Shopping the way our grannies did

A big part of me yearns to live the way my granny did, having my fresh milk delivered at the gate every morning, walking down the road to the local butcher who wraps up my chosen meats in brown paper, choosing loose pieces of juicy fruit from the local green grocer. I love the idea of creating a ritual around every day tasks.

Instead we rush to Woolies and grab a punnet of over-priced (sometimes flavourless) nectarines all wrapped up in plastic and polystyrene. Sigh…

The same applies to fashion consumption.

Imagine slowing down the whole process of purchasing. So instead of walking into ZARA and grabbing a top because it catches your eye, you would make an appointment with your tailor, carefully choose your fabrics together, and then start to craft the design of that item you’re wanting. 

There’s some slow fashion going on right here in Jozi, at a shirtmaker called five8ths at 44 Stanley

I discovered this brand via Instagram and finally got around to meeting owner and founder, Liz, the other day.

“Five-eighths of an inch was a standard measurement used for seam allowances on vintage home sewing patterns. By calling the brand five8ths, we are evoking an era where quality, fit, and craftsmanship were valued by the general consumer, and not relegated to the luxury corner of the market. We reject the fast fashion industry’s values of more, cheaper, and disposable. We see five8ths as part of a growing trend of designers and consumers who want fewer, higher quality, better fitting clothes that are worn more often. Through clothing we hope to, in our small way, make a more stylish, less wasteful world”.

How lovely is that ethos?

I spent such a beautiful, chilled morning at 44 Stanley the other day and got to have a chat with Liz. We took some pics in her studio, if you’d like to see…

When I do wardrobe edits with my clients everyone always has that one collared shirt that they never (or shouldn’t ever!) wear – it’s ill-fitting and looks a bit like a school shirt in stiff fabric, and its just plain boring. A shirt made by Liz and her team would be the opposite of that – beautiful soft fabrics sourced in Italy and Japan, fit specifically to your figure shape, and with subtle details that give it that personal touch. So cool… 

Every single pattern that you see hanging in the studio, is of a client. Each shirt is hand crafted and custom fit to a particular client and it takes a minimum of 15 hours for your personalised shirt to be made. 

Liz said she has ideas on branching into trousers some day which I think would be amazing. Every single one of my clients tells me that they battle to find pants, imagine not having to go through the trauma of trying on umpteen pairs but rather having a style custom fit to you?!

You can contact Liz here if you’d like to find out more about the process.

P.S. I’m not being paid to share this info and I haven’t received anything from the brand, I just love the concept and really wanted to share it with you..

This Article Has 2 Comments
  1. Nicola says:

    Love this blog! I’d also love to live like our grannies did in a far more mindful, slow and conscious way with more ritual and simple routines (there were lots of downsides to that era though too!). I’d love to visit Liz and her show soon!

    • Pippa says:

      Thanks for the feedback Nicola..so glad you feel the same way.. slowing down and being mindful is a constant goal of mine 🙂 Let me know if you get to meet Liz!

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