Sports apparel company Broken Riders is planning to bring ethically and environmentally responsible clothing to the 'extreme sports' market, including mountain biking and BMX, as well as skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing and wind/kite surfing.
Founded by graphic designer, marketer and keen cyclist Tom Redfern this year, Broken Riders has an initial line of bamboo t-shirts, with plans to expand the range with organic cotton hoodies, merino wool socks made in the US by Sock Guy, merino wool beanies made in Germany by Manroof and recycled polyester freeride shirts – all set to be avaiable by early November.
In 2007, Redfern had a MTB accident resulting in a dislocated ankle fracture requiring surgery. It was while recovering from his injuries that he had the idea for Broken Riders: 'a cycling apparel company that celebrated the failures encountered by most extreme sports people; an apparel company that instead of being focused on racing and winning, instead celebrates taking part and doing something you love'.
According to the founder, the brand is looking to grow organically for the time being.
Redfern told BikeBiz: "I'm also looking at baseball caps, but I'm having real trouble finding anyone to manufacture them who can satisfy the high ethical and environmental standards I've set for my suppliers.
"Eventually, I'd like to stock a full range of cycle clothing and venture into protection – I think that would work well with the Broken Riders brand."
Currently the new brand has a single retailer – Pedal & Spoke in Cranleigh and Peaslake – selling the range of bamboo t-shirts. There are discussions with two stores in Brighton underway, as well as the potential of a large online retailer signing up. Sales are also made through the brand's own website and at events.
According to Redfern, all Broken Riders organic cotton t-shirts are ‘climate neutral’: ethically made and manufactured solely using sustainable energy generated from wind and solar power, resulting in a garment that has a reduced carbon footprint of up to 90 per cent over conventional cotton garments.
Broken Riders only buy garments endorsed by the Fear Wear Foundation (an independent, non-profit organisation that works internationally with companies and factories to improve labour conditions for garment workers), or other accredited organisations that ensure fair pay and conditions for workers in the supply chain.