Slow Fashion vs Fast Fashion: some thoughts on why custom suits are better all round


For men, one of the biggest motivators behind starting a custom clothing company was sustainability. I’ve worked for some of the biggest ready-to-wear brands in the world, and it was hard not to be aware of the amount of waste and pollution they were producing every day. Picture mountains of unsold clothes. Now picture that mountain on fire, emitting scary amounts of pollution into the atmosphere. It’s untenable! Especially now, when our environment is in such a state of emergency. We have to do everything we can to limit emissions before it’s too late.

OK, I won’t get too dark on you. Actually… Just let me go on for one more paragraph here. What is also unsustainable vis-à-vis fast fashion is the human costs we should all be well aware of by now: terrible working conditions in unventilated factories, obscene working hours, pay levels that keep workers in a state of abject poverty. This is the bread and butter of many fast fashion brands. This glorified slave labor force is how they keep workable profit margins in place. We all know this, so I’ll stop going on. 

The major point is, I didn’t want to keep contributing to this unsustainable industry. I wanted instead to start working in an area of the fashion industry that’s environmentally and socially sustainable. Slow fashion is the answer. To me, that men’s custom clothing, handmade, without creating any wastage. Aside from the awesome fit and feel of our garments, that’s what you should keep in mind when pulling on a WATSON ELLIS piece of custom clothing: it’s a piece of clothing that’s been made responsibly and ethically.

We work with a team of well-paid tailors who hand make each of our garments to order. Nothing is wasted, everything is customized to your specifications. That ethical and environmentally friendly approach makes me feel good. It should make you feel good too! 

I get it, sometimes fast fashion is unavoidable. For cost and convenience reasons, not every garment in your closet can be custom—though, if that’s what you’re looking for, holla! But when it comes to the signature items in your closet—suits, blazers, button-down shirts, overcoats—you should really consider going custom. It’s more sustainable, will fit you much better than anything off the rack, and will last you much longer. 

Since starting WATSON ELLIS, I’ve always said I’m in the business of making heirlooms, not things that’ll end up in the trash after just a few months. Feel free to touch base or book in for an obligation-free appointment to learn more about our process.

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