I am chuffing excited about this one, chaps. Bring out the bunting, sound the trumpets and pop on the kettle!
After much anticipation, Arthur & Henry have arrived.
Essentially, for those of you who are time-poor, you can stop reading here and go in the good faith that this shirt is exactly what you’ve been waiting for.
The facts -
The website: www.arthurandhenry.com
The price: £65-85
The voucher code: A&HLAUNCH (10% off, until the end of July)
For those of you, however, who would care to read on, settle in and enjoy. I am about to indulge in a literary air punch.
At last. A menswear collection of beautifully cut, affordably priced shirts - and the ethics are superlative!
Until now, the shirts that I’ve been able to find (that would fit, even loosely, under the terms ‘sustainable’ or ‘ethical’) are primarily for casual wear. Nice prints, reasonably cut, but nothing that makes your socks whistle (I think I made that phrase up. That’ll happen a lot.) Or, at the other end of the spectrum, the shirt would be made to such a phenomenally high quality by master tailors at an equally eye-watering price-point that only few could afford them.
So, you can imagine my delight when Clare Lissaman, co-founder of Arthur & Henry (along with her brother Mark), got in touch to say she was launching a line of “beautiful shirts.” My word, do I agree.
I mean, look at that collar!
Clare and Mark also happen to be descendants of Arthur & Henry. Arthur Lissaman, (their great-grandfather) was an entrepreneur with his own greengrocery in south-east London in the early 1900s, but never met his great-grandchildren. His tools however, carved with his initials, were part of the siblings’ childhood.
George Henry Shiel - known as Henry - was their maternal grandfather and worked in the Kentish coalfields. The shirts embrace their heritage, and the first styles of the Arthur & Henry collection have been named after Kentish collieries. Terrific.
Ethics wise, a quick summary -
- Arthur & Henry shirts are made in India with organic cotton
- The dyes used in the shirts are azo-free (azo is a nasty, nasty chemical compound)
- The Chislet (pictured) - classic herringbone - are made from organic and Fairtrade cotton
- The buttons are stitched on using a method that pretty much guarantees they’ll last as long as the shirt does
- The garment workers who’ve had in a hand in their construction work in an audited factory (audited on issues such as health and safety, wages & working hours)
My personal favourite is the Shakespeare (above). But I’m massively biased; I like a chap in light blue linen.
In terms of construction and design, a particular Little Big Detail that I have a lot of time for, is that the last button of every shirt has a horizontal buttonhole (as opposed to the vertical buttonholes on the rest of the shirt). This feature banishes the awkward splaying of the shirt whilst sat down. It’s a good’un.
The team have also made the shirt longer than most available in the market. And, if you’re a chap who likes his shirt tucked, they’ve thoughtfully made sure it’s not too long, nor bunches up.
And, finally, the shirt seams are sewn with more stitches than most (20, to the standard 14 stitches per inch), and this offers a more elegant seam. Important, because it’s more durable, resists rucking, and is easier to iron (unless, like me, you avoid ironing like the plague).
I’ll leave it there, so you can get on and put in your order with 10% off (voucher code: A&HLAUNCH)!