THE BLOG

How Making Chinos for Leonardo DiCaprio Inspired Me to Design a 30 Year Sweatshirt

29/11/2015 18:50 GMT | Updated 29/11/2016 10:12 GMT

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Through running my menswear brand, Tom Cridland, as well as my public relations agency, I've had the chance to work with some truly inspiring people. With our agency, I work with some of the most talented designers and resourceful entrepreneurs I've ever encountered. I've had the honour of making Tom Cridland clothing for Ben Stiller, Hugh Grant, Rod Stewart and Daniel Craig. I've even met my music hero, the drummer Nigel Olsson, who has been playing with Elton John since 1969.

In Spring this year, however, I had the opportunity to make some trousers for Leonardo DiCaprio, which turned out to be the a turning point for the Tom Cridland brand and for me personally as a designer. DiCaprio was already my favourite actor, as confirmed by amazing recent performances in Django Unchained and The Wolf of Wall Street, and a huge Hollywood name. I knew very little, however, about the amount he gives back and the good he does alongside being the world's biggest film star.

In 1998, he created the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation to support organizations and initiatives dedicated to securing a sustainable future for our planet. Since that time, he has built longstanding relationships with some of the great leaders and thinkers on the planet, staying continually engaged and active on the most pressing issues we face - climate change, access to clean water, protecting biodiversity, oceans conservation and disaster relief.

Through his foundation, Leonardo has produced a number of media projects that communicate the urgency of the issues to the public, including two short web films Water Planet and Global Warning, which have been viewed by people around the world. He dedicated half of his website to environmental news and content and is now building his social media channels in an effort to reach the public more directly.

In 2007 (after four years of development), he released his first feature length documentary, The 11th Hour, a hard hitting and inspiring film that features over 50 of the world's leading experts on environmental issues and the exciting solutions that can save our planet and humanity.

This inspired me to make the next product the Tom Cridland brand released a sustainable fashion project. The 30 Year Sweatshirt is my cry to end fast fashion, which is unfair on customers who end up paying more for their wardrobe staples in the long run, genuine designers for whom making clothing is a labour of love and the environment.

The sweatshirt itself is guaranteed for 30 years and built to last a lifetime, but the purpose of it is to highlight the pros of sustainable fashion. We are leading an industry trend towards protecting our natural resources by making truly durable clothing. The project is also supporting entrepreneurs in developing countries work their way out of poverty in collaboration with DEKI.ORG.UK, by donating 10% the profits from every 30 Year Sweatshirt sold to the charity.

To watch a short video that explains more or pick up a 30 Year Sweatshirt of your own, head to this link on Indiegogo.com.