What is a Slow Fashion Artisan?
Once you gain an understanding of what Slow Fashion is (reference previous post if needed), a Slow Fashion Artisan, or SFA for short, is the umbrella term the Tailors Union uses to define the workers that are the foundation of this movement. SFAs name themselves as Tailors, Alteration Specialists, Repair Specialists, Menders, Upcyclers, Creative Waste Managers, Bespoke Designers/Tailors, Sewers, Sewists, & Makers.
In the fashion industry, they are known as garment workers. They are the people who make, alter (tailor), upcycle, mend, & repair your clothing.
An American Peculiarity: Since the off-shoring of the majority of the fashion industry happened, it’s common to see modern SFAs doing a bit of everything: designing, making, tailoring, & upcycling. Traditionally, the work was divided; designers would come up with the idea & sketch an image, a pattern maker would create the pattern, & a sewist would sew the garment together. Since the industry has largely dissolved in the states, independent American fashion creatives have dissolved the division of labor, trying every profession on for size, pun intended.
We are careful *not* to use the term seamstress, as it is a sexist term, & denotes a woman stressing over seams. Historically, men were only allowed to tailor (create a pattern from a persons’ body measurements, & fit the garment), & women were only allowed to be “seamstresses,” sewing the work together. This was the division of labor within a workroom, clearly dividing men & women’s work. Now, a tailor can mean anyone who makes, alters, or repairs clothing professionally. Tailoring/ altering are used interchangeably.