If you’ve been with us for a while then you probably know that much of our collection is still produced on a made-to-order basis. If you’re new around here - well, first of all a big welcome to the wild world of Tizz & Tonic! In this blog, we’d like to take the opportunity to explore the meaning of made-to-order with you and why this has been a core part of our brand's ethos since day one.
First of all - what the heck is made-to-order clothing?
Made-to-order refers to items that are created after an order is received. It implies that the production process begins only once a customer has placed an order. This can also include processes like colouring and dying-to-order. However, this approach is not limited to clothing, it is common in various industries, from food to furniture. It’s like placing an order at a sushi restaurant - the ingredients are all there ready to go but the combination is made fresh for you!
This production approach is key towards revolutionizing how we go about the future of fashion and ensuring we stay nimble and on-trend with our thoughtfully designed collections.
Made-to-order clothing is an integral part of responsible consumerism.
What are the benefits of made-to-order?
Made-to-order items reduce waste and overstock for businesses, as products are only made when there is a confirmed buyer. This means we only cut into the materials once the order comes in. By creating clothes based on actual demand rather than forecasts, we combat the overproduction that the fashion industry notoriously promotes. This means less waste and a happier planet.
Made-to-order garment making focuses on sewing pieces per order.
Obviously in our fast paced world the made-to-order model might not always fit the needs of the customers but made-to-order has many benefits.
One of the most significant benefits is the reduction in waste. By producing garments only when there is a demand, fashion brands can significantly cut down on overproduction, which is a major issue in the industry. This not only helps in minimizing unsold inventory but also reduces the environmental impact associated with waste. This also means less impulse buying, more thoughtful purchasing, and ultimately, less production.
For brands big and small, a made-to-order model offers better inventory management. Brands don't have to guess which items will be popular and in what quantities. This leads to a more streamlined production process and reduces the costs associated with storing excess inventory.
Made-to-order can lead to more sustainable and ethical production practices. Brands can have more control over their supply chain, ensuring that materials are sourced responsibly. It aligns well with the growing consumer demand for ethical fashion.
And from a financial stand-point for small businesses trying to get off the ground or to continue having their piece of the pie during turbulent economic times, made-to-order can simply be more efficient and financially secure since there's less risk of investing in large quantities of inventory that might not sell.
Does made-to-order mean Tizz & Tonic never has any deadstock or over-production?
Not quite, but we’re very close. A majority of our collection is made-to-order however there are some styles that are created by our partners in Portugal and in Berlin. Those items aren’t made-to-order, but we only order in small quantities which, if popular, get restocked. If those styles are a flop, we have the flexibility to use the remaining fabric for something else.
After 6 years in the underwear game, we have a pretty good gauge as to what sizes and styles will do well, so before a new collection drops, we will prepare some items in our studio in advance.
If we have any items left over from a previous collection, we add them to our Mystery Bundle deal. These are bundles of surprise undies and styles that we sell at cost to our community - for new customers to try out our products or to give our existing customers a sweet deal.
If we end up with studio seconds (these are items not sewn perfectly, or an outlier size but are totally wearable) we donate these pieces to women in need. This includes homeless shelters and safe houses for teenagers and young mothers.
So how does made-to-order differ from made-to-measure?
Made-to-measure is a term more specifically used in the context of clothing and tailoring. It refers to garments that are tailored to fit specific measurements. This style of clothing production refers to customized clothing. This is a much more detailed process and involves custom alterations and measurements. The garment is not only made after the order is placed, but it is also specifically tailored, ensuring a perfect fit. This is something we do not currently offer at Tizz & Tonic.
Although it sounds very appealing to have undergarments that are made to your specific sizes, the amount of labour that would go into this process for underwear would drive the cost up too high and since we work with a lot of very stretchy fabrics it is not as necessary as having lets say a suit, or evening gown made to measure.
Like made-to-order, this also implies a longer waiting period compared to buying ready-made products, as the item is not only produced from scratch but also requires additional time for tailoring and adjustments.
Back to made-to-order….So, why should you choose to support made-to-order garments?
In a rapidly changing fashion market, being able to quickly adapt to new trends or customer preferences is crucial. Made-to-order allows brands like ours to be more agile, because part of our brand mantra is to offer small rotating collections.
By using the made-to-order model it allows us to offer these collections more easily.
Of course, making “to order” affects the timeframe of delivery of the garments. The production and delivery time will be a bit longer since the item is not made until ordered, but we promise it is worth the wait!
As makers, we want to reconnect with the joy of designing by having the time and freedom to be more playful - play after all is one of the core elements of Tizz & Tonic. Made-to-order emphasizes the importance of understanding where and by whom your clothes are made. Made-to-order fashion fosters transparency, trust, and a closer bond between you and your clothing.
As we stride further into 2024, our commitment to made-to-order fashion is a strategic response to the fickle impulses of the fashion world. The approach lets us stay nimble in a fast changing marketplace and is in alignment with our philosophy of dropping wild, limited collections more frequently. We are very excited to start sharing our new colours, prints and designs with you all and want to thank you for being a part of our journey.
Here's to another year of dopamine dressing!