Everything Old is New: Alternative Apparel’s Secret to Making New Shirts with Vintage Comfort

It can take years for your favorite shirt to feel tried-and-true: That soft, broken-in comfort takes hundreds of washes and wearings. By the time you reach the t-shirt promise land, you’ve probably picked up a few holes and stains too. That’s why we were happy to discover Alternative Apparel, a line of basics that comes with that vintage quality from day one. But how do you make a brand new shirt feel gloriously ancient? We asked Alternative's Michael Frank for the brand’s secret.

BB Man: How do you achieve such a "lived-in" feel to your clothes?
Frank: Our lived-in feel comes from a combination of knitting on vintage machines and sourcing the softest, highest quality cotton in Peru. Peru’s ideal growing conditions along with its people’s deep history and experience cultivating cotton result in the worlds finest product. This year we worked closely with our Peruvian partners to source 100% Organic Pima Cotton and develop fabrics from a single organic yarn that are exclusive to Alternative. All of the fabrics we created are available in a variety of textures and patterns and achieve the signature softness we’re known for.

BB Man: How do you guys ensure that your manufacturing process follows ethical guidelines?
Frank: We make annual visits to our factories and also require regular inspections from partners to ensure our vendor guidelines are being met. We are committed to requiring and upholding labor standards and aligning ourselves only with vendors that share this same commitment. We have a full list of vendor guidelines and principles to direct the process.

Check out this video from the brand to learn more about its sourcing of organic Pima cotton in Peru.

Photo: Alternative

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