Words by Jimi Williams
With summer finally here (apparently), lockdown restrictions coming to an end (supposedly) and football coming home (definitely) there’s no better time to re-stock your wardrobe with the ultimate essential. T-shirts. Coming in all shapes, sizes and colours, with printed graphics, embroidery, logos or just completely plain, tees are perfect for every weather. So if you’re after an eye catching neon green t-shirt or something a bit more subtle, we’ve got you covered with a round up of the best t-shirts out there right now.
First up is Sunray Sportswear. Designed in Newquay, Cornwall and made in Japan, these t-shirts bring a combintion of old school workwear design and retro colours. All their garments are made on antique loopwheel machines in Japan, and each item takes 1.5 hours to manufacture. Making use of recylced cotton and sustainable materials, Sunray’s attention to detail goes further than how they make their product, but where it comes from as well. With short sleeved tees retailing for £60 and long sleeve versions at £80, you dont even have to break the bank to take a piece of Anglo-Japanese cratfmanship home with you.
Next is Uniqlo. The Japanese clothing retailer was founded in 1949 as a textiles company and now has over 1000 stores worldwide. The fast fashion retailer offers mens, womens and childrens clothing and can boast collaborations with the likes of
Jil Sander, JW Anderson and Kaws, as well as offering a Lifewear range and Uniqlo U which is perfect for basics. The Uniqlo U Crew Neck Short Sleeve T-shirt retails for £9.90 and is available in a wide range of colours from black, white and navy all the way to coral, dark green and light purple. Their Airism Oversized T-shirt is sold for £12.90 and is made of their own brand lightweight, breathable fabric; perfect for the summer months.
A slightly older brand now, Sunspel were founded in England in 1860. With 160 years of British Heritage under their belts, they’ve been making high end products from the finest materials for a century and a half. They use organic, natural and recyclable fabrics where possible and make clothes that are built to last. They say “We have a strong sense of tradition, history and craft, but we do not rely on the past. We use it to shape the future.” Their Cotton Riviera T-shirt is made from two-fold long staple cotton and creates a smooth, durable fabric. Originally designed for Daniel Craig in his role as James Bond in Casino Royale, this T-shirt lets you live out your 007 fantasy without forking out for a DB5. Retailing at £75 it’s a whole lot cheaper than an Aston Martin as well! The T-shirt is available in black, white and navy
Story MFG are a husband and wife team based in India. The brand was born out of a desire for a more kind and authentic approach to fashion, one that doesn’t put consciousness to the back in the name of aesthetic. They use a wide range of natural dyes, recycled fabrics and renewable energies to create their products. These range from fruits, bark and plants all the way to bacteria and even the sun! Processes such as knitting, crocheting and weaving are all done by hand. The Spiral Trip Grateful Tee comes in both short and long sleeved iterations as well being available in natural ecru or dyed with bark. It’s oversized fit and mixture of embroidered and printed motifs make it the perfect statement tee for those who want something a bit different. Short sleeved is £90, whilst the long sleeve version is £105
Colorful Standard is a brand for all those after non-seasonal, sustainable and colourful basics. With a product offering including knitwear, underwear, beanies, shorts, sweatshirts and hoodies as well as t-shirts, the Danish brand is a one stop shop for all your essentials. All the cotton they use is 100% organic, and their extra fine merino wool comes with the Oeko-tex Standard 100 label, guaranteeing a higher level of ethics than required by European law. All products are produced in Portugal in their parent company’s own factories. Their supply chain is so transparent they even include the factory’s address on their website for willing customers to take a look themselves! The Classic Organic Tee is available in 45 different colours. It’s pre-washed, so it wont lose its shape or shrink no matter how many times it’s washed. Retailing for £27, this tee is a bargain for any eco-conscious shopper
CDG Play is a sub brand of Japanese fashion house Comme Des Garcons founded by Rei Kawakubo in Paris in 1973, although the label began in 1969. With a multitude of labels including Homme, Parfums, Wallet, Shirt, Junya Watanabe Comme Des Garcons and the well known collaboration with Converse, CDG has something for everyone. However the Play line is what we’re looking at today. The more streetwear label feautures the infamous heart logo and offers a wide range of tees including breton stripes, polka dots, small and large embroidered and printed logos. Prices range from £50 up to £100. So if you’re feeling a bit more playful with your selection of tees, this is the place for you.