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Four made-to-order designers to get on your radar

Fella Swim via @fellaswim/Instagram

Fella Swim via @fellaswim/Instagram

Mimi Holvast via @mimiholvast/Instagram

Mimi Holvast via @mimiholvast/Instagram

Revel Knitwear via @revelknitwear/Instagram

Revel Knitwear via @revelknitwear/Instagram

E Nolan via @enolanmelbourne/Instagram

E Nolan via @enolanmelbourne/Instagram

Images via Instagram
Words by Hannah Cole

Join the revolution.

Made-to-order clothing was once reserved for brides and couturiers. But now, with sustainability a top priority for many consumers, custom clothing brands for us regular folk are fronting a revival. It’s not just the rich and famous who deserve tailored pieces and that “just right” fit. But why the recent uptake of this model?

For starters, we’re increasingly obsessed with the idea of “personalisation”. Brands are printing, stamping and monogramming every item imaginable so we can proudly display our initials. Made-to-order is the simplest outpouring of this in an everyday fashion sense. Pieces are made specifically for you upon ordering, delivering a garment with unique qualities and sentimentality.

It’s abundantly clear that the environment factors into the made-to-order decision. Arguably, it’s the most sustainable way to work. Instead of over-producing and crossing fingers that buyers will respond, pieces are produced based on necessity. In turn, this reduces waste and deadstock – a problem rife within the industry. While Burberry burns unsold pieces from past collections; made-to-order labels sit confidently in their planet-saving ways.

Luckily for all of us, it is becoming easier to find worthy brands to serve our sustainable wardrobe needs. I’ve tracked down four local made-to-order labels that will have you convinced in no time.

Fella Swim

Swimwear is tricky even for the most #blessed of us. With my protruding butt and shorter legs, I often look cut-off and disproportionate. Fella Swim addresses your swimwear woes. As an anomaly in a market of string bikinis and equally stringy bodies, Fella offers custom alterations and made-to-order swim. While co-owner Christine Tang-Corte acknowledges it has been challenging to keep up with demand (as the label spreads internationally), sustainability is core to the business. Expect to wait a working week for your order, but revel in the fact that your bikini bottom will offer the exact coverage you are after. The future of fashion is looking up as Christine believes that offering “small alterations to fit [our] body shape would encourage [us] to move away from fast fashion.” The perfect fit should never be underestimated.

Mimi Holvast

Byron Bay-based designer, Mimi Holvast, relishes in the idea of made-to-order. In offering a “unique and special” garment, made specifically for the buyer, she believes her customer base are happy to wait longer for their piece. We love to feel loved, so why not embrace that via Mimi’s line of linen and cotton pieces? With simple, trans-seasonal designs, they are ideal for layering year-round and form the basis of a minimalist wardrobe. She’s on a mission to shift our consumerist perspectives and encourage smarter purchasing. It’s all about building “deeper connections to the clothes you invest in”. According to Mimi, “then the rest should flow from there.”

Revel Knitwear 

It would be difficult to not fall in love with a piece hand-knitted for you. When it comes to Revel Knitwear, I imagine a group of adoring ladies giggling, cackling and knitting away. Founder and designer, Shannyn Lorkin, is dedicated to producing nothing more than customer demand through her made-to-order model. While it would take me years to complete a cardigan (if at all), Revel Knitwear generally allows 14-18 days for creation and delivery. “If anything, it helps to build hype for [the customer] and makes their purchase a bit more special,” Shannyn says regarding the lead time. I would be more than happy to wait a couple of weeks for a piece so delicately knit together by hand. Good things come to those who wait.

E Nolan

Who said tailoring appointments were only for men? As practical suiting continues to rear its mighty head in women’s fashion, it only fits that E Nolan would emerge to fill this void. Based in Melbourne, the brand offers made-to-measure, luxurious suiting for the modern woman. Find the perfect jacket or trousers (why not have both?), designed to sit on the body exactly as you would like. These are the pieces that will ride through life with you – power suiting defined.

These labels represent just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to made-to-order; a revolution is forming both in Australia and internationally. Maybe you are after a piece made perfectly for you, or perhaps you are hoping to save the earth by supporting sustainably-minded operations. Either way, this is no doubt the way of the future. Re-iterated by all these labels is an emphasis on understanding the maker behind your garment – form a relationship with them and treasure the output. Our personalised pieces should automatically render a higher level of care and respect. We’re saying “farewell” to the throwaway attitude and “hello” to something that’s all about me (and the environment). Maybe I am a narcissist after all.

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