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Why Custom Tailoring Is Good For The Environment

1 November, 2022

One of the guiding principles in founding InStitchu as a custom tailoring business was the belief that the off-the-rack model was not serving customers or the environment in sustainable ways, selling ill-fitting garments, a limited range, offering poor value for money and a cycle that encourages poor shopping patterns and heavy discount cycles.

InStitchu are committed to the perfect garment, created precisely for a customer’s needs, taste and measurements, created ethically and sustainably, from natural fibres like Woolmark-certified Australian Merino wool and premium cotton, linen and silk.


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If you’re buying made-to-measure with a bit of a wait, you’re more likely to be purchasing the things you really want and need, not just in that precise moment, but over the garment’s lifetime. It’s about as far from fast fashion as you can get. You’re planning and thinking through the things that will be the most functional and useful, whether that’s for a specific event or just as a staple. It retrains your clothes brain - the more you plan, the more normal it becomes. And the more high-quality, high-use garments you’ll have to reach for as you need. It gives you the building blocks of a wardrobe that you really need, rather than an ad hoc collection of last minute buys (that tend to be reactions to dress codes and trends, instead of good quality basics).

Woolmark recently said the average garment is worn seven times before it’s discarded. That’s a lot of waste. The reason that off-the-rack bargain you got on sale is so heavily discounted is usually because the brand gambled on how many of them they’d sell, and over-ordered or stuffed up the quality. That means the fibres were farmed carefully over a long period, using valuable water and labour and land, shipped to a mill to be turned into a fabric, shipped to a factory to be turned into a garment, shipped to a warehouse here, often shipped back and forward to a few online customers who decided it didn’t work for them, and then eventually dropped down several price points until it was sold, often at a loss (because storage is expensive at scale). That’s a lot of damage to the environment for something that’s worn seven times.

By crafting custom, tailored garments made for a specific customer’s taste, needs and measurements, InStitchu are contributing to a much more sustainable model. As well as avoiding dangerous discounting cycles and stock management issues, the garment is more likely to be loved and used for a long period of time, minimising the pressure on precious natural resources.

"Among 150 billion garments produced per year on average, only 20% to 30% sell at full retail price, and only 40% to 50% sell at a discount. Thirty percent do not sell at all and go straight to a landfill or incinerator."

- Fashion Mannuscript November 6, 2022

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All of our fabrics are crafted from natural fibres, meaning they are breathable, soft and the highest quality suiting fabrics available on the market, promoting a sustainable model that emphasises

To ensure a diverse, high quality and sustainable fabric offering, we work with an array of leading artisanal suppliers around the world. We source our Woolmark-certified Australian Merino wool from proud Australian farmers, working closely with local partners crafting the best raw materials for tailoring in the world, stimulating sustainable and local farming initiatives. We also work with cotton, linen and silk suppliers all over the world, nurturing high-quality and environmentally-positive production models that generate natural fibres for tailoring.

The concept of InStitchu is special, allowing customers to design custom, made-to-measure garments down to the detail, choosing from hundreds of customisation options and premium fabrics. Get measured by a Stylist at one of 16 national Showrooms and enjoy an old-world tailoring experience, or hop onto our website to measure, design and order from scratch from home. All orders are covered by a complimentary Perfect Fit Guarantee, meaning InStitchu cover any extra tailoring costs, and all measurements are saved to your online profile for future purchases, simplifying the process of creating new custom, tailored garments over time. 

As well as offering a more diverse range (you can create almost anything, using hundreds of fabrics and design details), high quality garments and perfect fit guaranteed, this model ensures a sustainable model that encourages customers to really think about what they need and want, emphasising thoughtful shopping patterns that are good for the environment.We talk about ‘cost per wear’ a lot - $699 for a suit is expensive if it’s worn once, but it’s great value if it’s a go-to suit in your work wardrobe each week, or if it’s a tuxedo for your wedding that you can reach for in years to come. Buying things that fit well and are perfectly suited to your taste and needs increases the likelihood it’s going to have a better ‘Cost Per Wear’.


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The journey of a custom, tailored InStitchu garment starts in the farm; we work with proud Australian Merino wool farmers, as well as an international network of cotton, linen and silk suppliers, to generate high-quality natural fibres in sustainable ways. 

These fibres are then moved to our trusted mills to be turned into high quality fabrics destined for suits and shirts and other garments, including centuries-old Italian mills like VBC, Stylbiella, REDA and Zegna. 

The fabrics are held by our trusted suppliers at Dayang, who cut the fabrics and turn them into specific garments, only when a customer has been measured and has designed the garment to their precise taste, needs and measurements, connecting our local tailors with the manufacturers through proprietary technology. This ensures there are no wasted materials and no garment is created unless there is a specific order for that garment, reducing the pressure on the environment. 

The garment is then shipped in bulk with other orders to the customer, where any final tailoring is done locally, without any unnecessary extra transport.


To start designing your own custom, tailored suit, shirt, blazer, chinos and more, try our online design tool, or alternatively make a video appointment or showroom appointment.

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