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Words like “artisanal,” “handmade,” and “craftsmanship” are thrown around in fashion marketing so frequently and in so many contexts that they have lost clear linguistic meaning. These terms are intended to indicate that a garment is somehow special, more valuable than its counterparts without those labels. Crafts like hand-knitting, braiding, and crocheting has3 seen a resurgence of popularity of late. 

What does handcrafted really mean when it comes to clothing? The alternative, machine-made, is the typical mass-production model of garment-making, in which clothes are constructed via assembly line with very little human interference. The process is automated and completely replicable.

 

“Handmade” means that at least part of the garment was made the old fashioned way, by hand. This might mean a hand-stitched collar, an embroidered sleeve, or embellished cuffs, or it could mean that a single person used a sewing machine to construct the garment rather than a fast-fashion assembly line process.

Modern garments that are called handmade are typically at least partly made by machine (even if that’s just a sewing machine).  The distinction between handmade and machine-made is increasingly blurred and dissolved. Most high-quality clothing involves both machines and real people and each technique has advantages and disadvantages depending on the application.

As handmade garments acquired special, exclusive status associated with top designers, custom couture pieces and the sustainable slow "fashion" movement there is now a high demand for handmade garments.

 

Fast Fashion has increased production to astronomical levels, and that sense of value has flipped. Handmade now carries more sense of intrinsic value because of its typically superior construction, detailing, sustainability, and human connection.

At Être en Vert, it is our ambition to dedicate our support to hand made artisans!