Arthur&Henry – Ethical Menswear

Since Arthur&Henry arrived earlier this summer, my outlook on the
direction of ethical menswear has vastly perked up.

I caught up with Clare Lissaman, co-founder of Arthur&Henry, to see
how they were getting on.
It’s been an incredibly busy few months for the team, and Clare tells me
the response to Arthur&Henry’s launch has been fantastic. “We always knew
that there were eco-minded men out there who were desperate for something they
could wear to work or for smart occasions, but we weren’t expecting the
customers who were simply looking for a decent shirt. It’s been brilliant – and
we’ve already had customers returning to order more shirts.”
Arthur&Henry are passionate about organic and Fairtrade cotton. It’s a
socially and environmentally sustainable option for producing their incredible
line of shirts, but it’s not without its difficulties. “It’s quite a challenge
making shirts of this quality in organic and Fairtrade cotton,” Clare says,
“There’s a reason why no-one has done it before!” Rising prices of raw materials
and set against an economy in recession, Arthur&Henry are among the first to
create a beautiful menswear product that is affordable, and accessible.
Getting hold of the quality of yarn they require (“particularly for
Fairtrade cotton”, Clare has observed) has been something they’re continually
working on. “Organic cotton is still a niche fibre, and spinning mills normally
have to blend different cottons – but when they’re working with organic cotton,
the amount of raw materials they’ve got to blend shrinks considerably, driving
up the costs. It is harder, but we believe – and our customers seem to agree –
that it is definitely worth it.”
If you’re interested in the cotton textile industry, and the impacts (both
positive and destructive) of organic and conventional cotton, I recommend you
check out the Soil Association’s Have you cottoned on yet? report
Talking about the future, Arthur&Henry will be launching their winter
collection soon, but adds that – as part of their efforts to be a better kind of
menswear brand, they’ll not adhere to rigid ‘seasonal’ collections. It adds too
much pressure to the factories, and the garment workers are almost always the
victims. “So while we will introduce new fabrics and shirts, we’re not going to
be beholden to a cycle that is good for neither customer nor producer.” This,
for me, is the kind of game-changing thinking the ethical fashion movement
desperately needs.
Arthur&Henry will be appearing in some Christmas fayres, including the
Fair Christmas Fayre, and the Festive Feast Indoor Christmas Market in Stoke
As a special treat for our Ethical Fashion Blogathon followers, use voucher
code ETHICALBLOGATHON to receive £15 off their favourite shirt of the
collection, the Blue Floral Shirt.

Ethical Fashion Blogathon


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