Made-to-Order is the Future of Fashion

Jim Wills

85% of the clothing made today will be thrown in the trash, burned or end up in a landfill without being worn.

Let's let that soak in for a minute.

85% of clothing made today never finds its way to the consumer.

clothing in landfill

That means 85 shirts out of every 100 made are destroyed. It's almost unfathomable. This is a result of an "I demand it now" society that is always seeking the 'next new'. The next new color, the next new style, the next new fashion trend. It's now an industry that went from having Summer and Winter Collections to Spring, Beach, Summer, Back-to-school, Fall, Holiday, After-Holiday, Winter, Anytime Collections. In fact, there are actually 52 "micro-seasons" as the companies who have embraced this model bring out new clothing every single week of the year. It's called Fast Fashion and has been one of the worst things to happen to clothing since we first made loin cloths and coverups from the hides of animals.

fast fashion clothing rack

What is Fast Fashion? Simplified, it is a term used to describe clothing that finds itself transitioning quickly from a fashion catwalk to store shelves and racks. It is designed to take advantage of fashion trends, and allows everyone to have the latest and hottest styles. It feed our need for instant gratification. We watch a major fashion event and within a week or two a version of that runway outfit is available at a fraction of the price at any number of retail stores. It's the latest little black dress worn to a Hollywood premiere that finds itself hanging on the rack at Forever 21, H&M or Zara tomorrow, available to any young adult with a bit of cash burning a hole in their pocket.

shopping bags

"But that sounds great." you might say. "It makes fashion available to everyone."

And while this is true, let's go back to that opening statistic. Because of the Fast Fashion trend, the textile industry now creates more waste than almost any other consumer industry today.

This is the fashion industry's dirty little secret. Fast Fashion is such because its made fast, cheap and will be gone tomorrow; destined for the aforementioned landfill or burn pile.

dirty little secret black & white

In addition to the massive amounts of textile waste, Fast Fashion also uses much more water, toxic chemicals and actually ends up costing the consumer more because these types of fashions don't age well. They are not meant to. Fast Fashion exists for a throw away society.

So what can we do about this? Made-to-order. It's a little like Bespoke, a little like Haute Couture, but comes without the pricetag of either. Made-to-order clothing is also part of the Slow Fashion Movement. The garment doesn't exist until the customer makes the purchase.


At the Art Unknown Store, when you purchase an item, the order is printed, cut and sewn by hand and then shipped directly from our producer to you. There is no middle man. Far less textile waste. Far less water waste. No harmful chemicals, as we use plant-based inks in all our clothing. Our supplier pays a living wage to the men and women who work there; no sweat shops here. Because we use recycled fabrics, we are helping to create a more sustainable fashion industry.

Our products are made to last, not to fall apart after a few washings. They are truly Made-to-Order with Love.

So join us in the Slow Fashion Movement. It's the newest fashion revolution in saving Mother Earth.

Remember, Your Life is a Masterpiece. Dress Like It.

AU Live Love Be Golden