Why should we accept brands that sell us clothing that is deliberately designed to wear out after just a year or two?
Many big fashion brands make their clothing knowing that it will fall apart, so that their customers will have to return to buy more. It’s called built-in obsolescence, and it creates a cycle of consumption and waste that’s become all too common these days.
This is the story about real sustainable fashion and we are pleased to have some background information directly from Thomas Cridland. Thomas is a drummer like Nigel Olsson who is a Tom Cridland customer.
Hi Thomas, who are you and what do you do at tomcridland?
I am a 24 year old menswear designer and I founded my eponymous brand, Tom Cridland, just over a year ago. I am responsible for all aspects of running our business from designing and producing our clothes, to creating our website, curating our social media channels and marketing our products.
Please tell us more about your #30yeartshirt. Who had this idea?
I had this idea. Major fashion retailers are too often mass producing wardrobe staples like t-shirts systemically to fall apart, so that their customers will often have to return to buy more to replace the clothing that has worn out. This a needless cycle of consumption and waste, and I wanted to take a stand against something that’s driving young designers like me out of business, costing customers more and, most importantly of all, damaging the environment. The 30 Year T-Shirt is a line in the sand and a battle cry for the fight against fast fashion.
How does the silicon-treatment work? Will there be no impact on the feeling on your skin?
The silicon treatment prevents piling and shrinking, and was developed specially by the craftsmen and seamstresses we work with in rural Portugal. It will make no difference to how the t-shirt feels at all, but simply increase its durability.
Did you make a complete LCA (Life cycle analysis) including all components of the product?
We based the 30 Year Guarantee on facts, rather than it simply being a clever marketing gimmick. The craftsmen we partnered with in rural Portugal have been making clothing since 1964 and still have a used t-shirt in pristine condition that was made 34 years ago.
Do you know Robin Cornelius the founder of Switcher and www.respect-code.org?
I was not aware of Robin before this interview. His brand seems like a very commendable venture though.
Would you apply the RespectCode for your products?
I certainly would!
Do you care for the environment?
I care deeply about the environment. We are at a make or break stage with it at this moment in time and it is up to us all to try and do our bit to protect it. It is not just politicians and big corporations who will make all the difference, though it is crucial that they do more. I believe campaigns like The 30 Year T-Shirt, which aims to lead a fashion industry trend to protect natural resources by making truly durable clothing, are also very important.
What is sustainable fashion for you?
Sustainable fashion for me benefits the customer, brands for who making clothing is a true labour of love and, of course, the environment. It does not mean you can’t dress very well or buy lots of clothing. It means what you do buy is made responsibly and is durable so that, even if you don’t want to keep it, it can be recycled to avoid the current waste of our natural resources caused by fast fashion retailers. Even Elton John recycles his wardrobe, so you can certainly indulge in as much retail therapy as you want without harming the environment, provided what you do buy is responsibly made.
Did you ever hug a tree? How was it? (This is the TREEmagazine and this question must be answerd! 😉
I have not hugged a tree yet, but I will consider doing so now that you’ve asked me this question!
The problems with cotton (production conditions and use of pesticides) are very well known. Did you consider other raw-materials for your t-shirt?
I believe making our t-shirts out of organic cotton alleviates these issues and reflects our responsible production values and care for the environment.
You have a kickstarter and indie-gogo -campagne for Sweat-Shirts and t-shirts. Why? Isn’t it very similar?
The two campaigns were always meant to be launched side by side, as many people wish to support our sustainable fashion campaigns whilst picking up a 30 Year T-Shirt or a 30 Year Sweatshirt (or both) that’s lovingly made by hand and guaranteed for three decades.
Which plattform is more useful for your project?
Both Kickstarter and Indiegogo have allowed our sustainable fashion campaigns to reach some incredibly supportive new audiences.
Do you have enough money now for both projects?
We reached our target for The 30 Year Sweatshirt campaign and we are very close to also doing so for The 30 Year T-Shirt. You can support this campaign now, by clicking through to The 30 Year T-Shirt campaign page via tomcridland.co.uk!
When will you be able to deliver these products and where will you sell them?
We are currently working hard on our first production run, having started selling them via tomcridland.co.uk. We will begin delivering at the end of the month.
Do you have already other products in the pipeline? What’s next?
We have just launched The Timeless Chino via tomcridland.co.uk. This is a timeless garment in terms of design and durability, Guaranteed with a Lifetime of free repairs and tailoring.
Thanks a lot for this interview and good luck with the launch of your #30YEARTSHIRT .
Thanks so much for your questions and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any more!