The Organic segments of food, vitamins, alcohol, and even clothing have grown expeditentially through the last few years, generally over a concern for worker health and the environment. I wonder when this shift will reach golf courses, as it most definitely will, some may argue that it has already started!
Golf clothing companies have been providing organic cotton, bamboo, merino wool and even recycled fabrics for quite some time now to tap in to this growing "Green" market. Instead of interviewing one of the big manufacturers, I decided to search for a company run by actual golfers to learn what influenced the decision to go Organic, that company is Dressed To A Tee.
Turfhugger.com - There are a number of clothing companies in our industry that are using organic fabrics now, why do you think golfers want organic materials in their clothing?
Dressed To A Tee – Our customers are active people who love the outdoors and so are passionate about looking after it. They want to be environmentally responsible and buying clothing made from organic cotton is an easy way to do this. Organic cotton is grown without the use of harmful chemicals such as synthetic fertilisers, soil additives and defoliants, so it has a very low impact on the environment.
Turfhugger.com - Why did you guys start the company? What’s your background?
Dressed To A Tee – Dressed To A Tee grew out of golfing road trips to Ireland. In university summers we would throw our clubs in the back of an old Peugeot and head over to Cork on the ferry. We would drive from course to course asking for student rates and in the evenings we would ask farmers if they had an empty field we could camp in. It was golf on a shoestring and a great adventure.
One trip we realised we were not wearing any specific golf clothing despite playing golf nearly every day. So when we got home we designed some polos and t-shirts that were ideal for golf but that also embodied the casual and informal nature of our trips. The clothing was multi-functional as we needed to wear it not only on the golf course but also for travelling around and living in the outdoors.
There are two of us that run the company: Harry and Sam. Our background is marketing and sales, so we had to get some help in the clothing department. It has been a steep learning curve but we are very proud of what we have achieved so far and very excited about moving forward and growing our product range.
Turfhugger.com – Where is it made?
Dressed To A Tee – Our clothing is made in a family-run factory in Portugal. We choose Portugal for two reasons. First it has a great reputation for quality jersey wear (polo shirts and t-shirts) and, secondly, because it is relatively near to the UK. This means our carbon footprint is considerably lower than if we manufactured our products in the Far East.
Turfhugger.com - Where is the cotton grown, to what standards?
Dressed To A Tee – Our organic cotton is grown in Pakistan and comes with a certificate from Skal which guarantees it has been grown 100% organically. Skal is a non-profit foundation based in Holland that surveys the organic production by means of inspection and certification. Inspections involve visiting farms as well as processing and importing units. Skal also conducts examinations of soil and crop samples and produces administrative assessments.
Turfhugger.com - Possibly extending product line?
Dressed To A Tee – We currently sell men’s and women’s polo shirts and t-shirts that are made from organic cotton. We also sell hats made from merino wool. Next year we will be producing more polos in organic cotton as well as expanding our merino range because its natural sports performance makes it ideal for golf and other outdoor activities. If you would like to be informed when we launch our next collection please leave your email at our site and we will contact you for a sneak preview.
Turfhugger.com - Favorite courses you've played?
Dressed To A Tee - Our favourite golf tracks are the courses of South West Ireland. It really is a special place for us - amazing scenery and friendly people. On our trips we were lucky to play some great links courses such as Waterville, Tralee, Lahinch and Connemara. We love the links because that is where a golfer truly feels the connection between the game and the natural environment. It’s where golf was traditionally played and the layout of holes fit the natural landscape rather than the other way around. We believe the game needs to retain its natural connection with the environment to truly reflect its spirit and origins. Links courses are also by the sea, which means you are on holiday!
Turfhugger.com - Wish list?
Dressed To A Tee – All the classics - St Andrews, Pebble Beach, Turnberry – but are you paying?! To be honest the courses we like are the ones you turn up to with no expectations, the sun is out and you play great with a bunch of old friends. They may not be the ‘best’ courses but they are the best days on the fairways.