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100% Certified Organic Cotton 'Light' 110 GSM

Our lightweight organic cotton is grown and spun in India before being knitted in Melbourne at 110 gsm. Perfect for the Aussie summer it's ultra soft and naturally breathable with a luxurious drape as well as being Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified.

Please note we only offer dark colours in this fabric which are guaranteed opaque, because on lighter colours (inc. white) it can become semi-sheer.


Swatch pack includes all fabrics and free shipping


100% Certified Organic Cotton 'Everyday' 145 GSM

Our 'everyday' organic cotton is grown and spun in India before being knitted in Melbourne at 145 gsm for the ultimate year-round weight.

It's incredibly soft, naturally breathable and washes like a dream as well as being Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified.


Swatch pack includes all fabrics and free shipping


100% Certified Organic Cotton 'Heavy' 180 GSM

Our heavier organic cotton is grown and spun in India before being knitted in Melbourne at 180 gsm, perfect for winter layering.

With an amazingly soft handle and just as breathable as the 145 gsm, the extra weight provides more stability and durability as well as being Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified.


Swatch pack includes all fabrics and free shipping


55% Hemp / 45% Organic Cotton

Hemp is the planet-friendly miracle fibre produced from the stem of the cannabis plant. Biodegradable and naturally organic requiring zero pesticides or herbicides, hemp also uses 50 percent less water than cotton.

With a visible texture similar to pure linen our 210 gsm weight is blended with organic cotton for softness to achieve the perfect balance between opacity, breathability and UV resistance making it ideal for the long hot Aussie summers.


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100% Superfine Non-Mulesed Merino Wool

Our 17.5 micron 'superfine' pure merino wool is single-origin sourced from happy sheep 300km west of Sydney before being knitted in Melbourne. How do we know they're happy? Because we exclusively buy certified cruelty-free 'non-mulesed' wool.

The extra-long staple ewe's fleece makes a 150 gsm cloth that is softer, smoother and more resistant to pilling than regular merino and feels like true luxury against the skin.


Swatch pack includes all fabrics and free shipping


What score would a tomato get on Rotten Tomatoes? Depends on the variety, but high 90s at least, possibly even 100%, placing it firmly in the hallowed ranks of classics like Singin' In The Rain (1954), The Terminator (1984) and Toy Story (1995).

Because almost everyone loves the tasty and versatile tomato. It’s a staple of cuisines the world over and without it many of our favourite dishes – including pizzas, curries, salads, stews and salsas – would be a pale imitation of themselves.

But what if we told you that for over 200 years tomatoes were only hated, but feared throughout Europe? Oh and they're also not even remotely Italian. Really.

Let's ketchup on some history.

 

SMALL BEGINNINGS

The History of Tomatoes Begins in The Andes | Citizen Wolf

Probably the first of what we would call “tomatoes” came from South America, around the region now known as Peru and Solanum Chilense can still be found growing wild in the Andes today.

These wild tomatoes were actually about the size of a pea and looked very different to their modern counterparts. History suggests the Aztecs were the first to have domesticated the tomatl and used it in their cooking, but it was the conquistadors who introduced it to Europe (via Spain) in 1521, only a few years ahead of another new world delicacy, chocolate.

 

THE ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES

The tomato was accepted with alacrity into the kitchens of Southern Europe, yet as it moved north, it encountered a growing resistance. In fact, up until the late 17th century, a nickname for the fruit was the “poison apple” because aristocrats sometimes got sick and died after eating them.

This may sound crazy, but there was truth to the story, though not for the reasons believed at the time.

It was the custom for wealthy people back then to use plates made of pewter, an alloy made of tin and lead. When high-acid foods like tomato came in contact with the pewter, it would cause the lead to leech out into the food, resulting in lead poisoning, and in the very worst cases, death.

Attack of the killer tomatoes! | Citizen Wolf

When high-acid foods like tomato came in contact with the pewter, it would cause the lead to leech out into the food, resulting in poisoning and death.

Science, being somewhat in its infancy, failed to pick up on the link, preferring instead to blame the poor tomatoes for the deaths. In this assumption, they were aided no little amount by the fact that the tomato is a member of the Solanaceae family, informally known as “nightshade.” Whilst many of the flowering plants in this family are deliciously lacking poison (hello eggplant, potato and capsicum), there are others including mandrake and belladonna which are highly toxic and can do all kinds of nasty shit to our internal organs.

Ironically, the poor people of the day ate off trenchers made of wood and were unencumbered by this problem. Hence they did not have an aversion to tomatoes, and big red remained a food of the poor well into the 1800's.

 

POMODORO BELLISSIMO!

It'd be remiss to tell the story of tomatoes and not mention the Italian love affair and the invention of a tasty bread-based dish that was to be the seminal moment in the tomato’s history.

The tomato was first introduced to Italy in 1544, although at this stage it was yellow and the size of a cherry tomato. It appears in a herbal guide by Pietro Andrea Mattoli, who called it the Pomo d’oro, or golden apple – which is where we get the modern Italian word 'pomodoro'.

It quickly became a permanent fixture in Italian cuisine, with farmers selectively breeding the plant into the larger, red varietals we know and love today. 

Pomodoro Bellissimo | Citizen Wolf

As a sign of his patriotic fervour, Raffaele Esposito made the pizza from three ingredients representing the colours of the new Italian flag: red, white, and green.

The story goes that pizza was invented in Naples in the late 1880's, by a restaurateur wanting to celebrate the visit of Queen Margarite, the first Italian monarch since Napoleon conquered Italy. As a sign of his patriotic fervour, Raffaele Esposito made the pizza from three ingredients representing the colours of the new Italian flag: red, white, and green. The red was tomato sauce, the white - mozzarella cheese, and the green - basil topping.

And thus the Margherita Pizza was born. It quickly became the gold standard for assessing any pizza joint, and also pretty much secured the future of the tomato. This was helped no small amount by the immigration of millions of Italians to the U.S, and the introduction of pizza to a whole new audience who took to it in a big way.

Neither America nor Italy is the world’s largest consumer of tomatoes, that honour goes to China.

It is estimated that the Chinese consume a whopping 40,670Kt of tomatoes every year - that’s about 325 BILLION tomatoes, equivalent to 232 big reds for each and every man, woman and child in China. Every single year. Gulp!

Tomato Consumption Globally | Citizen Wolf

Limited Edition Pomodoro Organic Cotton 180 GSM | Citizen Wolf

 

 

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Almost all of us have at least one can of Italian canned tomatoes residing in our cupboards. But after reading what we are about to tell you, you may well decide to throw them out and opt for locally grown tomatoes instead, like Ardmona which are grown in Victoria's Goulburn Valley region.

“Sadly, there is a less savoury side to the tomato’s history, with the sun-kissed image of Italian canned tomatoes being tainted by revelations of products picked and processed by mafia-run, modern slave labour.”

As always, cost is the main culprit. Tinned tomatoes are sold by many supermarkets as a loss leader. Because they are so integral to so many dishes, supermarkets know that consumers purchasing tomatoes will also be buying numerous other products such as pasta, cheese etc. The mark ups on these goods can cover the shortfall lost on the tinned tomatoes.

This creates a downward squeeze on price as supermarkets routinely enter into bidding wars to find the cheapest supplier. Unfortunately, it is becoming clear that these suppliers, in order to turn a profit, are simply ignoring the human cost.

Exploitation within the supply chain of Italian tomatoes | Citizen Wolf

“When you see very cheap products, you have to ask how are suppliers getting that cost down so much?”

There are 50,000 'slaves' in the Italian food supply chain | Citizen Wolf

In 2018, there were estimated to be 50,000 enslaved agricultural workers in Italy - Global Slavery Index

Thousands of immigrant workers (usually from Africa or Eastern Europe) are employed by mafia-controlled companies and made to work long hours in gruelling conditions, for very little (or no) money. They have few rights and are housed in remote ghettos in conditions of unimaginable squalor.

Every aspect of their lives is rigorously controlled by mafia work-gang masters who use fear and intimidation to induce compliance. Rape, violence and murder are commonplace. It may be hard for us to stomach it, but the unpalatable truth is that those Italian tomatoes that are cheaper than the Aussie equivalent are probably being harvested by slaves.

Measures have been taken by large corporations to ensure their tomatoes are harvested “ethically” but unfortunately the verification systems meant to ensure farmers obey the law and don’t exploit their workers are often as unethical as the labour practices themselves.

Workplace inspectors are “very few and very corrupt”, The Guardian found, and the certification bodies that are meant to give supermarkets and other buyers an ethical audit of where their produce is coming from, are often a tick-box, hands-off report paid for by the tomato growers themselves.

It’s yet another example of globalised supply chains chasing profits at the expense of people and planet. Unfortunately, this story is one that is all too familiar to those of us working in the fashion industry. And in fact, it was one of the primary drivers that led us to creating Citizen Wolf, in an effort to produce ethically-made and sustainable tees, right here in Sydney.

 

A TASTY ADDITION TO YOUR WARDROBE

Red is without doubt, the single most dynamic and passionate colour in the spectrum. Variously, it can symbolise love, rage, courage, excitement, passion, danger, energy, and action. People who love red tend to be energetic, impulsive and driven.

So, if you feel passionately about the humble, delicious and world-changing tomato, then hop on the Citizen Wolf website and sauce yourself one today. The rich dark red colour looks good enough to eat but you better hurry, cause if you miss out on limited edition Tomato, you’re gonna feel rotten.

 

 

 Womens Tees in Limited Edition Pomodoro | Citizen Wolf

Limited Edition Pomodoro Organic Cotton 180 GSM | Citizen Wolf

Mens Tees in Limited Edition Pomodoro | Citizen Wolf