe with their bespoke designs.
This British-based brand has blown up due to their legion of die-hard fans, dedicated to showing off the label’s made-to-order garments on social media. Founder Karina Molby creates every single order herself in a bid to reduce fabric wastage and cut carbon emissions. Diaries at the ready; the next order date for Molby’s cult gingham dresses is June 6th…
Patchwork jackets made from vintage quilts are having quite the moment. Yes, the High Street has cottoned on to their cottage-core appeal but for an authentic version, that will last way longer than the trend does, The Wild Folk Studio have an array of coats and jackets to shop. If you’re lucky enough to already have a vintage quilt or blanket, they could turn that into a coat for you, too.
Bringing back the magic of waiting for something special, Mary Benson creates bespoke dresses (and cushions, mugs, berets, blouses and bags…) using only vintage or deadstock fabrics. Then she may add a handprinted illustration or two for her signature bohemian vibe. It’s a true labour of love and a family business, even Mary’s mum works for the brand’ customer service!
This Is Unfolded allows customers to build a bespoke order through their brand new business model, focusing on basics at high street prices. The collections aren’t trend-led, although they do feel current, and the savings made from not being wasteful are pumped back into improving the lives of garment workers. Shoppers can pick three pieces in each order that will last several seasons…
A mega plus point of buying made to order is that it’s created to fit your body, whatever your size and measurements. Mia Layzell has an “all bodies welcome” policy and offers made to measure blouses, collars, corsets and scrunchies. Drops sell out fast so keep en eye on her instagram for details of the next availability.