Business

Save
Print
License article

Would you wear a jumper for 30 years? Rag trader Tom Cridland says yes

Call it the anti fast-fashion label.

Twenty-six-year-old Tom Cridland has gained an outsized profile for his eponymous men's fashion label thanks to actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Craig, and savvy self-promotion.

It comes down to an old-fashioned promise: If the clothes fall apart in 30 years, Tom Cridland will replace them free of charge - assuming the customer still wants to wear the sweatshirt, T-shirt or jacket 30 years later, and can still fit into it.

Even the Christmas jumpers have a 30-year guarantee, which could encourage decades of twee festive photos.

While Australians have fallen for fast-fashion - spending more than $600 million at budget chains Uniqlo, Zara and H&M a year - Cridland said the country was one of his boutique brand's top markets, behind its native UK and the US.

"We're planning to come for the first time [to Australia] and promote sustainable fashion towards the end of 2017," he said. There are also plans to launch women's clothes this year.

Advertisement

The Tom Cridland brand - which is owned by Cridland and partner Deb Marx - was born three years ago, thanks to a £6,000 loan. Along the way, it has opened and shut a shop in London, raised tens of thousands of pounds from crowd-funding sites Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and set up a public relations arm which has about 20 clients.

Cridland said the business was generating about £1 million ($1.6 million) in online sales. It does not sell to retailers such as department stores. Its textile workers, such as clothes makers in Portugal, are contractors.

Cridland said the 30-year guarantee helped the brand stand out as high-quality in the competitive field of fashion.

"It was a brilliant way to get an otherwise unknown brand out there," he said. "The guarantee, without being preachy, encourages consumers to want to hang on to something that never goes out of fashion," he said.

It also encourages people to pay £65 ($105) for a jumper on the grounds that on a cost-per-wear basis, it will work out.

The high calibre of the celebrities wearing the brand's clothes was no coincidence, but clever marketing.

"We drew up a wishlist of people who I would love to see wearing my stuff," Cridland said.

"We said, 'we design trousers, would you like some?'" 

Daniel Craig, he said, offered to pay. 

3 comments