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Postcard from the Edge
The joy of made to measure
It’s so easy to allow compromise to become an accepted and invisible part of our lives.
I was reminded by a small but powerful reminder this weekend. I had taken a pair of Hiut Jeans into town to be altered by a Needles, a small tailor I have used for years. It was a tiny job, for which I would be charged £12.00. No big deal.
Except, when I went to pick them up, they weren’t ready because he said my instructions were wrong. He had worked this out when he started the alteration, and it didn’t fit with his assessment of me based on a moment’s observation. He was, of course, right. A professional craftsman, remembering one tiny job amongst hundreds.
The thought has stayed with me. We buy our clothes to suit the manufacturer and retailer. We have had no say in design or pattern, and they are made to fit a generic size, not us as individuals.
We do the same with our jobs. We compromise to fit ourselves to somebody else’s sizing. It rarely fits us well, and our work looks like that of many others working to the same design and pattern. We end up doing “fast jobs” - short-term, designed to be cheap and disposable. We are expected to be recycled.
There’s a lot to be said for a made-to-measure mindset. When it comes to sustainability and satisfaction, the eye, and attention of someone whose work is their craft matters.