There’s an ever-growing disconnect between producers and consumers because clothes are manufactured overseas. So, as a consumer, you can never be sure of the impacts of your purchase. Are the workers treated well? What kinds of dye are used? Such questions remain a mystery when you buy clothes on the high street.
That’s why I love handcrafted fashion. You can find out where, when and by who products were made. Knowing the story of an item always gives me more confidence. You know where your money is going and by wearing a unique, handcrafted item you’re directly supporting the tailor, seamstress or artist that made it. It’s a fairer way to buy.
Store-bought clothes are designed with a “one-size-fits-all” philosophy. But people’s bodies just aren’t the same. We’ve got different shapes and sizes, which cannot be boxed into an “M” or a “36”. Handcrafted clothes are made with thoughtfulness and precision. You might have to hunt out the garments that fit you, but it’ll last longer, feel better and you’ll always look good.
HANDCRAFTING IS LIKE SUPERPOWER
Handcrafting is a process of learning and developing and finding out new ways of doing things. And it quickly begins to feel like a superpower. You can make anything you want with the right knowledge. I draw objects and elements that touch me on an emotional level and transform them into surface patterns. Each design has a story and from them I create scarves and shawls; to flow off the shoulders or to be tucked around the neck for warmth.
Every day I study and discover how to make new fashion items. As soon as I’ve mastered the ability, I’ll start a garment collection for people that want their purchases to matter. Because through combining skill with high quality and natural fibres, handcrafted products are built to last. For all my materials, I find out as much information as possible so that when I make something, the only impacts are positive.
TOOLS THAT INSPIRE
Seamstresses, tailors and embroiders all need quality tools. When I saw the Ernest Wright Antique Stork, I had an immediate connection and I grabbed my sketchbook and a design flowed out. Who better to support fair fashion than a traditional brand revitalising the handcraft movement? In a disposable age of cheap manufacturing, it’s comforting to know that the scissors I use are made with the care, love and attention to detail that inspire me whenever I start creating.
Teka Moran, surface pattern designer and owner of Ocaelis Studio,
started in Campinas, Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2017.