Why buying handmade is better
It’s just not the same.
I used to love shopping on ASOS.
I loved everything about ASOS; the pristine website, the sleek, luxurious pencil dresses, and the prices.
ASOS was cheap. Cheap enough for me to fill my little online cart and jam my closet.
That was before I started educating myself about how clothes are made. Websites that offer high fashion at rock bottom prices or “fast fashion” have a dark side.
And… ASOS was one of THEM.
If you don’t know what I’m alluding to, it’s the practice of outsourcing clothing manufacturing to countries where labor laws and safety are substandard.
Many westerners were blissfully ignorant of where their clothes were being made until horrific events like this revealed a disturbing reality about the cost of fast fashion.
Unfortunately, practices such as child labor and hazardous workplace conditions are still continuing around the world.
As consumers, we can avoid these practices by making different choices. A good way to start is by buying handmade garments.
The benefits of handmade garments:
Unique – No two handmade garments are alike. When you buy a handmade garment, you are buying something totally unique. The differences in stitching and style depend on the eye of the seamstress.
There’s something gratifying about knowing you won’t see the same shirt on 10 other women at the store.
Quality – Garments produced by exhausted, exploited workers are mass produced for low prices and quantity. When you buy a handmade garment, a focus on detail by the designer makes the difference.
Mass produced fast fashion is produced to be sold at cheap prices and that means cost cutting at every turn. A handmade item isn’t made with mass production in mind, but to sell based on quality.
Longer lasting – Handmade garments sold on Etsy are usually produced by solopreneurs or small teams. Not only does this mean each piece pays the bills, but reputation matters.
Returns, complaints and bad service can put these small companies out of business. So, there’s an emphasis on quality, in the goods and overall experience.
Better fit – Mass produced garments are produced for the bottom line, which means plenty of give in the material to fit various body types of the same size. Cheap materials with stretch are the norm.
A handmade garment made from a basic pattern will be of a better fit just by the design and construction. Because they are not mass produced, can be made of better materials.
Less carbon footprint/environmental impact- If you shop local or embrace slow fashion, you won’t be shipping goods long distances. Fast fashion almost always produced far from retail stores and that means enormous travel time, fuel and carbon emissions.
Know who made your clothes. – You’ll know exactly who made your garment and where it was produced. You won’t be contributing to unsafe, unjust labor practices.
Fast fashion will continue if large manufacturers see no reason to change production methods. But for those of us who have seen the consequences, it’s not worth the low cost.
Each time a consumer chooses to buy handmade, or ethically produced garments, it sends a message to retailers that the people who make our clothing matter.