sustainable fashion made to order

Sustainable fashion guide #1 – made to order

Today, fashion is moving more rapidly than ever. We live in a special era in which opportunities to change the fashion industry are countless. That doesn’t come as a total surprise, since change is needed tremendously. Besides the industry-changes that need to be made, there are many things you can do yourself. In this series, therefore, we guide you through the most common ways to buy more thoughtfully, sustainably and ethically. After all, your search for sustainable fashion should be fun. Let’s kick-ff with a not so new phenomenon: made-to-order.

Cover photo: © Unsplash

Sustainable fashion

Sustainable fashion has become more than the next hype. Big retailers, high fashion labels and many customers have reached the point on which they acknowledge the huge influence of the fashion industry on our planet.

More and more sustainable concepts pop-up. Take Ikigai Labels, for example: a melting pot of sustainable brands of all kind. You’ll find fancy made to order items, as well as more accessible garments (for every budget). We recently interviewed Helene Oudman, the creative mind behind this concept. According to her, “there’s a lot to win in the fashion industry.

However, fast fashion companies still offer low priced items while keeping up with the latest trends. Zara adds new items every week and adidas’s NEO line is designed, produced and delivered to stores within only one month. These types of actions are typical for the industry.

Therefore it’s about time to be more aware of your own shopping behavior. Let us guide you through it.

Made to order

The big issue of the current state of the fashion industry doesn’t only lie within the huge amounts of waste as part of the production chain, but also in the high volumes we buy. You probably recognize that moment when you were too lazy (or just in a hurry) to try something on and just bought it blindly. Hence, it didn’t cost that much so it was worth the guess. Once at home, you try it on and it looks good on you. Perhaps you’ll wear it to a party, after which it’ll end up in your laundry basket – where it stays for the upcoming months.

If we have to belief some fashion-savvy people, made-to-order clothing will become the new norm – meaning that moments like described above will soon become history. Where made to measure used to be solely for the privileged and rich, they recently have become more accessible for everyone. Instances like Fame and Partners and Olivia Rose offer made to order dresses for everyday wear. It not only generates less waste – no excess stock – but will also perfectly suit you. Simply put, made to order items form a slow and high-quality alternative to fast fashion retailers.

Hence, made to order fashion isn’t only precious for consumers, designers like them as well. According to Vogue Business, many designers value made to order since it heavily draws on their creativity and allows them to develop ideas that don’t have to fit within a commercial campaign or direction.

Besides the creative freedom and lack of excess stock, made to order pieces are unique and will create higher brand loyalty and lower returns in the end. One of the few backlashes, however, is the amount of time needed to create a tailor-made item. As Olivia Rose Havelok told Vogue: “A lot of people can miss out on ordering when they want because I can be fully booked with orders sometimes for weeks.” Furthermore, to ensure the perfect fit many fittings are needed. And that’s exactly why many made to order firms today sell solely bridal and evening dresses.


Today’s customers crave personalization anyways. Some brands smartly anticipate to their needs. We’ve listed some brands that create made to order items.

1. Cat + King
2. Olivia Rose
3. Maison Cleo
4. Merle Noir
5. RVDK Ronald van der Kemp
6. Emilia Wickstead
7. Jenny Packham
8. Roland Mouret
9. Milaner

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