Christmas jumpers – they’re not usually known for their taste or their enduring appeal. But as an antidote to fast fashion, luxury clothing brand Tom Cridland has created a festive sweatshirt that comes with a guarantee of 30 years. Just think how many Christmas parties and festive dressing up Fridays it will see you through.
“The 30 year guarantee comes from working with our family owned manufacturing team in Portugal and that was the oldest sweatshirt they had in perfect condition,” explains Cridland.
The navy colour and simple design are geared towards it being as fashionable in 2046 as it is in 2016. After buying it, Cridland promises to mend or replace the sweatshirt for up to three decades. This ‘tend and mend’ concept is designed to get more people thinking about owning clothes that last.
“There’s nothing wrong with a lot of clothes but there’s a lot wrong with wearing stuff once and throwing it away ”
It builds on his success of the 30 year sweatshirt that launched last year and the 30 year jacket – the former won him a nomination for a Sustainia award in 2015.
“The concept of the 30 year sweatshirt is engaging the market – people who already buy organic clothing don’t need to be convinced but the people we are aimed at are being converted from fast fashion and hopefully we’re making a difference,” he says.
Ethical fashion for Cridland is not about not buying any clothes but buying items that are suitable for a lifetime.
“There’s nothing wrong with a lot of clothes but there’s a lot wrong with wearing stuff once and throwing it away and clothes ending up in landfills,” says Cridland.
While there’s always more to do, (the sweatshirts use sustainably sourced Italian cotton, but are not organic yet), the small brand is already punching above its weight – his timeless shirts and trousers have been worn by Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Stiller and Daniel Craig.
“Just because a celebrity like a Kardashian wears something it doesn’t make it better”
“It’s such an honour for these guys to wear our clothing but we don’t agree with paying for celebrities to wear our designs," he explains. "Just because a celebrity like a Kardashian wears something it doesn’t make it better. The clothes should standalone and be cool in their own right.”
So what does he think is the way forward for sustainable luxury fashion designers?
“Fast fashion is pretty healthy and there’s not much pressure on the big brands to change,” says Cridland. “But an interesting approach could be for smaller designers to collaborate and teach them about sustainable fashion."
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