Since 2014 The Green Tailor has put sustainability at the center of everything we do. Our approach can be summarized by the mantra Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, and I have found that the only impactful method is to incorporate sustainable practices into everything we do.
Bespoke tailoring is, by definition, more sustainable than the retail fashion industry. A single bespoke garment is ordered and then made, as opposed to thousands of identical garments being constantly produced, and then pushed onto consumers through marketing, the excess being trashed. Bespoke is also made to your specifications, generally in a classic style that will last the rest of your life and for generations. Additional fabric left in the seam allowances allows for adjustments as your body and style changes. Meaning you (and future generations) will need less clothes overall.
Our alterations service is also green, since maintaining / modernizing the clothes you already have is the most sustainable thing you can do. Wherever possible we’ll leave excess fabric in the garment. Not only does this prevent the off-cuts from clogging the oceans, but allows for future adjustments, further extending the life of the garment.
Fabrics are a difficult part of the fashion industry, with global supply chains making it near impossible to know the history of a textile. We support small local businesses wherever possible (Metro, Middestad, Benjamin Woollens, and Ankara Textiles are the regulars) and opt for natural materials that are hard wearing and long lasting.
Whatever fabric remains after creating or altering a garment is sorted according to size. Very small pieces are unfortunately trashed, I have a plan for these but I need some time. Larger pieces are joined together and crocheted into mats, while large enough pieces are joined to make suit bags. The mats and suit bags are made by my interns to teach them sewing without risking your precious garments.
Solar energy is currently used for lighting only, but will slowly grow in capacity to run the entire studio.
All waste is sorted, and recyclables are handed to the recycling collectors, the rest is unfortunately trashed, but watch this space we have many many plans!
Furniture and equipment in the studio is (as far as possible) second hand or upcycled. From the ironing board (on old desk), to the pattern rails (left-handed golf clubs), and work desks (from Hospice), we avoid buying new things not only because it makes financial sense, but it also reduces our impact on the planet.
For a chat about all things sustainable and a walk around the studio to see all this in action, this interview covers it all:
I’m always looking for new ideas and collaborations to make this business more harmonious with nature, so do hit me up in the comments if you have any questions or suggestions.