30 Mar The Antidote To Fast Fashion
In Spring 2018, SEAL Awards connected with Tom Cridland, founder of a clothing line by the same name.
Tom and his partner Debs transformed a £6,000 loan into a £3 million business, and have made a name for their brand among the sustainable fashion crowd as well as a celebrity A-list seen wearing their classic attire.
TELL US MORE ABOUT THE GENESIS OF YOUR IDEA TO CREATE HIGH-QUALITY, SUSTAINABLE FASHION. DID YOUR TEAM HAVE A BACKGROUND IN FASHION OR CLOTHING DESIGN BEFORE YOU LAUNCHED YOUR COMPANY?
I started the Tom Cridland brand as a University graduate with the simple aim of making the perfect pair of mens chinos. I got granted a small government start-up loan and things got off the ground when we had to opportunity to make our signature chinos for the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Craig.
As I discovered more about the fashion industry, I was horrified by the grave social, economic and environmental consequences of fast fashion. As an entrepreneur, I saw a gap in the market for a cool sustainable fashion brand. So I developed the The 30 Year Collection and made it my mission to try to make sustainability appealing to consumers.
What we offer is a uniquely sustainable ethos that is antidote to the fast fashion that has become so prevalent – we actively encourage to you hold on to your clothing for a lifetime. We make wardrobe staples that never really go out of fashion. The 30 Year Collection is meticulously handcrafted out of Italian cotton, wool and cashmere but will save you money in cost per wear.
IN ADDITION TO YOUR “30-YEAR GUARANTEE” – ARE THERE ANY OTHER ASPECTS OF YOUR CLOTHING OR SUPPLY CHAIN THAT MAKE TOM CRIDLAND A SUSTAINABLE COMPANY?
Our clothing is designed meticulously here in London by Debs and me. As I’m half Portuguese and Debs is half Italian, we wanted to incorporate our mothers’ countries into our production process.
First, cotton, wool and cashmere is sourced in Biella in Northern Italy. Then, the clothing made in both Serra da Estrela in Portugal and Parma in Italy, by world class production teams with over fifty years of experience.
Sustainable clothing brands obviously need to try to fight the fast fashion ethos that has become all to prevalent in the industry. We need to encourage an attitude of buy less and buy better amongst consumers so that we can reduce the huge swathes of clothing and textile waste that are ending up in landfill year after year.
Ensuring all of our employees are treated ethically and paid fairly, taking measures to reduce our carbon footprint and making truly durable clothing to help protect natural resources are examples of ways in which we operate sustainably.
We’re also soon going to be switching to always using only organic cotton and we’re looking into creating a unique model for recycling clothing too.
YOU HAVE QUITE THE “WHO’S WHO” OF CELEBRITIES WEARING YOUR FASHION AND CONTRIBUTING TO YOUR REAL MUSIC INITIATIVE. CAN YOU SHARE A BIT ABOUT YOUR “SECRET SAUCE” TO GETTING ON THEIR RADAR?
We were plucky and we got in contact with the management of figures in the entertainment industry whose art we really admired. If we’re going to make complimentary clothing for someone, we genuinely want to admire their work. There are too many brands out there paying reality TV stars money to promote them on their social media channels. Association with something as vacuous as reality TV would devalue the creativity and artistry that our team has shown in putting together The 30 Year Collection.
TELL US MORE ABOUT REAL MUSIC – WHAT MAKES THIS A CAUSE CLOSE TO YOUR HEART? HOW CAN/DO YOUR CUSTOMERS SUPPORT OR CONTRIBUTE TO THE CAUSE? WHO HAS BEEN HELPED, SO FAR?
The Real Music Collection is a collaboration with Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Sting, Timothy B Schmit, James Hetfield, Robert Plant, Brian May, Eric Clapton, Carole King, Roger Daltrey, Smokey Robinson, Frankie Valli, Stevie Nicks, Mick Hucknall, Hal Blaine, Nigel Olsson, Ringo Starr and Phil Collins. All of these amazing artists appear in the graphic on our Real Music sweatshirts and t-shirts.
100% of profits from the collection are donated to the charity, Help Musicians, who support emerging musicians to develop their talents as well assisting musicians who have retired or have been hit with crisis including long term illness or financial trouble.
It’s a cause that’s really close to my heart because of my own band, The Tomicks, which has just released its first album. The Tomicks project is one of the loves of my life and, if it weren’t for my luck in creating successful businesses, I would not have been able to fund it. I, therefore, want to give back and help others who want to make music but might not have the wherewithal to afford it.
ABOUT TOM CRIDLAND
The Fast Fashion Problem
On average, the apparel industry manufactures 20 pieces of new clothing per person per year. Most of those items have been engineered to appear “cheap” to the consumer – but they come at a massive social and environmental cost. What’s worse, they are poorly made items which will fall apart in months if not years, and may also appear “out of fashion” even faster than that – meaning they will most likely end up in a landfill.
Tom Cridland & The “Slow Fashion” Revolution
By crafting classic pieces made from quality material, using sustainable manufacturing techniques, Tom Cridland sells staples that will remain in your wardrobe for 30 years, not 30 weeks. Although the cost may be higher at the point of sale, when you calculate the “cost per wear” of each item, you will discover that Tom Cridland’s classic approach is easier on your bank account, as well as on the planet.
ABOUT SEAL AWARDS
The SEAL (Sustainability, Environmental Achievement & Leadership) Awards launched in 2017 and is an awards-driven environmental advocacy organization.
Our core beliefs maintain that environmental progress requires leadership, leadership deserves recognition, and recognition is a form of accountability.
The SEAL Awards organizational pillars are our:
- Business Sustainability Awards
- Environmental Journalism Awards
- Lifetime Achievement Awards
- Environmental Research Grants