For some up and coming designers, the chance to dress Hollywood celebrities can open endless doors for a flourishing fashion career. But British entrepreneur Tom Cridland got more than just a break after creating men’s chinos—his eponymous brand’s specialty—for no less than Academy Award winner Leonardo DiCarpio in 2015.
“Having the opportunity to make some pairs for Leonardo led me to find out more about his work as an environmentalist. It was then that I decided to try to lead an industry trend towards protecting our natural resources by making truly durable clothing,” Cridland wrote in his email to The Manila Times.
The British designer started his career at the age of 18, selling t-shirts and donating all the profits to international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières.
At 23, he founded his label Tom Cridland, specializing solely in creating the perfect pair of trousers. It later earned a mark as vertical luxury menswear brand that specializes in what CNBC describes as “quality over quantity retail.”
In several interviews, Cridland emphasized that retail markups are inefficient and unfair on the customer, who ends up paying higher prices for no reason, so he sells his brand direct to customer online.
Two years after earning the approval of clients including celebrities Hugh Grant, Daniel Craig, Ben Stiller, Robbie Williams, Miley Cyrus, Clint Eastwood and Kendrick Lamar, among others, came Cridland’s intense understanding of environmental issues—prompting him to expand his offering to durable sweatshirts that could last 30 years.
His advocacy did not end there.
Still in his email to The Manila Times, the 26-year old entrepreneur said it was the Christmas season that led him to create his next new line.
“As Christmas approaches, many people go to their closest fast fashion retailer to purchase a cheap, unethically produced Christmas sweaters. But by the end of the month, there is a good chance the same sweater will end up in a landfill to be replaced the next year. This is symbolic of today’s throwaway culture,” Cridland wrote.
He then philosophizes that fashion has now become the second most polluting industry after oil, and that he wants this Christmas to be the year “we as consumers try to be more sustainable in our choices.”
Thus the 30-year Christmas sweatshirt, a season-appropriate variety of Cridland’s 30-year sweatshirt, was born.
“It’s so well made that if anything happens to it over the next three decades, we will repair or replace it for free,” Cridland promised.
At the rate of P62.74 per British pound, the sweatshirt costs P4,078. But he reasons, “In contrast to the needless cycle of consumption and waste that exists all over the world at Christmas, this is a garment built to last.”
Cridland explained that the materials used are 360-grams-per-meter cotton and a small amount of polyester for comfort and mobility. All of the stitching is double reinforced to prevent wear and tear.
“It’s lifespan makes it cheaper than any alternative from an unsustainable fast fashion retailer and it is handcrafted out of Italian cotton, so it will look smarter too,” Cridland finally wrote.
For details, log on to www.tomcridland.com.