By Fykaa Caan : Hollywood London Magazine Lifestyle and Current Affairs Editor
Tom and Debbie
Tom Cridland is the worlds number 1 sustainable fashion brand, with customers on every continent offering clothing that is truly built to last and will save you money in cost per wear. Tom, kindly took some time out of his busy schedule and had a chat with us about his Inspirational journey.
What is the background of the fashion brand?
I started the business with my girlfriend and business partner Debs when we graduated from University. The idea was to have a brand specialising in men’s trousers (men’s chinos) and in order to fund that I took out a government start-up loan of £6,000. We got the brand off the ground and became more passionate about the fashion industry and pivoted to become a sustainable fashion brand; starting with the 30-year sweatshirt project which turned in to the 30-year collection. We are now a sustainable fashion brand and have been for the last few years.
What other projects are you involved in?
In order to help us scale the business, 2 years ago we started a sister business called Tom Cridland public relations. Where we work on PR and marketing for other businesses, often businesses that are either making durable long lasting clothing or with a sustainable edge. We also have a rock and roll band called the ‘Tomicks’ which is managed by our music agency, Tom Cridland entertainment. Things are busy working on these projects, but of course, it all started with the fashion brand, Tom Cridland and that is something that we are growing and loving every minute of.
You have become a global sustainable fashion brand and name– how does that make you feel when you look back at where you started from?
It makes me feel great when I look back on where we came from and I like the idea of how we created something from nothing almost. My parents invested in my education, I’m pretty open about that. I kind of feel that it’s the least that I can do, to make something of myself. I definitely don’t ever get much of the chance to be too conceited as my friends and family wouldn’t let me. I’m always thinking of the next thing that I want to do and do think that this process has been really nice and feel grateful for the luck that I’ve had.
Leonardo DiCaprio owns a pair of Tom Cridland chinos
You have an amazing celebrity following– tell me a little bit more about how that happened?
When we were initially making the trousers, that was our entire focus for the business. I realised that we need an edge and we need a reason why people want to buy these trousers beyond the fact that we are trying to make the perfect pair of chinos. So… I thought it would be great to have some figures from the entertainment industry associated with our brand. I drew up a shortlist of some actors and musicians whose work I admired and offered them a complimentary pair of trousers. It was as simple as that really. I had a realistic attitude, did my research and sent a short email. I kept it simple and felt that sometimes if you do things without overthinking it is the best way.
Your life and fashion journey are an inspiration– what advice would you give to others that have the same dreams and ambitions?
I’d say that my number 1 advice to anyone is to don’t ever deal with anyone who thinks that they are too big for you or too important to give you advice and time. Also, don’t ever make yourself feel bad, question your vision based on someone who may undermine it because they don’t understand it, or are skeptical. Always focus on making sure you have enough self-belief as that is crucial. It can be difficult and the whole aspect of doing anything entrepreneurial or artistic which is not explored often is the mental health side, as it can be a really tough process for people trying to do something a bit different.
What are the plans for Tom Cridland’s future?
We are going to be launching women’s wear, which has been a long time coming. It will start off with the 30-year sweatshirts, 30-year t-shirts and some Tom Cridland trousers all cut for women due to popular demand. We will also be releasing the half-century jean next year. The half-century jeans are unique as they come with a 50-year guarantee. They are developed in conjunction with Japanese fabric suppliers and our original Portuguese supplier for both men and women which I’m really excited about.
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