Final Research Project

Updated: May 4

Fast Fashion and Bespoke Fashion

An investigation into 4 contemporary illustrators bespoke streetwear l

An Antidote to fast fashion

Fast fashion on social media

Low/High prices

bespoke clothing

custom clothing

custom artists

custom painted shoes

clothing landfills

sustainable fashion

reusing clothes

recycled materials

pollution factors


pros of bespoke clothing

saving the planet

streetwear subculture

who buys

investment clothing

role of social media

creating a community rather than company


ethical design

finding a middle ground between fast fashion and bespoke

responses to cultural change

young consumers


big brands

slow fashion

Fast Fashion:

"Fast fashion can be defined as cheap, trendy clothing, that samples ideas from the catwalk or celebrity culture and turns them into garments in high street stores at breakneck speed to meet consumer demand. The idea is to get the newest styles on the market as fast as possible."

  • "Before the 1800s, fashion was slow. You had to source your own materials like wool or leather, prepare them, weave them, and then make the clothes.

  • The Industrial Revolution introduced new technology—like the sewing machine. Clothes became easier, quicker, and cheaper to make. Dressmaking shops emerged to cater for the middle classes.

  • A lot of these dressmaking shops used teams of garment workers or home workers. It was around this time that sweatshops emerged, along with some familiar safety issues.

  • By the 1960s and 70s, young people were creating new trends and clothing became a form of personal expression, but there was still a distinction between high fashion and high street.

  • In the late 1990s and 2000s, low-cost fashion reached its zenith. Online shopping took off, and fast fashion retailers like H&M, Zara, and Topshop took over the high street. These brands took the looks and design elements from the top fashion houses and reproduced them quickly and cheaply. "

Impact of Fast Fashion:

"The pressure to reduce costs and speed up production time means that environmental corners are more likely to be cut. Fast fashion’s negative impact includes its use of cheap, toxic textile dyes—making the fashion industry the second largest polluter of clean water globally after agriculture. Cheap textiles also increase fast fashion’s impact. Polyester is one of the most popular fabrics. It is derived from fossil fuels, contributes to global warming, and can shed microfibres that add to the increasing levels of plastic in our oceans when it’s put through the wash. Conventional cotton requires enormous quantities of water and pesticides in developing countries. This results in risks of drought and creates huge amounts on stress on water basins, as well as competition for resources between companies and local communities."

"In Australia alone, more than 500 million kilos of unwanted clothing ends up in landfill every year."

Couchman Bespoke:

"A bespoke garment allows you to have input on the outcome of your garment style. From cloth type and design to the individual details and whether it is full or half bespoke.  This service is open to men and women of any shape and size, taking 4 to 12 weeks.  A bespoke garment can range in price depending on the cloth cost and work involved in a more complicated design.  This is of course a premium service but it can still be tailored to your budget, from 1 change on our ready to w ear collection, to a fully bespoke handmade garment."

"At Couchman Bespoke we are dedicated to sourcing sustainably so that the soil is managed well, that no peticides are used on new cloth and that the manufacturing process produces and transportation creates far less emissions or is carbon neutral.  Most of our cloth comes from pre and post consumer waste and has no trace of these facts, by us keeping these textiles from landfill and creating new garments we save 9.75 tonnes going to landfill.  Through the production process these remnant textiles would have produced 20.38 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, specifically methane which has a 75 times warming potential than CO2.  Between 1999 - 2009, post-consumer textile waste increased by 40% whilst the diversion from landfill increased by only 2%.  This is where we need you to help us fight this trend, by not only buying consciously and only when necessary but also sending any unwanted clothes our way to take apart reuse and recycle."

Cloth Surgeon:

"Clothsurgeon is a London based Luxury British Mens wear brand that explores a directional aesthetic, melding Sportswear with Savile Row style tailoring. The brand perfectly channels a clean interpretation of modern streetwear. Rav Matharu, combines his love of street culture, art and of course fashion to create a sports luxe tailored aesthetic. Rav aims to generically modify the mens wardrobe, through precision, details, fabric use and timeless silhouettes, creating beautiful wearable classic garments for the modern man.

The clothsurgeon Bespoke Service aims to satisfy the desires of each and every customer. An exclusive service, one that is integral to the British streetwear brand allows the client to work alongside Creative Director, Rav Matharu to ensure a personalised and unique product is designed and made with the uppermost attention to detail. Understand fabrics, construction and fit - the options are endless."


"Our limited edition and bespoke streetwear pieces move fast. Our great fits, comfortable fabrics, and custom designs make YDWTL a popular choice among those with a real sense of style. You won’t find gear like this anywhere else. Seriously--this stuff isn’t mass produced in a factory. It’s genuine. Each bespoke clothing article is one-of-a-kind. These streetwear jackets aren’t for everybody. They’re for those who are bold enough to set trends, not follow them."

Streetwear collabs:

Sean Wotherspoon

Patrick Grant

James Jarvis

Sean Wotherspoon:

Sean Wotherspoon has recently "teamed up with sportswear giant Adidas to launch SuperEarth, a new collaboration of vegan-friendly and sustainable sneakers. With this latest release, it looks like animal-free and eco-friendly kicks are taking over the mainstream."

"Talking about the shoe in an Instagram comment, animal advocacy nonprofit PETA said: “These fab vegan shoes are a dream come true. Thank you for creating stylish and unique shoes that are saving our planet and the animals who live on it. You are leading the way towards vital changes in the sneaker world.”"

Custom Shoe Artists: