I love being able to showcase fantastic, well made products that can't easily be found elsewhere. British design, craftsmanship and attention to detail is incredibly important to me and is integral to The Mantique. I take pride in getting to know the designers behind each brand and love sharing their stories with you.
This month, we’ve been featuring GRN Sportswear, the brand behind the fantastic bamboo T-shirts that have been so popular with you all. GRN was set up by Rob Webbon and Guy Whitby, two chaps with a huge passion for cycling, sustainability and good British design. We invited Guy to come and chat to us about their design process, sustainability and cycle training tips for our most recent ‘Meet The Designer’ Event.
If you aren’t familiar with the GRN T-shirts yet, they are made from bamboo, a super soft fabric which has wonderful breathability and natural antibacterial properties. You can shop the full range here.
As well as their everyday clothing, GRN also design and make innovative cycle team wear. Guy brought along some of these pieces so we could learn a little more about their technical sportswear range. Their designs are produced using a rather unusual resource...
... recycled fishing nets!
For those of you that couldn’t make it to the event, have a little read of our interview with Rob, who shared with us their exciting plans for the coming few months and where they get their inspiration from:
Where did the idea for GRN come from?
The brand was born from a desire to try to make cool cycling kit in the most sustainable way we could.
What is really important to you?
Family, bikes, friends, bikes, community, bikes… you get the picture!
Where do you get your inspiration from?
Riding a bike. You experience so much more when you’re seeing a place on a bike compared to passing through it in a car.
What have you got planned for GRN over the coming year?
We’re developing new designs for GRN as we speak and will be launching these in the spring. Our biggest announcement is that we’re splitting out the teamwear part of the business to create a brand around that. Presca Teamwear will launch at the London Bike show, so it’s a hugely exciting time. Presca will be all about showing that technical sportswear can be at the forefront of performance without sacrificing on sustainability and ethics. All of our teamwear will continue to be British made and we’re expecting 2018 to be a huge growth year.
What do you do in your spare time and to relax?
I don’t have much of that at the moment. I have a two-year-old and a young business, both of which take up a lot of time! In truth, spending time with the family is the perfect way to relax after a day at work, but if I do have a spare hour I’ll either be running or biking. I’m just rediscovering the joys of mountain biking after a prolonged absence so that would probably be the thing now.
What tips do you have for budding cyclists?
Buy the biggest shed you can find. Believe me, it starts with one £300 bike (which you think is an awful lot of money to spend on a bike), but before you know it, £1000 on a pair of wheels sounds like good value and the number of bikes you need keeps on growing. I met a man this week with 28 bikes. Granted they weren’t all his, some belonged to his kids, but cyclists just can’t get enough kit…
Who is your role model?
My Grandfather, John Langdon, was a tank commander in WW2. He was the only one from his regiment to see the whole war from start to finish so he saw a lot of his best friends die. He saw and experienced the most awful things, yet in the 25 years I knew him I never saw him unhappy. I never heard him swear. He would pull handstands when he was 70 and was as fit as a fiddle until shortly before he died. He was grateful for every single day on earth because so many of his friends hadn’t had that luxury. If I can be a fraction of the man that he was I will be proud.
Who is your male style hero?
The obvious answer has to be Peter Sagan.
What are your three top tips for stylish Gentlemen this season?
Three great British companies that we love, if you haven’t heard of them yet then check them out:
Hiut Denim – Welsh jeans manufacturer with a lifetime guarantee
Millican – for beautiful, sustainable backpacks
R.E.W. Reynolds – for cycling shoes with a difference!
Thank you so much Rob and Guy, it’s been a pleasure learning a little more about your fantastic brand and your plans for the future.
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