How do you make the perfect organic cotton hoodie?

The short answer? extra long staple organic cotton, thousands of stitches and a whole lot of love. 

Getting simplicity right is a fine art. It takes time, patience and plenty of elbow grease to make our signature organic cotton hoodie but we think it's totally worth it. 

Our organic cotton hoodie is a modern classic. The arms are cut for a comfortable fit and the crew neckline goes with everything. It's also ethically made by people who care (more about that later). It might look simple but there's a lot more to it than meets the eye. 

Let’s go back to the start. 

To really appreciate the end product, we need to know where the story starts. It’s been over 70 years since organic cotton turned up in mainstream textile manufacturing. 

Think vast Arizona fields, all growing super-soft, durable cotton. Think native Pima Indians who gave this cotton variety its name. And think of a group of opportunistic family farmers (our kind of people), who combined the words “superior” and “pima” and re-branded to American-grown Supima cotton in the process. 

In the 1950’s they set up the Organic Organization and the rest is history. 

So what is organic cotton? 

It’s a superior type of cotton grown in America, which represents less than 1% of cotton grown in the world, so it's rarer than typical stuff. What sets it apart from other cotton varieties is the extra-long, durable fibres that give the cotton its premium, soft-yet-substantial handle. 

What makes organic cotton so good? 

Products made with organic cotton come with a promise that you're buying a premium product, made to last for years to come. The extra-long, naturally strong fibres mean it has a supremely soft touch and a more robust composition, all adding to the quality and lifespan of our hoodies than other garments made using organic cotton.  

Finding the very best organic cotton

While we love working with UK based suppliers its not always possible find the best fabric to make a properly good product. For our hoodies, we sampled fabrics from eighteen different suppliers in England, Portugal, Italy, and Switzerland. We tried different weights, different types of cottons, different finishes, some for handle, some for texture and some for longevity. 

In the end we managed to narrow the selection down to three fabric options – two from Italy and one from Portugal. We managed to buy just enough fabric to produce a small-run of hoodie samples. 

Now, let’s talk about fit. 

Once we’d made the hoodie sample, we wanted to test how durable it was so we did months of wear tests to see how the fabric held up. We also tested it to check the fit. How do the arms move? Was there enough room? Was it comfortable enough to wear all day? 

The options are endless but after hundreds of fittings, we settled on an oversized cut, with a little roominess through the body and a slightly longer sleeve for a relaxed feel. 

To achieve this fit, we spend hours designing the pattern. A pattern is the template used to map out the parts of a garment, which are then marked onto the cotton before being cut out and assembled. There are so many subtle variables in cutting a pattern that make all the angles flow, without pulling or distortion.

Once we decide on the fit, we call upon our expert pattern cutters, armed with their trusty scissors, and we’re not talking regular, paper-cutting scissors here, these ones have a longer blade to achieve the most accurate cut for a neater finish. 

After lots test wears and fit tweaks, we settled for a fabric made by Mr Luis and Mr Jose, two brothers who have worked their way up from the knitting room to now running their own factory in the north of Portugal. 

For the past 100 years this factory has produced for the most prestigious of brands based around Europe, producing a limited number of premium jersey qualities and we were luckily enough to haggle a small amount for our selves.

And then we put it all together.

At the cutting table, the rolls of Mr Luis and José’s organic cotton are rolled out and cut into the nine panels that make the finished hoodie. 

At this stage, we have the puzzle pieces of what will make a properly good organic cotton hoodie but it needs to be sewn. 

Roughly speaking we’ll make an average of 500 hoodies in one working week, using thousands of metres of recycled polyester sewing thread. 

Spun from an organic cotton yarn, cut with the finest of hand made Sheffield steel scissors and now sewn, our organic cotton hoodies is just about ready to wear. The final step is a quick steam press to give it that nice, crisp feel when you pull it out of its packaging. 

Hand-sewn, cut and packaged right here in Leicester.

We see every batch of organic cotton hoodies we make as a learning opportunity to just keep on getting better and better. We’ll tweak and refine with the aim of making the fit just right. 

We’re not saying ours is the only hoodie you’ll ever own and wear. But it’s probably the best quality, longest-lasting and most sustainably made you’ll wear, and made with as little waste as possible. 

Properly good organic cotton hoodies made from properly good quality cotton, made by properly good people.



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Posted on March 10, 2023