Sydney-based custom clothing company Citizen Wolf has teamed with luxury fashion label KITX to produce a range of custom-fit tees that speak volumes.
When Citizen Wolf launched its investment campaign in 2022, the brand made clear that its technology was going to be bigger than the Citizen Wolf brand as we knew it. Its sights weren’t set on being the world’s largest T-shirt brand, but rather, a fashion technology company that would allow the industry to implement a more sustainable way of producing fashion.
Now, in an industry first, Citizen Wolf is collaborating with Australian luxury fashion brand KITX to produce a unique range of custom-fit Activism Tees.
The Activism Tees communicate more than just the slogans slewed across them – which include Hemp is the future and Save the bees. On top of those clear environmental messages, the Tees are a stance against waste in production, unethical production of garments and poor environmental practices which are rife in the fashion industry in relation to fabric sourcing and processing and garment production.
After trying out my own Activism Tee from the collection, I spoke to KITX designer and founder Kit Willow and Citizen Wolf co-founder Zoltan Csaki about what this collaboration means for them.
Why is the made-to-order model important?
ZC: The insanity of the fashion industry is that brands assume they know what people will want to buy tomorrow. They make loads of product, then cross their fingers and hope that it sells. And when reality inevitably fails to match their projections, the result is constant discounting before ending up in landfill if the clothes don’t sell.
In other words, overproduction isn’t a bug of the default mass production system at the heart of the fashion industry, but the accepted reality (call it a feature if you want). By contrast, Citizen Wolf simply asks people what they want today and then we make it. Our zero inventory model results in zero waste and zero landfill which is a massive win for the planet.
KW: The made-to-order model has two great benefits: firstly, no guessing/predicting how many you’re going to be selling, which leads to over-production and unwanted goods. Secondly, when a customer receives their made-to-measure custom tee, they have a garment made specifically for them, which they will cherish more and care for better than a standard tee.
Why did you choose Citizen Wolf to work with for this collection?
KW: The Citizen Wolf model is a true Future Fashion system that we are excited to be a part of – made to measure, zero waste, circular and truly the only way forward for fashion. This is the first time our Activism Tees are in a non-exclusive, all-inclusive, all sizes and all genders offering.
Tell me a bit about the fabric choice for this Tee?
KW: We chose a hemp blend as hemp is a miracle fabric of sorts. Using 50 per cent less water than cotton, yielding two and a half times more than cotton per hectare, and requiring no herbicides or pesticides to be grown. Hemp also binds and regenerates soils when growing, and acts as a carbon sink in a similar way to a rainforest.
Tell me a bit about the slogans chosen for the Activism Tees?
KW: We have been supporting Save the Bees for a long time, and wanted to offer our No.1 Bee Tee in this all-inclusive, non-exclusive model. For the Hemp tee, we wanted to highlight this future fabric and demonstrate why we had chosen it to create the tees. Few people know the benefits of hemp fibre, which we list on the back of the tee for bystanders to read as they see people walk by or stand behind them in the queue for their morning coffee.
Do you envision a future where a larger part of the fashion industry moves to a made-to-order model?
ZC: 100 per cent, without a doubt – the only question is when. Because beyond the ecological benefits of zero waste, MTO is also simply a better business model. We never go on sale at Citizen Wolf because we never need to clear old stock. We simply charge a fair price everyday for our Made in Australia clothing.
That said, it’s the combination of MTO with MTM (made to measure), courtesy of our Magic Fit technology, that will be impossible for the industry to ignore. Our data proves that when people get custom-fit clothes, they are three and a half times more likely to repurchase from Citizen Wolf vs standard mass production. Additionally, our remake rate – aka our proxy for returns, because we don’t actually make anyone send anything back to us when it’s wrong – is four times lower than the Aussie fashion ecomm average.
And that’s what makes this CW x KITX collab so incredibly exciting for us – because it’s the first time our Magic Fit technology has been licensed by another brand and installed on their ecomm store. But it’s also just the beginning, and our ambition is to onboard many more brands this year. Watch this space!
How is this aligned with KITX’s values?
KW: Our KITX principles of regeneration are rewild, renew and rehome. This project rewilds through using fabrics such as hemp that replenish soil and draw carbon. It renews through recycling all waste in Citizen Wolf’s circular factory. The integration of Citizen Wolf’s Magic Fit technology means these tees will go to their perfect home, to be worn well.