It never really crossed my mind that a T-shirt could be made to fit you perfectly. Maybe this was because I was used to buying mine from places like Glassons and Kmart, or perhaps it was because I had admitted defeat with the fact that my boob-waist-hip ratio is very unlike most people and therefore nothing ever fit me perfectly.
Like most great brands I find, Instagram seems to be at play and Citizen Wolf is no exception to the rule. A few months back, trolling through many a story I came across Citizen Wolf via the one and only Faye Delanty (I was lucky enough to do an interview with her which you can check out here) and since then my love affair with Citizen Wolf was born.
Citizen Wolf begins with your ordinary T-shirt, and creates an ethically and sustainably made shirt that is tailored to your own body. Their philosophy is all about buying better by buying less, which means you get a product you are 100% happy with and you are saving the environment at the same time by not using up resources you don’t need.
For Citizen Wolf, Ethical is mandatory with all of their mills, seamstresses and resources being audited, paid above average piece rates and certified cruelty-free. Sustainability is also a non-negotiable, meaning that the utilise deadstock fabrics where they can, they are on their way to becoming a zero-waste company AND they preshrink every T-shirt so that they can guarantee that they are stable in the wash.
Citizen Wolf is a purchase that you intentionally buy because it fills a need in your world. As it’s a custom tee it takes up to 14 days for the shirt to be delivered to you -a brand that epitomises slow fashion in the right way in my opinion, yet the anticipation to finally own a shirt that fits you in all the right places is definitely worth the wait I promise you.
Behind the Brand:
An interview with Eric Phu, the founder of Citizen Wolf.
What made you start Citizen Wolf?
Citizen Wolf started with a very simple idea: what if clothes were made to fit you, and not the other way around? We’re seven billion different body shapes, so how on earth are we expected to fit neatly into S / M / L sizing? Especially when brands can’t even agree on what a “medium” is (don’t even get us started on vanity sizing!).
Now, if I want suiting or bridal, tailoring has existed for millennia and I can solve that problem by throwing cash at it. But what about the clothes I wear 90% of my life? No one seemed interested in solving this problem, so we decided to have a crack at it.
What has been the most challenging thing you have uncovered since beginning?
It’s been almost fifty years since man landed on the moon, so as outsiders, we thought surely someone has solved the problem of fit by now?! Instead, we found an industry addicted to Fast Fashion and incredibly wasteful mass production. Did you know that out of the 80 billion garments churned out of sweatshops every year: 20% will end up in landfill without having been sold, and another 30% thrown out after just being worn once? That’s 40 BILLION garments not needing to be made. Every. Year.
Rather than contributing to this insanity, Citizen Wolf is built from the ground up to create clothes locally on demand, ethically and with zero waste – starting with the humble T-shirt. But that meant going against the grain every step of the way and convincing everyone from suppliers to seamstresses to customers to give up decades of ingrained behaviors and attitudes. As a tiny start-up, it’s a huge uphill mountain to climb!!
Where is your fabric sourced to make these t-shirts?
We make all our tee’s in Sydney using fabrics sourced from Australian mills. We also scour factories around the world for premium quality deadstock (great fabrics that were over-produced and would end up unused in landfill) for our limited edition collections. We’re particularly excited by our upcoming range, including organic cotton that’s 100% Australian from seed-to-stitch, as well as our first CW custom knit fabrics.
One book everyone should read? why?
“Wardrobe Crisis” by Clare Press. It’s essential reading for everyone to rethink their relationship with the clothes they wear everyday.
Are there any other Movers & Shakers out there in your world that you think people should know about?
Mel Tually. Not only has she built successful fashion brands, but she tireless volunteers her time to promote ethical and sustainable fashion by leading Fashion Revolution here in Australia. It’s incredibly talented and selfless people like her that gives a voice to the voiceless in an industry rife with exploitation.