WTF Tees | Ethical Organic Cotton Everyday T-Shirts

Wear T-shirts Forever

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Location

New Zealand

Made In

India & New Zealand

Values

  • Certified Organic Certified Organic
  • Circularity Circularity
  • Fair Fair
  • Gender Equality Gender Equality
  • Give Back Give Back
  • Transparent Transparent
  • Vegan Vegan

Wear T-shirts Forever (WTF) is a New Zealand-based ethical clothing company crafting tees from GOTS certified organic cotton and printing them with exquisite original artwork. 

“I’ve always been in-love and utterly obsessed with fashion,” says Paris Jagger, founder of WTF. “As a young kid, I was glueing and crafting outfits for my Barbie dolls and begging my mum to teach me how to sew on her machine. As I grew up I realised the impact that fast fashion and short trends were having on the planet and decided I wasn’t going to be a part of it anymore. By the time I had completed my first year of university I realised it wasn’t enough to just boycott the brands, I had to give other people like me the option to buy sustainable and fashionable products.”

WTF is not just another t-shirt brand. Read on to find out why.

Ethical Production And Traceability

“Knowing who makes our tees is a huge issue for WTF and we have always strived to have the best practices in place throughout our supply chain. The wages and benefits given to staff must exceed the local minimum wage no matter where the employees are, and we work with our supplier to help these factories achieve this if they are not sitting in the pay bracket.”

WTF has partnered with Little Yellow Bird, a New Zealand B Corp Certified business, to produce their organic cotton garments. Through this partnership, WTF is ensuring their t-shirts are made sustainably right from the start – the cotton is responsibly sourced from cooperatives in Odisha, India, where the small-scale farmers produce high quality cotton using traditional farming techniques.

The team at WTF ensures all of their cotton tees are created responsibly. The supplier is held to high standards in regards to its manufacturing processes, and WTF ensures the workers are provided with fair, inclusive and ethical working environments throughout the entire supply chain. 

WTF also collaborates with local artists and designers for the original artwork proudly displayed on the t-shirts. These incredibly talented artists earn 50% of the profit from the sales of the t-shirts, as Paris and the WTF team want to give them “the platform to get their work out and earn something to continue to fund their creative practices.”

 

Sustainability and Circular Fashion

WTF is committed to sustainability and circular fashion, which is why the cotton tees are made in small runs and limited collections. In an effort to further their environmental responsibility, the sustainable cotton apparel is also screen-printed with water-based inks, and all scrap fabric from the production of the garments is repurposed.

“All of our tees are created with water consumption in mind and we use rain to feed the GOTS cotton that our tees are produced with,” Paris says of the cotton used for the t-shirts. “We also use a recycling water system for the tee dying process wherein 95% of the water can be re-used and the remaining 5% evaporated and utilised in bricks and roading – making the entire process zero waste. We can also collect our t-shirts at the end of their life cycles, and through our supplier, put them into a textile waste program to be stripped into fibre and reused or repurposed by other designers.”

Evidently, WTF is not just another t-shirt brand. Through the use of responsibly made and sourced GOTS organic cotton, as well as a dedication to ethical and sustainable production, this epic New Zealand-based apparel label is providing a better option for consumers looking to shop in alignment with their own values.

Want to know where Wear T-shirts Forever sits and what they’re working on in terms of these 5 values? Hover over these values to find out.

Behind the Brand

“I find political subjects to be a great starting place for the artwork that goes on our tees, and because they're such a simple garment they can really become a statement. Gen Z artists are constantly playing the activist in our work and I find drawing on that creates the best art”.

Paris Jagger

WTF Tee

What does a better tomorrow look like to you?

In my imagination of a better tomorrow – fat-phobia, transphobia, sexism, and racism would be gone and we’d all be consuming fair trade products and wearing eco-friendly or thrifted genderless clothing!


One book and documentary everyone should read
/watch? Why?

One book I’d recommend is the self-help legend Sarah Knight’s book: You Do You (How to Be Who You Are and Use What You’ve Got to Get What You Want). For a documentary, I’d suggest ‘Disclosure’, which is all about Hollywood’s depiction of Transfolk and how media can shape young minds and culture.


What made you start your business
?

I’ve always been in love and utterly obsessed with fashion. As a young kid, I was gluing and crafting outfits for my barbie dolls and begging my mum to teach me how to sew on her machine. As I grew up I realised the impact that fast fashion and short trends were having on the planet and decided I wasn’t going to be a part of it anymore. By the time I had completed my first year of University I realised it wasn’t enough to just boycott the brands, I had to give other people like me the option to buy sustainable and fashionable products.


What inspires your designs
/products?

I’m in my third year of university at Massey’s creative college and whilst the competition between my peers is insane, there is so much inspiration everywhere you turn. I find political subjects to be a great starting place for the artwork that goes on our tees, and because they’re such a simple garment they can really become a statement. Gen Z artists are constantly playing the activist in our work and I find drawing on that creates the best art!


Least favourite task as part of your day-to-day work
?

Juggling my studies and the business. Often I’ll finish my classes and then go home to work more on the business without any end in sight. I’m trying to practice a healthy work-life balance, but I have a perfectionist nature and just find myself stressing over what I haven’t done.


What
s your favourite thing about being the founder of your brand?

That I get to chat and work with other creatives to further their work! The best bit about this brand is how it’s just one giant art show, and being the founder means I‘m just curating the pieces the public gets to see and helping my fellow creatives find their voice within the fashion landscape.


What
s been your hardest lesson so far at your brand?

That it doesn’t work overnight. The hardest thing about creating your own business in this climate with platforms like TikTok is that when there is the potential to go viral if the right person sees your brand and you don’t get “found” overnight it can be really disheartening.


Do you have an all
time favourite design/product youve created?

I have one design that I did a few years ago, which is a part of our ‘Take me Seriously’ collection and it features a young woman (who is inspired by the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg and her famous square frames) with her head held up high. It has just a great air about it and when I see people wearing it looks powerful.


What would people fi
nd surprising about your story?
Although I present quite feminine at times, I actually identify as non-binary and use the pronouns they/them. I found that my love for fashion and the isolation of the pandemic really made me evaluate how I see myself and what I want the world to see. Now when I create art and design garments, I feel as though I’m doing it as my own authentic self, and I don’t think there is anything more powerful than that!

Fun fact about you?

Throughout high school, I used to sing in choirs and was a bit of a musical theatre nerd! I got to travel a lot with my choir (internationally as well), and whilst it’s not the passion I followed, it’s something I hold near and dear to my heart.


What
s your pet peeve about ethical fashion?

The false advertising!! Looking at certain mainstream fast fashion brands using the “recycled polyester” on a tiny part of a garment that is mass produced (often in sweatshops) gets my blood boiling! I just don’t understand how people still fall for it when there is so much information out there about fast-fashion brands and their practices

 

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