Fanmail’s Much Better Basics

Fanmail is reinventing basics like T-shirts with the best and most sustainable materials around.

Photographer Geordie Wood
November 22, 2013

Fanmail’s sustainable line of simple T-shirts

From the magazine: ISSUE 89, December 2013/January 2014

With the recent rise of farm-to-table restaurants, it’s become second nature to glance at a list of ingredients and their sources before ordering a meal. But as food has slowed, fashion has sped up to impossible H&M speeds. Twenty-nine-year-old English literature graduate Charlie Morris, however, has started thinking about clothes the same way a chef might. He launched a sustainably made clothing line, Fanmail, this past June, and is letting customers in on every step of the process. Morris’ menu includes organic cotton tees, tanks and long-sleeved sweatshirts for men, sourced from North Carolina and a fair labor mill in China, dyed in Los Angeles in earthy colors like vetiver and sulphur and cut and sewn in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, with the designer checking in on every leg of the garment’s journey.

Fanmail has extended its emphasis on simplicity from the raw materials all the way to the design, focusing on the best-cut version of minimalist staples. “The reason for doing T-shirts was solving a personal shopping problem,” says Morris. “No one was making a T-shirt that was sustainable and straightforward but special. You could start with jackets or denim, but a T-shirt is one of the most basic parts of anyone’s wardrobe and the fact that it wasn’t out there was insane.” Next spring, Fanmail will expand with a line of ready-to-wear jackets, shorts and button-downs that couldn’t come at a better time. While many designers, like Hood By Air and Alexander Wang, covered their spring collections in high-tech craziness and gaudy logos, Fanmail’s wardrobe essentials will feel like a palette cleanser that highlights the person putting on the clothes more than the clothes themselves. “When I’m wearing clothes, I don’t want to feel owned by the brand,” Morris explains. It’s as simple as that.

See Fanmail's just-released spring lookbook.

Styling Ian Bradley. Model Paris Nicholson at IMG. T-shirt Fanmail, pants Dockers. Hair Amber Duarte.

Fanmail’s Much Better Basics