In a world ridden with the linear cycle of production and consumption, fashion is one of the greatest contributors to collective waste. The need for designers, big and small to produce collections, season after season has undeniably brought up the question, “How long can this survive?”
The industry employs hundreds of thousands of people across the globe, yet the disparity in pay is glaring. While the global movement for fair trade, ethical world practice is more resounding than ever before, there is a serious structural problem in the way we interact with clothing.
“There is a serious structural problem in the way we interact with clothing”
RTW, by virtue, is a commodity of convenience. And, while it might give an illusion of a robust production cycle, it is in fact an engine of waste,in terms of capital and other resources.
It gives rise to the constant pressure to consume, and thereby creating systems around that that foster the methods of aggressive sales, overconsumption and reckless waste.
Further, companies and designers minimize their investment in people, in quality, in raw material to offset the potential losses endured by this fanatic idea of production.
Bespoke, on the other hand, has the key to many of our agonies. While some might view it as the prerogative of the privileged, it is in fact a service that most emerging designers are now offering. Its very essence is to produce that which is needed, with greater control of the supply chain and a relationship with the makers and merchants of the product. The client also gets exactly what they covet, albeit with a few weeks of turnaround time. But, it is in the movement away from the notion of instant gratification that there lies a sustainable future.
Usage of dead stock, fair wages, and other aspects of an ethical trade are better navigated when dealing with more cohesive and curated units in production. Also, there is better control of the quality of the merchandise, as the enormous investment of producing multiple units is not a concern. This way the craft and talent of cutters, tailors and craftsmen is better preserved and resources on hand judiciously utilised. The garment inevitably lasts longer when made with more intention and care. Collectively, as there is more and consciousness in the draw towards sustainability, bespoke and its siste alternatives of made to measure and made to order ought to embrace the befitting opportunity to preserve, protect and reinvent the existent paradigms of craft, quality and culture. After all, that’s what fashion’s role is, isn’t it?
The Bespoke Process starts with a candid discussion of a client’s needs, met stylistically by a tailor or a designer. While there are many variations of the model including, Made-to- Order, Made- to-Measure, Semi-bespoke ; a truly bespoke garment has at least two stages of fittings.
The pattern is not just altered over the course of those fittings, but also made from scratch for the person from the get go. Also, the degree of handcraft required is far supeinvolved, generally speaking.