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Sustainable Fashion With ARGYS Tailoring & Alterations

by Rebecca Veksler on January 10, 2022

Argys Tailoring & Alteration services was established in 1960 with one mission: to bring reliable, high quality alterations to Sydney. Our passion for excellence is what inspired us to expand from alterations into made to measure and bespoke suiting. And more recently to cater to women's needs as well. We want everyone to feel the confidence tailored clothes provide because "like a diet, clothes should be tailored to you!" Argys specialises in high-end clothing alterations, servicing industry icons including Acne, Hugo Boss, Saint Laurent & more. A family-owned and operated business for three generations, Argys is Sydney’s premium alterations and tailoring service.

1. Tell us about ARGYS Tailoring & Alterations Sustainable Fashion - What is your mission!
To make mending mainstream! Mending has become a lost art of the generations that have gone before us. The grandmothers who would keep a tin full of buttons, needles and threads stuffed at the top of their linen closets. Or maybe a small hobby machine in the garage. This generation were thrifty and valued their clothes. So when tears or holes appeared they took the time to sit and mend them. Nowadays we see a hole and our first instinct is to toss or maybe use it as a rag to clean the windows before it makes its final destination to landfill. 
 

Between the overflow of cheap clothes on the market, busy schedules, and a lack of sewing education, mending has become a lost art. A lost art that has the power to slow down consumption and make clothes last longer. As Orsola De Castro writes in "Loved Clothes Last" the most sustainable garment is the one already in your wardrobe." Did you know that extending the life of clothes by just nine extra months reduces our carbon, water and waste footprints by up to 30%! We aim to make mending the next radical movement in sustainable fashion.

2. Tell us about the business, why is it so special?
Argys holds a very special place in my heart as it was first opened by my grandfather on Devonshire St Surry Hills in 1960. My grandmother was the seamstress and my father recalls the neighbours banging on the walls as my grandmother would take alterations home and sew late into the night.  As well as holding rich family ties I am also very conscious that tailoring is fast becoming a lost art that is sadly undervalued by many. Nowadays a dry cleaner might mark your pants and have someone there who can cuff them. But give a tailor a suit that's a tad too big and he can do amazing things. Argy's is very lucky to have some of the most skilled master tailors in Sydney. We value their knowledge and want to make sure it is shared so currently we have two UTS students on board training with our master tailors to help keep the trade alive. 
3. What are some of ARGYS Tailoring & Alterations Sustainable Fashion core values
Argys Tailoring and Alterations core values are to promote the slow fashion movement and make mending mainstream. We believe that great fitting clothes have the power to uplift the wearing, giving them the ability to walk into any room with confidence. When you feel comfortable in your clothes you naturally walk with your head high and you feel good! Everyone deserves to feel comfortable and confident in the clothes they wear no matter their shape or size.  We believe incorporating alterations into the routine of buying new clothes can help mitigate the body insecurities that come with fashion's chaotic sizing systems and dissatisfactory clothing fit. Never underestimate the power of a good outfit on a bad day!
4. Tell us your biggest learning when it comes to running your business and environment/sustainability?
My biggest lesson when it comes to running my business and sustainability is not to expect perfection from the get go. It took a while for me to realise how debilitating my perfectionism was to growth in my business. It slowed me down because I was too scared to make mistakes. I have had to learn that we are not going to get "green credentials" overnight but if we start implementing things today that we can build upon tomorrow that's the best path to be on. A sustainably focussed business doesn't happen overnight, it is built upon over time. 
5. How do you implement sustainability into your daily practise, what makes you a solmate?
I believe it's just about starting and doing small things often. I find people get overwhelmed (myself included) in the race to slow the destruction of our planet earth. I saw a meme recently that read "It's only one cheap t-shirt, said 8 billion people." Instead of letting that get me down I began to think about it conversely. What if 8 billion people said no to the takeaway coffee cups once a week. We have power in numbers, we don't have to get it right 100% of the time as long as we are all taking small steps often. And so I don't beat myself up if I don't get it right on a day in day out basis. One day I might be an eco warrior and an eco civilian the next and that's okay. Some small steps I take are recycling my soft plastics through the Recycle Smart App, using stainless steel containers for my daughters snacks and repairing or upcycling my clothes.