Over the past decade, society has increasingly acknowledged the importance of consumer sustainability, and the world of fashion at the forefront of the issue. Bespoke tailoring has deep roots in traditional methods, yet is uniquely suited to this contemporary concern.
Bespoke clothing is the ultimate sustainable clothing method for many reasons. In addition to the importance of natural versus synthetic fibres, the question of, where, who and how, in regard to manufacturing garments has become increasingly consequential.
LOCAL ON-DEMAND PRODUCTION
Just like a local butcher, grocer, or bookstore versus their big-box alternatives, bespoke tailoring is inherently attuned to factors driving sustainability. That is because these factors are internalized rather externalized, as they are by global, industrial enterprises. Because bespoke garments are custom made by order, many of the environmental issues that come with "fast fashion" or "made-to-measure" clothing are averted. Rather than contributing to and participating in the mass production of bulk clothing, every garment at MICHEL's BESPOKE is custom-made, one-of-a-kind and made in-house at our Toronto atelier. This keystone of authentic bespoke tailoring prevents the waste of non-purchased clothing, and the pollution resulting from its unnecessary transportation and disposal.
ADAPTABLE FIT & TIMELESS STYLE
As is customary in bespoke tailoring, extra fabric is left within the seams of a garment to allow for alterations and adjustments over the course of time as our bodies change. This, along with the exquisite quality of our carefully curated, natural fine fabrics, ensures the lifespan of each garment is much longer than the average garment, let alone the disposable products of modern fast-fashion brands. This durability and adaptability means that bespoke garments can be worn season-after-season and year-after-year, preventing clothing waste and repurchasing.
With regard to sustainable fashion, one of the most important considerations is whether the garment is made from either natural or man-made (also known as synthetic) fibres. The four main natural fibres are wool, cotton, linen, and silk. Each is produced in nature, as opposed to man-made fibres which are petroleum-based and chemically manufactured. Due to the reduced energy involved in their processing and production versus synthetic fibres, natural fibres are incredibly eco-friendly and far less harmful to the environment.
ECO-FRIENDLY TRAITS OF WOOL
RENEWABLE Sheep are shorn for their wool every year. Over time, they grow back their fleece and are shorn again in a repeating cycle. This makes wool totally renewable, as opposed to man-made fibres which are produced from limited fossil fuel sources.
BIODEGRADABLE Wool is a protein and is therefore capable of decomposing on land and in the ocean in a few short months. On the other hand, artificial fibres can take hundreds of years to decompose and discharge polluting microplastics into our waterways when washed.
MINIMAL WATER USAGE Wool requires relatively little water throughout its life cycle, from its production and weaving all the way to the final product’s care.
RECYCLABLE Thanks to its remarkable durability and resilience, wool is easily recycled and repurposed into new fabrics or garments.
HUMANE There are reputable international organizations in place that ensure that breeders meet high standards for the sheeps' welfare, along with enforcing social responsibility, fabric quality, and the traceability of the wool throughout the supply chain. Any reputable fabric mill will source wool from certified breeders.
Plant-based natural fibres like cotton (cotton plant) and linen (flax plant) and insect-based fibres like silk (silkworm) are also renewable, biodegradable, and remarkably water-efficient given the innovations in irrigation technology over the past fifty years. All in all, when it comes to the question of sustainability in fashion, natural fibres are always the answer.
MICHEL'S BESPOKE has been a proud supporter of Sustainability in the custom fashion industry, and we will continue to do our part by sourcing the finest in environmentally friendly, 100% natural fabrics.
MICHEL'S BESPOKE offers a variety of exquisite, sustainable natural fabrics in a wide range of colours, patterns, and weaves. We work with our clients on an individual basis to build sustainable wardrobes with essential, adaptable and timeless custom clothing. We invite you to join us at our uptown atelier or downtown showroom in Toronto to explore our full range of fabrics.