Citizen Wolf is built on the simple idea that the clothes you wear every day can and should be custom made just for you. You may have seen the brand in Vogue Australia’s sustainability issue earlier this year, guest edited by Emma Watson, and there’s a good reason this brand is making waves in the industry.
Calling themselves a fashion tech company, founders Eric Phu and Zoltan Csaki spent two years rebuilding the UX of tailoring to make it simple, fast and accessible. Their model allows customers to utilise their ‘Magic Fit’ tech, by putting in their height, weight, date of birth and bra (for women) to create a mathemagical model of your body and produce a Tee tailored to your measurements with 95 percent accuracy in the fabric in the eco-friendly fabric of your choice. The Tee is then laser cut and sewn in Sydney at their own micro-factory and any textile waste is reused.
“At our core, we’re a tech company with the ambition to change how clothing is made. Did you know that out of all the garments churned out of sweatshops every year 30 percent will end up in landfill without having been sold and another 30 percent thrown out after just being worn once? That’s 50 billion garments not needing to be made. Every. Single. Year.
“It’s an environmental emergency and we all have a moral obligation to stop the insanity. Citizen Wolf, by contrast, is built from the ground up to create clothes locally on demand, ethically and with zero waste. Our mission is to reboot our relationship with clothes away from disposability and we do this by making you the creator of the clothes you wear every day. Because when you create, you love, rather than merely consume. And when you love something you repair it rather than rush to replace, which coincidentally is also the easiest way to reduce our collective environmental footprint. Everyone wins.”
EWP: Tell us about the person behind the Tee, who is making these Tees?
Citizen Wolf: We have two amazing ladies that make our Tees. The first is Annie who cuts each and every Tee to your spec and is absolutely fanatical about quality. The second is “Aunty” Bleh Wah who sews the Tee to completion and joined us via The Social Outfit, an awesome charity based in Sydney that helps refugees settle in Australia and find work by training them in garment production.
EWP: How receptive has the Australian culture been to your business model?
CW: We’re outsiders to the fashion industry but are humbled and grateful for all the support we’ve had, both from the media but especially from our customers. It’s seeing things through a fresh lens that what’s “normal” for the industry seemed like utter insanity to us from an environmental perspective. It’s reassuring to know that we’re not the only ones who think it’s crazy!
It’s still early days, but we’ve had extremely encouraging results so far. In the two years since opening our first store, we’ve made thousands of individually Tailored T-shirts, have hundreds of five-star reviews, and were nominated for Best Ethical Fashion Brand at the 2017 Prix de Marie Claire Awards. We’ve also had amazing support and encouragement from our industry peers, as we all recognise that the current state of play for fashion is unsustainable, and massive change is needed now!
EWP: Do you think conscious fashion is niche in the Australian consumer landscape?
CW: It still is niche, but is encouragingly becoming more mainstream. We’re in the midst of an environmental crisis with climate change and resource depletion, so as people become more aware of their impact, we’re starting to see that awareness resulting in behaviour change. But there’s still a long way to go, and until the process of choosing conscious fashion is better and easier, it will remain a niche. That’s ultimately what we’re trying to do.
EWP: In your two years of Citizen Wolf what has been your biggest learning?
CW: That when people keep telling you it can’t be done, it’s often because they’re blinded by the limitations of what they know. Being outsiders to the traditional fashion industry has allowed us to ask naive questions and get to a different solution. At every step of our journey, we were told that it was an idea that was too crazy, but you need to be a little crazy to change the world, right?'When people keep telling you it can’t be done, it’s often because they’re blinded by the limitations of what they know. Being outsiders to the traditional fashion industry has allowed us to ask naive questions and get to a different solution...' Click To Tweet
EWP: What do you see in the future for Citizen Wolf?
CW: Our ambition is to take what we’ve learnt from Tees and apply it to creating fully tailored casual clothes of all types – from woven shirts, to jackets and denim. So stay tuned because this is only the beginning. Our super-top-secret plan is to own the entire casual wardrobe by ensuring every garment we produce is the best you’ll ever wear.
To learn more about Citizen Wolf and create your own made-to-measure Tee head to citizenwolf.com or follow them on Instagram. The brand has also launched a new range of Hemp as their latest sustainable fabric and is allowing their customers to choose which summer pastels go into production. You can pre-order a Hemp Tee here.
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