Source: Scandinavian Mind
Admit it. At one time or another, you’ve seen one of your idols rocking some fine threads only to go and buy the exact same style the next day. Deep down, you were probably hoping that this magical clothing would somehow transform you into a more likeable, confident, or sporty version of yourself. It’s okay, we’ve all been there.
Whether or not you succeeded in leaving the house to cries of wonder, and began parting crowds standing in awe of your newfound look, the need to emulate our idols is hardly a revolutionary concept. The dominance of sportswear in most people’s wardrobes speaks volumes about the age-old convergence between idolism and fashion. Comparable to the adoption of the varsity jacket as a premiere choice for ivy league gentlemen (explained by expert Tony Collins to the Wall Street Journal via the link between sports players and private education), the eventual emergence of sportswear as a staple off the field, follows an obvious pattern. From polo shirts to tennis whites, examples of sports clothing in fashion are indeed, ‘every-wear’. But none are more polarising (excuse the pun), than the modern era go-to for ivy-league fashion.
Enter, the rugby shirt.
So, you’re probably thinking that this is nothing new. The rugby shirt has been around for 200 years and is only now gaining a resurgence in popularity following its migration from Britain to America in the early 50s. But you wouldn’t be reading this if we didn’t have something new to bring to the table.
That something comes from the long-standing, ivy-league brand, Gant.
A renowned tailor with roots in mid-20th century America, Gant is largely accredited for pioneering the early foundations of sportswear and ivy-league confluence. Previously famous for classic formal shirts, Gant’s ‘heavy rugger’ line, launched in the early 70s, has enjoyed fifty years of popularity; paving the way for the rugby shirt powerhouse that we know today. With such an established pedigree in the industry, any addition by Gant is certainly not to be missed.
But it gets better. The brand’s unique 7 rules of sustainability: Refresh, Repair, Reuse, Rent, Regive, Remake, and Recycle, transforms this statement into a movement promoting sustainability and clothing care. To celebrate their history, Gant has released an exclusive line of its bestselling product under a namesake of their rule: ‘remake’. This line, made exclusively from upcycled, leftover fabrics from their previous collections, presents a ‘capsule’ of history from the rugby shirt’s last fifty years in the spotlight. In an effort to champion sustainability and build on the company’s moral foundations, the line intends to provide a statement that matches the look.
Coming in both traditional men’s fashion and as a dress for that baggy, casual look, this bold line makes a strong addition to a brand with a rich history in the industry; merging sports, sustainability and fashion in a complex union that is definitely worth investigating. GANT’s creative director, Christopher Bastin, shared his views on the launch, commenting: “It’s really something special that nearly 50 years later the Heavy Rugger can be transformed once more using leftover fabrics from previous generations of this beloved classic”.
This recycling innovation builds on the brand’s previous announcement of lifetime repairs for jeans made in 2020, a move that I’m sure we can agree provides a much-needed breath of fresh air into the industry’s lifetime mantra of waste and replace. However, despite GANT’s seemingly revolutionary commitment to environmentalism, it is unclear whether this 'repair' initiative will be applied to their other lines such as the heavy rugger; arguably limiting the brand’s perception as a true trend-setter on environmental wastage in fashion. Still, whilst the jury may indeed still be out regarding GANT’s commitment to maintaining previously sold products, it is clear that this encouraging start makes the remake capsule a promising (and stylish) entry to the question we should all be asking: How can we make fashion more sustainable?