We’re always looking for a shirt we can wear climbing or hiking on the weekend as well as to the office during the week. Tradlands has answered that call by creating well-made women’s button ups with quality fabrics, cut to fit but not be too constraining.The shirt is easy to wear and looks great—we’ve been wearing a few items from the new spring line this week and have gotten numerous compliments from co-workers and hiking buddies alike.
We recently had the opportunity to interview Tradlands’ founder Sadie Roberts. In addition to telling us what makes a great button-up, Sadie described her perfect day off (a beach day with her dog and husband/business partner, Jeremy) as well as lessons she’s learned running her own company over the last few years.
We included a few bonus questions from our chat below and you can view the interview on Range’s blog.
Sorta Outdoorsy: What was the initial vision for Tradlands?
Sadie Roberts: Truly the thing that I think resonates with a lot of women is this idea that you walk into the menswear section and you think ‘I wish they made that for me’ combined with the feeling of wanting the kind of clothing that your mother handed down to you that still holds up after years. What I didn’t realize when I started out was that the menswear inspired fabrics and prints weren’t actually the shirts that sold the best. After hearing from customers, the shirts transformed into what those customers were looking for. Our customers are the biggest advocates for what ends up being successful—things that we didn’t really know were going to be part of what we do from the start.
What is the process like buying and choosing fabrics?
Probably the hardest side of manufacturing in a conscious ethical way is making sure your fabrics are coming from a great place and making sure that the quality is consistent. It’s a huge part of the overall integrity of a peice of clothing. I love working on fabrics and sourcing fabrics. We have boxes and boxes and boxes of swatches and every time we’re thinking of making something new I get them all out on the floor and make a huge mess. They usually sit there for a few days before I figure out what we’re gonna do.
We love that we can wear these shirts outdoors as well as in.
I was nervous when we started I was going to say that and people weren’t going to feel that way. Because I’m a very casual dresser—I’m usually in jeans and a button up and sneakers and I am on the go a lot and I’m pretty active and I wanted to feel that way myself. But I was worried that people were going to think that that wasn’t really true when they weren’t able to wear the shirts or that they were going to become these fashion pieces rather than functional pieces.
I noticed that you introduced shirt dresses in the last collection.
Yes! We’re doing more shirt dresses. We were getting a lot of people asking us about doing a shirt dress and I am a pretty infrequent dress-wearer myself but when I did some traveling last year to some really warm places, I really got how having a lightweight dress is super functional and great in the summer or spring. We did our first run of them last spring. They did really great so we’re coming out with more and we’re going to do a different silhouette for summer that we’re still developing. Like a pop-over version. Our customers have really guided us in where some of the next steps for our line and our collection is. A button-up shirt dress is something that I maybe wouldn’t have seen initially but now I see is a really simple move from a button-up shirt.