Review: A SuitSupply Havana jacket for 10£ on eBay

Reviews

Article estimated reading time 4 min. read
Article date Oct 9th, 2018
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Introduction

I have been scouring the internet for sometimes now looking for a jacket. Brands like SuitSupply are pretty easy to find on eBay thanks to their availability, which is why finding one of their jackets without a single bid is not happening every day.

This time it happened because of a labelling mishap, Carlo Barbera — the mill — was used as the brand's name. I found it completely randomly by searching for "Suit 34R" on a page I lost count of.

The brand

If you do not know about SuitSupply it is a great entry-level brand if you need a new suit. They have stores in most major countries — though France still doesn't have one yet — and one of the best online shopping experience I've had with next-day delivery, free returns and an overall easy-to-use website.

But seeing all that marketing and such low prices — considering the quality of the final garments — is usually not a good sign ethically wise.
The production is located in Asia (China, Vietnam and Malaysia among other countries) for the garments while the shoes and accessories are made in Europe (Italy, Portugal, Romania...) and they mostly use natural fabrics including different types of wool and silk. Again, not great signs...

I was happily surprised to found out that SuitSupply is a part of the FairWear Foundation since 2007. Their social reports have been showing great improvements over the past two to three years, earning them a total score of 80 for the year 2018 with 97% of their production being monitored.

I did not know about the FairWear Foundation before researching about SuitSupply's working conditions. Their reports are well detailed and the evaluation done every year goes into great details about each point.

I would highly recommend you to read the latest report if you are curious.

On the animal side, information is a bit sparer. Outside of mills' own data, which is quite hard to find, SuitSupply provides a social report for the year 2017-2018 which has two pages (out of 53) on the subject.

Though it should be taken with a grain of salt, this report shows wool should not come from mulesed sheep and all animals should be sourced from farmers with good animal husbandry techniques. Leather should be sourced as a byproduct of the meat industry and the animal should be killed before the skin is obtained (yes, it happens...). They are also looking to remove feathers & down from their products which is nice.

I do not know if SuitSupply actually enforces those rules or if they hope outside parties will make sure about it. In any case, this shows the brand is aware of the current fashion industry. Doing it genuinely or as a marketing aspect might not matter that much in the grand scheme of things if humans and animals alike are treated more fairly in the end.

Please do remember that any Code of conduct, sustainability report or other document of the like do not have a juridical value. The brand cannot in any way be held responsible in case child labour, museling or other terrible practices is proven to be a part of the garment's construction.

The model

If you are familiar with SuitSupply the name Havana will probably ring a bell or two. Originally this model was synonym of an unstructured, unlined or half-lined, jacket. Typical Italian tailoring.

Made from an interesting blend of wool, silk, mohair and linen this jacket goes well with a more toned-down outfit. The texture is very rich, creating by itself a strong outfit which can be paired up with other textures or simple patterns in blues or grey.

The jacket being half-lined makes it great for a day out during fall or early spring. It is lightweight and breathable while still being more durable than a fully unlined jacket would be as the fabric on the interior will be less prone to rubbing against other clothes, especially at the shoulders.

The outfit

In this case, I took my dog to the park with my girlfriend who gracefully accepted to take a few pictures down the road.

I am wearing the jacket with a white cotton pocket square SuitSupply, a light blue popeline shirt from Hast, a pair of sapphire flannel trousers from BonneGueule and my trusted burgundy double monks from Meermin.
I am also wearing a houndstooth flat cap recently bought in a vintage shop, giving the final look a more casual feel and better matching the actual activity we were doing.

Conclusion

I will be honest, this does not happen every day. Most good entry-level suits are at least sold for 100€ or more while Iasia, Canali and other high brands' suits are sold starting at 300€ for the older models and 800€ for the newer models.

Retailing at 329€, even at 100€, it would have been a good deal considering the one-third of the retail price rule. After receiving a pre-owned garment I always give them out to my pressing for a good clean which, including shipping as well, increased the total cost to 35€. Still not bad.

But with a bit of persistence and luck, you can find great garments for a bit less. Very recently I bought two double-breasted blazers, one from the tailor William Fioravanti and another one from an unnamed tailor for 25€ and 34€ respectively.
I will write an article about them when I receive them.

Florian Husquinet

I am a web developer currently living in Liege, Belgium. My big resolution for 2018 was to have a more ethical wardrobe.

I will explore different options throughout my posts ranging from regular brands to second hand going into the details of what makes a garment ethical or not.

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