January 30, 2023

Whether it’s branded as the slow-fashion movement or the rise of made-to-order pieces, there’s no denying that conscious fashion brands offering bespoke services have become more and more prominent over the last few years. “In terms of sustainability, it’s the most responsible way of manufacturing,” one designer told me this week. And it’s true. Offering a made-to-order business model means that brands only create what they actually sell, minimising the possibility of waste and oversupply—one of the industry’s biggest contributors when it comes to impacting the environment negatively.

Historically, the notion of made-to-order might’ve conjured up images of intricate wedding gowns or Savile Row–worthy suits. Recently, however, we’ve seen an ever-growing list of contemporary labels offering more bespoke services at a much more reasonable price, and they’re creating the kind of items you’ll want to wear every day, not just on special occasions.  

This week, I spoke to nine UK-based designers behind this new guard of made-to-order brands and was delighted by how passionate each and every one of them was. Not only is each creative on this list constantly making decisions with sustainability front of mind, but they’re also all driven to craft special pieces customers will cherish for years to come, offering the perfect antidote to the concept of wear-once fast fashion. 

Whether you’re a minimalist, a maximalist or somewhere in between, I’ve found a made-to-order label that will suit an array of aesthetics. So scroll on to discover a brand you will love. Don’t forget to follow your favourites, and remember, before you get carried away, the brands below often release their collections in staged drops. This allows the designers and their teams time to handmake the garments before reopening their stores to more purchases. This means that often you have to be quick to purchase a piece you love, so following the brand on IG is the best way to stay up to date.

1. We Are Kin

Best Made To Order Fashion Brands: We Are Kin

“Made-to-order ensures there is never any leftover or unwanted stock,” explains Sarah Bartlett, the designer behind Carnations. “In terms of sustainability, it’s the most responsible way of manufacturing.” 

According to Bartlett, the made-to-order process also allows customers to gain a greater understanding of how their clothes are made. “Made-to-order brands help customers understand and appreciate where their garments came from,” Bartlett tells me. “We love to share insights into our garment-making process. Each item is carefully constructed in a small North London production studio by a female-led team. This is something we are really proud of [and] so happy to share.”  

Collaboration is also an important part of the label’s business model and the brand often collaborates with like-minded designers and artists, meaning each collection feels entirely unique. 

Follow: @carnationslondon

Shop Carnations:
Carnations Gracie Bowling Shirt
Gracie Bowling Shirt

Bowling shirts are one of 2022’s coolest micro trends. 

Carnations Nina Puff Sleeve Dress
Nina Puff Sleeve Dress

Just add fisherman sandals. 

Carnations Minnie Puff Sleeve Top
Minnie Puff Sleeve Top

With its corset-style bodice, square neckline, and puff sleeves; to me, this is the prettiest top out there. 

Next up, the biggest spring/summer 2022 trends you need to know. 

This post was originally published at an earlier time and has since been updated.