He’s only 25 and has made clothes for the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Hugh Grant, Stephen Fry, Daniel Craig, Ben Stiller, Robbie Williams and Frankie Valli (to name just a few). Now British designer Tom Cridland has opened his first store in the heart of London’s Chelsea, selling stylish long-lasting menswear.
We think that’s fantastic. Why? Because it proves that there’s space in the fashion industry for self-made young entrepreneurs like Tom and for his belief in sustainability.
And what could be more environmentally conscientious than a jumper that lasts until 2046? Cridland is so confident of the quality of his luxury sweatshirts and t-shirts – part of his ’30 year collection’ – that he’s guaranteed they will last three decades. Given their durability, it’s lucky these pieces are timeless in style: simple, fitted and good value (£60 for a sweatshirt and £35 for a t-shirt).
The numbers speak clearly for themselves. It all began in 2014 with a start-up loan of just £6,000. By the end of Cridland’s first year of trading, and with no further investment, the business had turned over £250,000.
I asked Cridland what is his recipe for success. Organic growth, he replied. That and sustainability, which has always been integral to his brand. “Fashion is the world’s second least environmentally friendly industry after oil,” he says. “With our 30-year sweatshirts and t-shirts we use a combination of technology, premium fabrics and old school craftmanship to ensure they last a lifetime (or 30 years at least).”
It’s all about producing seriously good quality clothing that’s sold directly to the customer. Now Cridland hopes to provide a similar service via the world of public relations after being “virtually bankrupted” by the expense of PR costs when he was starting out in fashion. What’s next, we wonder? How far is the Cridland empire going to extend? We don’t know, obviously, but we’re excited to find out.