Durable clothes, look out fast fashion!

As leading fashion brands continue their creative battles against textile waste — check out recent innovations by Levi Strauss, H&M and Adidas. These purposeful startups are looking to stop fast fashion in its tracks by building longevity and emotional durability into their apparel. UK designer Tom Cridland is creating waves, not least among celebrities, with his self-branded 30 Year Sweatshirt. These are premium and durable clothes that will keep you from buying cheap fast fashion.

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Guaranteeing not just sweatshirts, but t-shirts and jackets, for three decades is an unusual approach in an industry that prides itself on rapid response to ever-changing styles and trends. 

Since the brand launched in 2014 it has sold more than 7,000 sweatshirts, worn by customers across six continents. The 25-year-old designer founded his company with a £6,000 ($9,000) government loan six months after he graduated from University of Bristol in England, where he majored in French and Portuguese. He started with chino pants, which were intended to be the company’s signature item, and then launched “The 30 Year Sweatshirt,” which the company guarantees will last 30 years. How does he make sure that it actually will last for 30 years? It starts with the quality of the material. He uses 360-grams-per-meter cotton and adds a small amount of polyester to ensure comfort and mobility. The double reinforced stitching prevents deterioration.

The philosophy behind the Tom Cridland brand is reminiscent of Patagonia’s ethos of buy less, but buy better. And Tom Cridland feels he can influence those consumer groups who buy most into fast fashion.“A white t-shirt, after all, will always be a white t-shirt,” he said in a recent interview. “I just want to invoke a bygone era when clothing was more often made with exquisite care and offer it at a reasonable price point.” 

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The philosophy behind the Tom Cridland brand is reminiscent of Patagonia’s ethos of buy less, but buy better. And Tom Cridland feels he can influence those consumer groups who buy most into fast fashion. “It’s interesting that we’re offering a 30-year guarantee so people get drawn in to find out more,” he asserts. “When they read more, they will engage with sustainability issues and hopefully be influenced to change their shopping habits.” Building in the level of functionality required to ensure that each item lasts has taken the company to Portugal and Italy, where it is working with various seamstresses to handcraft luxury clothing.

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The 30 Year Sweatshirt comes in nine cheerful colors: Chilli Red, Classic Navy, Dove White, Electric Blue, Green Goblin, Grey Seal, Seville Orange, Sherbet Lemon and Sunset Bluelevard (it’s actually turquoise). At the moment, the collection is limited to men’s sweatshirts, T-shirts, jackets and trousers but Cridland is planning to expand into women’s clothes and add more varieties as well as “limited editions.” Also if anything should happen to your garment within the next 30 years they’ll replace it or repair it for free including the postage.

This earnest and eco-conscious approach to clothing production which is the world’s second least environmentally friendly industry (after oil), has earned popularity among celebrities. Apart from Ben Stiller and Daniel Craig, his designs have been seen on Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Grant, Jeremy Piven, Rod Stewart, Frankie Valli, among others. He also custom designed a jacket for Nigel Olsson — Elton John’s drummer for over 45 years — for Elton’s Wonderful Crazy Night Tour in Los Angeles.

So knowing Father’s Day is just around the corner, maybe one of Tom Cridland’s brand clothes should be on your list of things to give as one of your gifts. Regardless of the season a sweater is something everyone has in their closet for those chilly fall nights, or even when your camping and need that sweater to keep you warm, and if a sweater isn’t on your list there’s tons of other article of clothing that might just be the perfect gift for your father or even your kids father, and its ethically and sustainable, for clothing that sounds like the perfect gift for any guy.

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