Slow Fashion: Benefits of a Handmade Garment

by Alison Schipp June 09, 2020

Slow Fashion: Benefits of a Handmade Garment

Slow fashion is getting more attention every year. And people switching to exclusively handmade garments is growing annually due to the important benefits. 

Now, we don't believe that everyone can choose a handmade garment all the time - because in our experience that requires research, time and sometimes more money. But, to have this as an overall philosophy, something to attempt to attain where possible, means we all contribute toward some very positive aspects of the garment industry, the environment, our wardrobes and our hip pockets.

So what is slow fashion? It’s about investing in pieces that are not only purposeful in design but purposeful in materials. That is Japanese design through and through.  In slow fashion, less is more - simply, it’s a deliberate choice to buy better-quality items less often. AMEN TO THAT!

Slow fashion is environmentally and ethically conscious rather than trend-driven. The garments are durable and lend themselves to repairs, not disposal. Slow fashion is (most importantly) transparent: buyers know where their clothes are coming from and how it’s made. Pieces are often handmade by artisans, just like our Japanese Kimono Robes.

Some might say a handmade garment costs more, but we argue the opposite. If you purchase a "fashion piece" it is likely to be cheap, poor manufacture, poor quality materials and quickly marketed. By the time it ends the season, it has had a few washes and it doesn't look great. Choosing a slow fashion piece like Beautiful Robes kimonos, you pay a bit more on year 1, but over the 10 years plus that you will have this piece, the cost to the customer and the environment is far far less.  The quality of dying process and fabric is superb, the manufacture is a work of art with french seams and precise cutting, the garment is quality checked all over with every seam tested. This means less landfill.

Our kimonos last decades, so if we add up the cost of a $40 kimono from a mass manufacture brand, then buy a new one even every second year - by the end of 10 years, you have spent well over $200. We don't charge anywhere near that for the equivalent robe. Just one of our sweet little secrets I guess!

Because it’s a higher quality garment, there are benefits for you as a customer.
When you purchase a handmade garment you get:

1. Quality fabrics. The purpose of slow fashion is creating a garment that lasts so brands focus on selecting non-synthetic quality fabrics, like cotton, linen, silk and wool. Japanese silk and cotton are known for their quality all round the world.

2. Durability and long lasting. If fast fashion is all about creating "trendy" pieces, slow fashion aims for making quality garments that don't loose their shape or look worn out after washes. It is made to last for years, rather than to be discarded after one or two seasons. All our pieces are available year round - whilst we launch new ranges, they are set to stay with us for decades, just like your kimono.

3. Precise construction and custom sizing option. One of the most attractive benefits of handmade clothing is that it can be custom made. And dealing with a small artisan business, we can accommodate special requests where possible.

4. Exclusive style and design. Produced in small, limited edition quantities, slow fashion clothing brands offer high quality of craftsmanship that is indistinguishable from commercial manufacturing.

Benefits for the environment include:

1. Manufacturing process. Since commercial clothing is mass produced in factories, it wastes enormous amounts of energy and produces a lot of green house gas emissions and toxic wastes, all of which are dumped into the air, ground and water. Handmade clothing companies avoid this process all together, by hand making the piece from start to finish. And with the Japanese approach of using every last piece of material, there are very few waste products. The TAN or the measure of fabric used to make kimonos perfectly fits the cutting table and parts of the garment - the only waste is the salvage. 

2. Limited quantities. Slow fashion brands produce their collections in very limited quantities or many of them have made to order feature, that means that items are produced when they are ordered by the customer. When at the same time fast fashion companies often produce more than they sell and by the end of the season the unsold items go to landfill. We hold small quantities, and have been in business for 10 years so are constantly making pieces to meet demand.

By purchasing a Beautiful Robe Japanese Kimono robe, you contribute directly to Slow Fashion. We are never going to be everywhere in homes, because our cottage industry does not support the mass manufacture of garments. There are only a finite number of artisans who are able to make these stunning garments. If you know someone who would love to hear about another reason to love Beautiful Robes, please share. We would be honored.

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Alison Schipp
Alison Schipp

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