We believe nature and cycling go together like milk and cookies. We are aware of the impact we have on our environment both as active cyclists ourselves, and as a business. What our favourite sport has to offer in good things, at the same time also has an impact on this planet; whilst you are actually doing the right thing: riding a bike instead of taking the car. It might not be something you want to be reminded off everyday, but here are some of the facts:
- 27,000 bottles, 12,500 gels and 1,288 tonnes of CO2: The environmental cost of a WorldTour team in 1 year.
- The cycling clothes you wear are mostly made out of polyester, which means they are oil-based. Iron them really hot and they will actually become hard plastics.
- The fashion and clothing industry is one of the largest polluting in the world
That's why our business model is not based on discount after discount, that's why we plan to sell through almost everything we make, keeping dead stock to the lowest level possible and that's why we prefer to repair the occasional faulty garment (when possible) instead of just sending you a new one.
Of course we are not perfect, but as a small business, we need to lead by example, to make it clear to others, that if we can do it with our limited budget, they should be doing it too!
Every single item we produce gets delivered in a dust bag. A dust bag protects your garment from dirt and damage on its way from the factory, to our warehouse and to your doorstep. They are a single-use wrapping and are typically made from plastic. That is why we started looking for a non-plastic alternative. It was a real challenge, but we found plant based bags made from cassava-root. We ship them per 10 000 by sea transport from Indonesia to Belgium. They dissolve in boiling water, or last 180 days when you compost them, leaving no harmful residu.
We are committed to using 100% recycled paper in our packaging and shipping materials. From our sock labels to our flyers, from our shopping bags to our shipping boxes, all are made from 100% recycled paper. The paper we use has been re-made from used paper (post consumer waste) that has been re-purposed at a recycling facility. This ‘closing-the-loop’ process saves 40% in green house gas emissions, 50% in wastewater, it uses 30% less net energy and of course it saves trees. It is a clear-cut, real and tangible approach to demonstrate our commitment to the environment.
We are proud to say that we design all our products in-house. Before we add a new product to our range, we gather the knowledge and feedback from our team. We are all avid cyclists, and a big part of our team is also in direct contact with our customers via our flagship store. This gives us valuable insights. We start off with hand-drawn sketches, visualising the features, cuts and fabrics we aim to integrate in this particular product. Next, we make a technical file and create a full briefing for our manufacturer. They provide a quote and estimate of MOQ (minimum order quantity) on which we base our decision to give the product a GO or a no-go. If it’s a GO, we start the first round of prototyping. After 3-4 weeks, we receive a first rough sample, and we collect feedback from our test-riders before we start up round 2. Another 3-4 weeks later, we receive a final sample. In this stage, we finalise the designs and decide to place a bulk order. Then, we wait a good 2 -3 months for our bulk order to arrive.
98% of our products are made in Europe, in countries like Italy, Romania, the Netherlands and Portugal. The remaining 2% is produced in Tunesia and China. We are working hard to have everything produced in the EU within the next 2 years. It’s our goal to have all our products made according to OEKO-TEX® and Bluesign® international standards, which means we actively strive to have good labour conditions in the factories, and that we use sustainably produced textiles in our garments. The majority of our garments is made in Romania, via our Italy-based manufacturer. They produce the bulk of our jerseys and bib shorts, which helps us reduce the impact of transporting our garments to Belgium.
2 years in the making and immediately setting a new standard, our RECON range has been designed to bring cycling into the new era of high-performance apparel with a lower impact on the environment. The range it's pure and minimalist design represents the unique fabrics used, made from recycled PET bottles. At the same time, these fabrics have been designed to be 100% performance oriented, being manufactured by the highly esteemed Italian fabric engineers at M.I.T.I. and Effepi.