The 30 Year Collection

Building a sustainable men’s fashion brand

Fashion is among the least environmentally friendly industry, close after oil. This statistic led Tom Cridland, a 25-year-old designer from London, to attempt putting an end to what he calls “planned obsolescence in fashion that causes a needless cycle of consumption and waste.” He founded his eponymous brand at the age of 23 with a £6,000 (approximately 8,020 USD) government start-up loan. “With no further investment, we turned over £250,000 (330K USD) in our first year simply through organic growth. We’ve recently been working with, Deki, a British charity that gives entrepreneurs in the developing world living in abject poverty the opportunity to work on their ideas”, he says.

His brand, which began retailing in January this year from their first ever shop on King’s Road in London, is best known for The 30 Year Sweatshirt. “Our craftsmen and seamstresses have been making clothing since 1964 and still have sweatshirts made in the late 1970s in excellent condition, so our 30 Year Guarantee is no gimmick,” says Cridland. In February he developed the 30 Year Jacket, handmade out of Italian wool and cotton. The jacket boasts eleven features that makes it different, including reinforced elbow and shoulder seams as well as military grade buttons. “This is our campaign against fast fashion in the form of a luxury jumper that is so well made we guarantee it to last for three decades,” says Cridland. “By guaranteeing it to last for three decades, we are trying to encourage people to think about how they consume fashion and to fight the fast fashion retailers that have taken over the world’s high streets and are driving independent brands like ours out of business.”

The brand is committed to revolutionizing international sustainable fashion for men with the 30 Year Collection and other campaigns. The “30 Year” concept is instantly saleable but also has far-reaching benefits according to Tom. For instance, the 30 Year T-shirt is £35 cheaper in terms cost per wear than its fast fashion equivalent of a plain colored tee. The direct-to-customer online delivery also allow the price to be more closely linked to cost. “The customer, therefore, looks better and saves money at the same time. The 30 Year T-Shirt is a sustainable fashion campaign fighting fast fashion, aiming to encourage people to shop sustainably and to lead an industry trend into protecting our natural resources by producing truly durable clothing,” he says.

Tom brought his buy less, buy better philosophy to the United States in March with the brand's official launch from their new base in Los Angeles. He recently announced a collaboration to support entrepreneurs across the world. The Entrepreneur's Shirt is a collaboration with Young Enterprise and DEKI, launching on September 15th on Kickstarter. He is on a mission to get government backing for entrepreneurship, asking them to find better ways to include business education in the school curriculum. It would provide a younger audience with the tools needed to bring their ideas to fruition.

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