The 10 Year Hoodie: Is my wardrobe programmed to self-destruct?
Flint and Tinder’s recent project on Kickstarter to support their new idea of a hoodie which lasts for 10 years was massively oversubscribed beating their target by over a million dollars. A hoodie that is so well made it is designed to last rather than be thrown away to join all the other discarded clothes in the land fill is something to be applauded.
The important part is in the quality, construction and workmanship of the garments, focussing on the things that most brands and labels cannot afford due to their tight margin targets such as three-end all-weather fleece made by the last standing manufacturer in the US and over-locked safety seams with bar tacks at all stress points and brass hardware. To help meet this challenging 10 year target they offer a mending service so there is no excuse to get rid of it.
After starting off with 30,000 pairs of pants made in America Flint and Tinder have cleverly tapped into a key point for brands facing the ever growing challenge of making affordable clothes while maintaining their margins and making a profit. In recent years the focus has shifted from well produced high quality fabric and high quality production methods to using the cheapest fabric which will achieve the desired look with the minimum viable production methods. It seems that in the pursuit of being on trend we have lowered our expectations so that we are happy that the price allows a throw away attitude, we do not question the £2 T-shirts but simply feel happy that we can throw it out rather than wash it. Alternatively we are happy if our clothes last a couple of seasons before they break or become worn out. Are our wardrobes programmed to self-destruct keeping us locked into the endless cycle of consumption feeding the profit margins of the big guys or is there space out there for the little guys like Flint and Tinder?
We are spending less money on more clothing each year with the idea of throwaway fashion becoming more and more prevalent as money becomes tighter and tighter. The 10 Year Hoodie is a step away from this, concentrating on American production they are making a step towards reinstilling pride in producing quality garments and by selling direct they are able to maintain a commercial price point.
What I like the most about the idea of the 10 Year Hoodie is that it goes against the idea of clothing becoming obselete after a season which is in built in the High Street mentality, it raises the question of quality again as well as value for money. While it is not necessarily a stylish revolution in the making I believe that a change has to start somewhere and where better than the foundations of many a wardrobe: the humble hoody. If this all goes well it seems like there is great potential to tackle a wide range of different garments with this approach.