Walk into any clothing store in a local mall and you’ll find aisles of mass-produced clothing. The prices are hard to beat, and the style is on-trend. In a fast-fashion world, why would you choose handmade?
Many people assume that handmade clothing is out of their price range and only for those who shop haute couture. However, handcrafted garments are growing in popularity and are worth the investment.
Here are eight reasons to choose handmade in a fast-fashion world.
1. High-Quality Clothing That Lasts
Handmade garments offer a level of quality that you simply cannot get with mass-produced clothing. Each garment is crafted by skilled artisans that typically have decades of experience.
The quality of the craftsmanship is just one piece of the puzzle. In most cases, handcrafted garments are created with premium textiles, such as silk and velvet.
High-quality craftsmanship and fabrics mean that your handmade clothing will last longer and can be mended if needed. Fast-fashion clothing, on the other hand, may only have a shelf life of a year or two.
Handmade garments are made with love and care by experienced seamstresses who enjoy their craft. They put their time and energy into each piece of clothing they create.
2. Less Waste and Classic Styles
Because handmade clothing is built to last, there’s no need for a huge wardrobe. A few versatile pieces of clothing can become wardrobe staples that last for years – decades even.
A smaller wardrobe means less waste, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to sacrifice style. When you choose timeless designs, your clothing will never go out of style.
When these clothing items reach the end of their lifecycle, they can easily be upcycled to further reduce waste.
3. Fair Wages for Seamstresses
When you purchase a piece of clothing in the store, you may not be thinking about how it got there or who created the item. In many cases, those clothing items are produced in large manufacturing facilities. It’s not uncommon for workers to be paid unfair wages and to work in poor conditions. Consumers are largely unaware of these issues.
Handmade clothing items are created by smaller teams, and every team member plays an important role in the brand’s success. Workers are typically paid fair wages and work in good conditions.
When you buy handmade, you support fair wages and healthier work environments. You are helping families and individuals put food on the table and a roof over their heads.
4. Beautiful, Unique Designs
Mass-produced clothing is, by definition, not unique. Shirts, pants, dresses and other clothing items are produced by the thousands, all with the same color, design and shape.
Handcrafted clothing features beautiful, unique designs. Even when the same pattern is used to produce a garment, no two pieces will be exactly the same because they are made by hand. When fabrics are also dyed by hand or through small-batch processing, they too make the item unique. In some cases, custom designs can be created for a truly one-of-a-kind garment.
If you like to stand out and want to make a statement, choose handmade.
5. Support Jobs and Local Communities
Small-production clothing brands are important to local communities. They provide jobs, but they also give back to the community in many ways. They may buy from local vendors, use local facilities for manufacturing and support local causes that are important to residents.
When you buy handmade, you’re doing more than just boosting a brand’s bottom line. Your purchase has a ripple effect that ultimately supports local economies and quality jobs.
6. Better for the Environment
Did you know that fashion is one of the biggest polluters on the planet? The industry is second only to oil in pollution. Unfortunately, mass-produced fashion comes at a significant environmental cost.
The biggest concerns include:
- How manufacturers dispose of their textile waste, including excess trims, defected fabrics.
- Disposal of non-textile waste, including toxic dyes, contaminated water and other hazardous materials that are used in production.
Mass production of clothing is resource-intensive and produces a lot of CO2. Simply put, the fashion industry pollutes the waterways and airways.
Handmade clothing, on the other hand, is a greener alternative to fast fashion. Premium, quality fabrics are chosen, and in most cases, are natural. Eco-friendly dyes may be used, and the manufacturing of clothing isn’t quite as resource intensive.
Producers of handcrafted clothing often go the extra mile to also ensure that their packaging, labels and tags are also eco-friendly.
7. A Better Fit
When you purchase mass-produced clothing, the fit can be a hit or miss. You may buy the same size from two different stores, but one may fit better than the other. The differentiation in fit is due to standard sizes being used to produce clothing. Different brands may have different standards and measurements.
In any case, fast-fashion items won’t be designed to fit you.
Handmade clothing items may also have standard sizes, but in many cases, you can supply your measurements for a perfect fit. When standard sizes are used, measurements are clearly listed in sizing guides to help you find the right fit. Best of all, a smaller team means that you can communicate with the brand to ask questions about sizes.
8. Develop a Personal Relationship with the Brand
Small, handmade clothing companies appreciate and value each and every one of their customers. They are responsive to messages and will, in many cases, work closely with their customers when making purchases and producing clothing.
Customers have a rare opportunity to develop lasting and personal relationships with these brands.
If you’re looking to expand your wardrobe, consider choosing handmade garments over mass-produced clothing. Not only are you supporting small businesses, but you’re also supporting fair wages and eco-friendly practices. Handmade clothing is built to last and features timeless designs that will never go out of style. And if you’re the type of person who likes to stand out in the crowd, handmade clothing offers unique styles and colors you won’t find anywhere else.