This winter I went on a mission to find young companies that are focused on crafting quality apparel. Slow Fashion, some call it. You know the concept: Pay a premium for a really well-designed and responsibly manufactured jacket or pair of pants; love it and live in it for three times as long as you thought you would. Voilà: By shelling out more up front, you saved yourself money.
The best news for all? These progressive clothiers are making stuff built for adventure: new technical fabrics that transition easily from workplace to workout; cycling garb that looks as good in a coffee shop as it does on a bike; thermal jackets that appear on the trail Saturday afternoon and at the bar Saturday night.
The 15 companies here are not doing their world changing somewhere else—they’re all based in North America. That means onshore jobs, local economies, and community building. It’s enough to make you think the future’s gonna work out after all.
While it bills itself as “mountain bike wear,” you wouldn’t assume that Petaluma, California–based Kitsbow was anything but a classically inspired designer brand. It sources its wool from Australia and New Zealand and sews it in Europe and America. Craftsmanship is where they put their attention, and their array of baselayers, bike shorts, and even ridable jeans show it.