Handmade versus factory made

Posted by Andrew McDonald on

Tags: slow fashion, sustainability
Handmade versus factory made

 This is the second of our four part series on sustainable and slow fashion. In the previous article we discussed the environmental impact of mass produced fast fashion and how it differs from sustainable fashion, if you missed it you can read the article on our blog. 

 handmade vs factory made 

"The actual definition of what many deem handmade shoes is subjective. For one, even shoes termed as handmade are not entirely so, given the use of machine sanders, sewing machines and skivers, to name a few. If the shoes were painstakingly sewn by hand and completely handcrafted right down to every detail, the end result would likely not be as precise looking.*

Simply, all handmade shoes are crafted in a workshop. Factories, on the other hand, produce only machine-made shoes and never handmade products. The advantage of handmade shoes starts with the luxury of bespoke craftsmanship, where you can control the ultimate design and fit. Machine-made shoes, on the other hand, are already pre-designed and sold as is.*

The leather and construction quality between the two are also apparent – whilst handcrafted shoes typically use premium leather materials and construction methods that endure for many years, machine made shoes are often made of synthetics or lower grade leather."*

*Thank you to Melanie Chiew for writing this article quoted above .To read more: https://www.luxury-insider.com/fashion-beauty/handmade-or-factory-made-leather-shoes 

    Most factory shoes are designed and constructed with planned obsolescence in mind,to become outdated or wear out in order to promote the next generation of product or sell a replacement for the next season.

Handmade fit vs factory fit 

The main pain point with buying factory made dress shoes today is fit, because they’re made so that one size can fit as many feet as possible. That’s why it’s estimated that 70% of people wear shoes that don’t fit them properly.

Handmade shoes are made to your specific requirements irrespective of your measurements ensuring correct fit, comfort and wear.

 

Environmental waste of Factory made 

"Worldwide, over 20 billion shoes are produced per year. Shoe production wastes a lot of material and uses chemicals that are harmful to the environment in the shoe making process.*

Most of those shoes are partly, or in many cases completely, fabricated from plastic and plastic-like materials, from the squishy soles to the pointy heels to the knit polyester uppers to the brittle eyelet holes. Because of their construction—usually, their many components are stitched and glued and molded together in complicated ways—they’re almost impossible to recycle. So your feet are only a short stopover in their long, long lifetimes, before they pile up in landfills and float down waterways, often living on like zombies for hundreds of years.*

The first stirrings of a shoe revolution are fomenting, though, and the industry is starting to look hard at the ways it can build a better, more sustainable mousetrap for your feet. But to understand how big of a challenge that is, we have to understand how we ended up in a world where most shoes are a soft, squishy mess of plastics". *

*Courtesy of National Geographic

For more go to this this exceptional article: 

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2019/10/shoes-sneakers-plastic-problem/

We do not dispute the choice and availability of factory made shoes. But when you compare handmade shoes which are more expensive than machine-made, and your time commitment for a series of visits to the workshop to ensure correct fit and appearance. Nothing compares with the experience of finely handcrafted shoes directly from the artisan just for you. 

 

 

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