02 August 2012

Tailored Shirts With Fairtrade Values

Written by Published in Fashion

With their beautiful collection of ethically made, organic cotton shirts, Arthur & Henry are a pioneering fairtrade fashion brand for men. Sublime catches up with Clare Lissaman, co-founder and self proclaimed ‘Chief Herder’ of this forward thinking company, who recently visited us, duly armed with samples of their recent collection

Having studied Chinese at Oxford (she confesses to have been particularly gifted at 8th century ancient literature) one may wonder how Lissaman’s interest in ethical trade and fashion burgeoned. We briefly chronicle the junctures of her mission, which are based on the belief that countries could and indeed, shou ld, trade themselves out of poverty.

Along the way Lissaman has been led onto various paths including teaching English at a textile institute, fronting the Ethical Fashion Forum and directing Rugmark, a monitoring scheme to combat the use of child labour in the production of rugs in countries such as India and Nepal.

It wasn't until the 2009 World Congress on Organic Cotton in Interlaken, Switzerland, however, after the realisation that male attendees were not able to support ethical menswear, which brought about the birth of Arthur & Henry’s. Whilst other labels may boast one or two organic garments, Arthur & Henry have plugged the gap in menswear apparel with a full collection of organic shirts. Unfortunately, ethical fashion accounts for only 1% of the overall apparel market, fuelling only a small group of people but Arthur & Henry contests this trend by emphasizing the commercial elements of their shirts, which are consciously finished as worthy shirts. That is to say, people want to buy them regardless of whether they’re organic cotton or not!

Their success is evident in the exquisite tailoring, which has not been compromised by its environmentally-friendly production methods. Arthur & Henry shirts are elegantly stitched and made from high-quality fabrics, ranging in design from classic herringbones to plaids and florals. They are also accompanied by hand knotted cufflinks made by, in the spirit of ethical fashion, women homemakers in China. Similarly, their factory facilities are held to high standards and audited against stringent labour standard codes.

Arthur and Henry's values are simple.....do less harm, do more good.

And with a mantra like that, they are sure to inspire a new wave of ethical brands that have the ability to change the face of fashion as we currently know it.

Prices range from £65 to £85 and are available exclusively at www.arthurandhenry.com

Arthur & Henry are currently looking for partners and collaborators.


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