Here at Ape we admire a plan. One that’s rooted in experience, knowledge and determination. We like the people out there who’ve experienced the world and thought, ‘do you know what?’ I wish I had this item here, and that item there. People who are constantly looking to improve. Whether it be themselves or the projects they are working on. Robin Somerville is one of those people and Good Somerville is one of those brands.
A Different Blueprint For The Activewear Industry
Good Somerville is a brand born out of experience. It’s also a brand with a plan. After a youth spent outdoors hiking, cycling and camping and a first taste of adulthood coming with a five-year stint in the Marine Corps, founder Robin Somerville already knew what did and didn’t make a good T-shirt.
After working as a quality technical at a home audio company while studying on the side for his Bachelors degree, he soon landed a job in the world of supply chains at Oakley, progressing towards a similar role at Lululemon. Throughout his time working these jobs, he saw the problems first hand.
The long and short of the apparel industry is that it’s wasteful. It pumps out loads of terrible garments that use up endless resources, all to be wasted a short time later when the garments are discarded, mainly due to them being badly made. They don’t last, they don’t serve their purpose, they get thrown away. So Somerville set out to change things.
A Brand With Values
At the core of Good Somerville is a yearning to change how the clothing industry does business. Rather than churning out low-quality garments, the brand’s ethos is about building clothing that is versatile, high quality and embraces the idea of the circular economy.
When it’s done, you give it back, the brand gives you a new one and repurposes the old one for future use. The circle is complete, nothing drops out of the loop, waste is minimised. It’s about having intrinsic resale value built in from the start.
Clothes That Perform
If you’re going to go on a journey like this you have to have faith in the product. And if you want to put faith in the product, you can’t settle on the first draft. Every product Good Somerville makes is the result of a gruelling ideation, creation and testing process right down to the stitching at the seam. The right materials for the right jobs. The common problems with garments for certain uses solved. A product that makes you feel so comfortable you forget about it.
But they haven’t got their blinders on either. Good Somerville knows that people grow. They get taller and smaller. Wider and thinner. They hike for 10 miles and on the home straight they snag their favourite T-shirt on a bush or an overexcited cat scratches at it on the washing line. The brand are realists and that’s why refurbishment and recirculation is a core part of its offering. They’ll take the item back and give you credit for a new item. The loop remains closed.
The Humble Transformative Tee
So it all comes back to a plan. The plan in this case is the transformative tee. No branding because a) you’re not a billboard and b) brands come and go. Plain T-shirts are timeless. Each T-shirt comes with a lifetime guarantee credit of $15 against a new tee. We’re not saying you’ll have to trade it in this decade but you know, things happen.
We’re talking about a 100% recycled polyester T-shirt that’s lightweight and breathable. It’s made with the intention of drying quickly and being cool and airy when it needs to be. There’s an odour-fighting technical finish, which – trust us – after 10 miles in the sun, you’ll notice. There’s also strategically designed seams for comfort.
Available in three colours and four sizes, this is a T-shirt with a plan from a brand built on experience and vision. We’re on board, and when you put yours on for the first time we think you will be too. Be the change you wish to see in the world. One transformative tee at a time.
Original photography of Josh Spender by Chris Beastall for Ape to Gentleman