Of the outdoor sports, cycling is late to the party with a cultural ethic of sustainability and social responsibility. Blame it on the over dependence on racing’s culture, but in 2017, to celebrate and perpetuate the sport of road racing as its existed is to perpetuate some old world thinking: disposable clothing, single serve experiences, the rarified and the new without a huge thought given to durability or the legacy of the equipment or what’s left behind. That could be why road racing is reaching a low in favor of adventure and competition that happens on dirt, be it gravel, single track or cyclocross is celebrating a high mark for its closer connection to terra firma.
When we started Velocio, this connection was but one of our founding principles. We considered the effect of our products and took inspiration from brands that sought to do as little harm as possible. We also began with genders evenly represented in our product lineup because shockingly, cycling brands have often neglected the fifty percent of the population without a Y chromosome and that makes for a less interesting scene, a diluted experience. Finally, it’s the reason we’ve stayed away from secret handshakes and eliteness,why all of our marketing has used real cyclists not models- we’re building something authentic.
We’re proud to see change happening in cycling and proud to be at the vanguard of that change. As members of the Conservation Alliance since our founding, we’ve given money to protect wild places. Our Unity Jersey effort this summer raised nearly $20K total spread amongst World Bicycle Relief, the ACLU, Amnesty International and the Human Rights Campaign. Our commitment to fair trade, our support of progress and wild spaces and our ongoing efforts to build cycling clothing that lasts prompts another pairing for Velocio. Today, we’re becoming 1% for the Planet members, pledging annually 1% of our sales to causes that support the environment to demonstrate our promise to keep doing this work in the future.
It bears mentioning that while we’re the first cycling apparel brand to join the 1%’s ranks, we aren’t the only industry member aware of the changes afoot. Events like the Breck Epic have strict rules about their impact. Bike manufacturers have begun offering carbon fiber recycling.
Even the Tour de France, the sport’s eldest bastion of patriarchal leadership is trying to slim down the environmental effects of its caravan and to take some of the sharpest edges off its aged marketing push.
1% makes a difference. It’s the last 1% that goes into what we make that makes the biggest difference in how you experience riding. It’s the financial equivalent in this partnership that improves our relationship with the wider world.
Read about our Unity Project