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Here are my thoughts after testing two made-to-order brands.

Fast fashion could take our wallets out of our hands, not our moral consciousness. Clothes were made on an individual basis.

The current fashion system is not sustainable. Fashion accounts for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions. This is due to overconsumption, excess inventory burning, and textiles turning mountains into landfills. This can be avoided by reducing consumption, purchasing second-hand, and getting your clothes made to order.

Clothing was made according to the customer’s needs before industrialization. A tailor might take your measurements and make clothes to fit your body. This could be whether the tailor was your parent or a local shop. This is called made-to-measure. It’s a skill still popular today but isn’t as well-known as it once was. However, made-to-order clothing is gaining popularity. This is only possible when you order it.

Fashion was moving towards sustainability and made to order in the future. Before industrialization, clothing was often made-to-order or bespoke. The shift towards sustainability is like a return to how we used to make and consume clothes.

Why make-to-order?

Made-to-order means clothes that fit you and your style. They can be worn for many years. This is what I find attractive. I enjoy investing in quality pieces and taking good care of them. This is not only because it’s more affordable in the long term but also because it makes my style more authentic.

It’s also sustainable and eco-friendly, besides all the personal benefits. Made-to-order means less consumption and less inventory.

I spoke to Jud Bar, CEO at JTB Custom. This company handles made-to-order for Rowing Blazers. Made-to-order makes it more fun for customers and helps businesses reduce the risk of overproduction. It’s a win/win situation. He believes the wait time for custom-made items will decrease over the next few decades.

My first venture into making-to-order was with a wool suit from Rowing Blazers and a leather handbag made by the Italian luxury brand Milner. I was unsure what to expect and if either were worth the effort. I tried both and can confidently say that made-to-order is the best investment you can make.

About the brands: Milner and Rowing Blazers

Rowing Blazers, a clothing brand in America loved by celebrities such as Pete Davidson and Ziwe, offers preppy clothes with a humorous twist. It was founded in 2003 by Jack Carlson, an archaeologist and scholar. It has collaborated with brands such as Harry’s New York Bar and the NBA. Their sharp silhouettes, overall vibe and the quality of their fabrics attracted me to them.

Not all fashion items are made-to-order. Milner, a vintage-inspired luxury goods store, is home to their handmade bags featured on the Sex and the City restart. Made-to-order items are handcrafted in France and Italy by skilled artisans.

My shopping experience

After looking through all the options, I finally found the suit that I was looking for. After having to make a terrible decision about my size (which is something that happens every time I order online), I was able to place my gun-check wool suit. It was seamless. The 100% Cotton Corduroy may be a better option if you suffer from a wool allergy. It was made-to-order, so I waited anxiously for it to arrive in just seven weeks. It was worth it.

My excitement was palpable when I opened the box to see Rowing Blazers. The suit arrived in a well-packaged garment bag, which excited me. Unzipping the suit revealed a tag with my name and my measurements. The tags on each garment were also marked with this information. It’s magical to see that way.

Daniel S. Williams

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