London - Continuing his battle against fast-fashion built-in obsolescence which leds to a vicious cycle of consumption and waste, designer Thomas Cridland has launched what can only be thought of as the sequel to the 30 Year Sweatshirt - the 30 Year T-shirt - a t-shirt so well made that it is guarantee to last 30 years and built to last a lifetime.
"Both the 30 Year Sweatshirt and T-shirt were originally planned at the same time," explains Cridland to FashionUnited. He aimed to launch the t-shirt crowdfunding campaign once the sweatshirt campaign has reach its target goal of 50,000 pounds, which successfully was met on July 15. "Although I never considered that I would not reach the target for the 30 Year Sweatshirt, even if it was extremely ambitious," he adds with a laugh. "It was a great feeling hitting the target for the 30 Year Sweatshirt. But it was a little nerve wracking as well, seeing as we just reached the milestone. Honestly I am a bit disappointed that we did not exceed our target of 50,000 pounds by much after all the media attention we received, but I am still very pleased to have reached our goal."
'The 30 Year T-Shirt is so well made that we guarantee it for 30 Years'
To kick off the 30 Year T-shirt crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, Cridland created a new short film which several media quotes from his 30 Year Sweatshirt campaign on Kickstarter. His decision to launch his second crowdfunding campaign on a different platform was mainly driven by his willingness to have a new experience. "Although some of our loyal backers were a bit disappointed that we made the switch to Indiegogo, so I think in the future we will launch any other campaigns on Kickstarters." Available in a uni-sex classic crew neck fit, the 30 Year t-shirt available in 5 colors for the wholesale price of 25 pounds.
Cridland aims to raise 2,000 pounds within the next 20 days to begin the production run of the t-shirts and so far has received 576 pounds worth of pledges. The wholesale for the t-shirt also includes free shipping to the UK and US, which means that similarly to the 30 Year Sweatshirt Cridland and his team of 4 will unlikely make a huge profit on the t-shirt if they reach their target for minimum order. "We don’t care though. This is a creative project and a labour of love." Cridland will also offer shipping with the European Union for an additional 15 pounds and International shipping for an extra 20 pounds.
"I am a bit less ambitious with the 30 Year T-shirt than the Sweatshirt, hence the lower target goal." Cridland adds that thanks to the success of the sweatshirt and their relationship with their current Portuguese factories allowed him to both lower the prices and order number for the t-shirts. "It is also an easier and simpler process to make the t-shirts compared to the sweatshirts." The organic cotton yarn for the t-shirts underwent similar tests that the material for the sweatshirts underwent and is processed in a similar way, which are both crafted to last a lifetime. However if the t-shirt rips or tears over the next 30 years, customers can send it back for repairs free of charge.
The young designer's decision to use the classic crew neck cut for the t-shirt design because it has remained a classic fit that has withstood the test of time, but he notes that he has also received requests for v-neck t-shirts and sweatshirts as well. "We do our best to accommodate all of our customers needs. One customer who placed a pre-order for a sweatshirt asked for a grey one with a navy logo, others asked for the sleeves to be a one centimeter longer. Seeing as we just began producing the sweatshirt and do not have them waiting on backorder we are able to do these things for our customers."
In terms of his design aesthetic, Cridland says he leans towards a more minimalistic and conservative, classical approach even though he himself enjoys playing with colors and edges on the side of eccentric and wacky at times. "We try to develop the colors for the t-shirts so they are unique using as number of shades, as well by designing customized logos for each shade to make it feel like every t-shirt is unique. I personally love little details like that, over big loud prints or pattern on t-shirts which can be fun for a season or two but then get boring."
The 30 Year T-Shirt aims to start the trend towards more durable fashion>
But at the end of the day it all goes back to Cridland passion for sustainable fashion and a return to the olden days, when people looked after the clothing they had and wore it until it needed to be replaced. "Do people want to keep returning to the high street and paying ten pounds for a basic white t-shirt every year, or would they rather spend 25 pounds on a t-shirt once every 30 years?"
So what comes next after the 30 Year T-shirt? The young designer has his sights set on another fashionable project, this time falling below the waist. "The next project I am working on is a range of shoes for men. I hope to launch a comprehensive collection of footwear for men, consistently of basic styles I think every man should have in his wardrobe, such as brogues, penny loafers and chelsea boots." The shoes will also be manufactured in Portugal, as Cridland, who is half Portuguese himself, believes some of the world's best footwear manufacturers can be found in the country.
"The 30 Year Sweatshirt and T-shirt however do remain my number one priority and focus at the moment," he stresses. Eventually Cridland hopes to slowly expand his range to include more products but for now is satisfied to do each product launch separately to ensure it receives the impact it deserves. "The shoes for example will be a separate launch from the 30 Year Sweatshirt and t-shirt. Of course I plan to produce them ethically and sustainably, but that will not necessarily be the main ethos of the collection. I don't see myself launching 30 Year everything."