UNIFORM | Tender Co. Chore Coats

If there's one push-and-pull to this blog (and what we're trying to do over at The Reed) it's figuring out how to champion items that are thoughtfully made, well-built, timeless and also come with an affordable price tag. It's really tough to find that intersection, especially when you consider fair wages, sustainable manufacturing and the thought and care that goes into a considered garment. Tender Co. is a great example of the anti-fast fashion movement, but are they expensive? Yes. Is it worth it? Well, usually when you do the math on these kind of things, the investment pays off because you end up buying less and throwing away less. If you need a refresher on why the fast fashion movement is so incredibly problematic for the planet and human quality of life around the world, check out the recent Newsweek article The Environmental Crisis in Your Closet, it's very much worth a read. If there's ever an opposite response to the fast fashion crisis that I've seen, it's Tender—an incredible British label that goes way beyond with research, design, and manufacturing. This is slow fashion to the core. But make no mistake, these are products that are meant to be worn hard, not just fetishized. Tender has its roots in antique work clothing and machinery, particularly of the Great British Steam Age. The name Tender is derived from the part of a steam train that carried the coal and water to power the locomotive. Tenders were built incredibly solidly, mostly from riveted cast iron. In addition, on the water a Tender is the small boat used to get to and from the shore. The unisex chore shirt-jackets were what really caught my eye. They are a utilitarian—and I'm sure more than one of you will think of Bill Cunningham—with big deep front pockets, but also extremely versatile and stylish. With colors hand-dyed with woad indigo and ochre, all are made in England and cut from English-woven all-cotton cloth. Even the buttons are English-made from dead stock melamine. We're proud to carry Tender goods at The Reed!


cmf221 said...

hmm, looks very 1960s china. mao-designed?

Lizzie said...

Totally see that! The design was actually adapted from a 1930s railway jacket, but utility is utility. :)

Anonymous said...

$295 for a button-down shirt is affordable? a $295 "CHORE SHIRT" is "not to be fetishized"? you've got to be kidding.
this is some fucked up idiotic shit. I hope whoever's behind this blog is aware.

Lizzie said...

@anon read more carefully, clearly not saying it is affordable. That is the the whole point of the post, that it is difficult to find the intersection of affordability and thoughtfully made goods. In fact, it states they are expensive right there in the text.

Feel free not to read this blog if you're going to fly off the handle in the comments section without fully comprehending a post. Thanks!

Katy said...

Hello! So pleased to see Tender picking up popularity over the pond! You might be interested in an interview that my colleague had with William Kroll about Tender earlier in the year, and also a fascinating story that his wife sent over to us about an old boot they found in their wall during renovations!



Lizzie said...


Awesome, thanks so much!