Would you buy a t-shirt that will last you until 2046?

Meet the London designer behind an ingenious new ethical brand

30 Year T-Shirt
30 Year T-Shirt

Meet the London designer behind an ingenious new ethical brand

Durable, hard-working basics are the unicorns of the high street. And A-listers love them too (just click through the gallery above for some outfit inspiration based on a simple t-shirt). That one loose cotton t-shirt you can throw on with jeans and feel comfy but polished in, your go-to shirt that fits like a glove, and that fine-knit jumper that sees you through the working week right into your Sunday brunch. The day these beloved pieces reach their ultimate demise is very grey indeed, and there is nothing more frustrating than demoting your best basics to pyjamas or fake tan tops, then trying to replace their slouchy perfection.

A recent study of 1,500 young women commissioned by Barnardo's revealed that just seven wears is the average number for each item of clothing bought. While most of us can testify to wearing certain items of clothing a lot more than that, would you wear something for three decades?

Hilary Ronda works a plain breton striped tee with denim cut offs

Enter Tom Cridland, a British designer and entrepreneur who has created the 30 Year Collection, a sustainable fashion project in the form of luxury cotton crewneck jumpers, t-shirts and jackets backed up with a 30 year guarantee.

The Londoner explained to Reuters that his eponymous collection, launched last summer, is made by Portuguese artisans using old-fashioned craftsmanship and a unique silicon treatment which, when applied to fabric, prevents shrinking. The sweaters priced at £65 and t-shirts at £35, make for a pretty outstanding price-per-wear comparision.

The idea first came to Tom when he visited the Portuguese seamtresses and craftsmen and asked them to show him ‘the oldest sweatshirt you guys have ever made'. They showed him a sweatshirt from the late 1970s which was still in perfect condition. Amazed, Tom was inspired to bring this sustainability to the mass market.

Olivia Palermo recently wore a simple white tee with a cool split-skirt

‘In terms of technology, what they weren't able to do in the 70s is treat it against things like shrinking and pilling, which we've done with the unique silicon treatment that they've developed there,’ Tom explained.

We're huge fans of ethical fashion here at Marie Claire and say 'bravo!' to Tom and his long-serving wares.

His 'buy less, buy better' philosophy has attracted a celebrity following from Miley Cyrus and Kendrick Lemar, to Leonardo Di Caprio and Stephen Fry. Would you invest in a 30 Year top? Tweet us @marieclaireuk

The leading destination for fashion, beauty, shopping and finger-on-the-pulse views on the latest issues. Marie Claire's travel content helps you delight in discovering new destinations around the globe, offering a unique – and sometimes unchartered – travel experience. From new hotel openings to the destinations tipped to take over our travel calendars, this iconic name has it covered.