Meet Thomas Cridland. He wants you to wear a sweatshirt so durable (and eco-friendly), it’ll last you three decades.
According to a recent survey of 1,500 women, one item of clothing only sees an average of seven wears. That’s pretty alarming, considering the environmental cost (a kilogram of cotton requires 20K litres of water) to sustain high fashion.
Cridland wants to change all this with the 30 Year Sweatshirt. The concept is simple: wear high-quality, fashionable clothes that last a long time, save the environment. He’s now doing this with a line of sweatshirts, t-shirts, and jackets that can take a beating.
And if these items manage to get ripped or torn? The company will gladly get it from you and fix it – for free!
We talked to Tom to find out more about his brand and creating sustainable fashion.
What inspired you to create a line of sweatshirts that could last three decades?
“I watched a documentary called the True Cost by my friend, Andrew Morgan. It unraveled the problems with fast fashion. I wanted the Tom Cridland brand to help make sustainable fashion trendy. We’ve made clothing for cool people who are interested in sustainability, such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Neil Young. The 30 Year Collection is a way of making the idea of sustainability in fashion seem more fun and less stuffy.”
How difficult was it to come up with a product that would last a long time? And what were the design and production challenges, knowing you had to make something really durable?
“We had to look back to take our concept of the X Year Sweatshirt, a campaign against fast fashion and for sustainable fashion, forward.
“The 30 Year Guarantee is no gimmick and invokes a bygone era when clothing was made with care. We developed the 30 Year figure with our seamstresses in Portugal who have been making beautiful clothing since 1964. The sweatshirts, t-shirts and jackets are made out of luxury fabric that we source from Biella in Northern Italy, and are now crafted in both Parma, Italy and Serra da Estrela, Portugal.
“Technological advances allowed us to develop a special treatment to protect the garments against shrinking. We’re selling clothing of a quality you might usually find on 5th Avenue or Bond Street direct to consumer without third party retail markups. This allows us to make our clothing truly durable, which protects natural resources, and offer it to consumers at a reasonable price.
“The 30 Year concept is the game changer, however, though our process is second to none. Fast fashion is damaging the environment, putting responsible brands out of business and ripping off consumers. We are fighting the corporations that are treating both clothing and those who make it as disposable by offering consumers something better: should anything happen to your garment in the next 30 Years, we will repair or replace it free of charge.”
Wouldn’t it be hard to run a profitable business knowing you won’t have return customers for at least 30 years?
“We’re a small, independent brand and not driven by corporate greed. We’re free to design further things to keep our customers coming back to but more. We’re not willing to compromise and move towards the destructive fast fashion ethos.
Also, as a business move specifically, The 30 Year Collection has been a resounding success!”
How do you envision your brand to change the fashion industry? And what should we expect next from Tom Cridland?
“Tom Cridland is the sustainable fashion brand for which we are best known and with which we hope to change the course of the fashion industry for consumers across the planet.
“We also work with other independents and start-ups to increase their profile with Tom Cridland Public Relations, and we’ve just founded Tom Cridland Entertainment, with which we’re producing a rock record at Abbey Road, developing a music documentary and working on a music festival for 2017.”