My hunt for artfully draped, luxurious t-shirts has been arduous. It would appear that procuring a soft garment with a relaxed fitting but not unflattering silhouette is harder to come by than a table for four at Sexy Fish on a Friday night. The only brands that have delivered said criteria in my entire 26 years of living are LnA, Rotten Roach and, my casual wear obsession du jour, We Are COLLECTIVE.
Buttery soft tanks, smart linen separates and a smattering of ethically sourced cashmere in flattering natural tones are some of the stand out pieces I love and wear daily. It’s not just the formidable tailoring I admire – the COLLECTIVE began with the steadfast belief that business doesn’t always need to be selfish. The company works with local communities across the world to ensure they’re bettering the lives of both the creators and the consumers. Their jersey is sourced in Tanzania where they work closely with small farming communities, providing them with the necessary organic inputs, training and buying guarantees to help support local farmers. Other communities involved are a woman’s collective in Kathmandu and a community of nomadic shepherds in La Paz, Bolivia.
With all of the fast fashion made so readily available to consumers in the West, it’s easy to forget or ignore the hands that put clothes on your back. Do you know how a dress that costs £5 is made possible? Unsafe factories and practises, child labour and sweat-shop like conditions in India, Cambodia and Bangladesh are just the beginning. In addition to the shocking treatment of workers, the impact on the environment is also significant – for instance cotton production soaks up 11-12% of pesticides per year. These chemicals are damaging to both the people who work with them and the millions of acres of land the cotton is grown and cultivated on. So next time you’re trying to justify the £100 of Zara you don’t need – remember your impact on the lives of strangers.
Style Notes: I enjoy pairing my skinny biker jeans with the boat neck linen shirt and I find the drape back tank looks smashing with a high-waisted skirt. The star of the show here for me really is the fit – very boyfriends-shirt-on-a-Sunday-morning without erring into harassed-mother-of-four territory – and the best part is you can achieve heights of casual chic-dom whilst simultaneously showing your support for the practises and traditions of highly skilled artisans worldwide.
Get yours here:
(All images via: wearecollective.com)