MADE TO LAST
Cridland, whose eponymous trousers, launched in 2014, have been spotted on celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Craig, wants to harken back to the days when “impeccably made clothing could be worn again and again, even handed down generations,” he says.
As a starting point, a sweatshirt made the most sense. “I chose a sweatshirt as the garment to make this cry for sustainability as it is a wardrobe staple, is unlikely to go ‘out of fashion,’ and is exactly the type of clothing that would actually be useful to have for a lifetime,” Cridland says.
The designer is now seeking about $77,000 on Kickstarter so he can begin production in Portugal using heavyweight organic cotton and double-reinforced stitching. Some of the seamstresses in his employ have more than 50 years experience in handmade garment construction, he adds.
Other longevity-promoting features include an old-school “loopback” knitting technique using triple-stranded yarn, pill-resistant ringspun fibers, and a silicone pre-treatment that prevents shrinkage in the wash.
Cridland insists that the sweater, which comes in five colors and eight sizes, isn’t a gimmick. While not exactly cheap, at least compared with the likes of Walmart, the pre-order price of £55 ($85) isn’t a huge financial risk to his class of clientele, either.
Still, profit is the least of his priorities.
“I hope The 30-Year Sweatshirt will encourage major retailers to think about where the clothing they sell is made, are the materials environmentally friendly, are the working conditions for those who make it fair, and it’s well-made enough to warrant its price tag,” Cridland says. “It has certainly succeeded among consumers in raising awareness of these issues and I’ve been overwhelmed with the goodwill that the project has been shown.”
The campaign ends on July 15.