Hands up who likes cycling? Since the age of six, I’ve loved the freedom of a bicycle – from cycling with friends to family days out, and now onto commuting, there’s a certain joy that never seems to get old.
If you’re into cycling, or any type of exercise for that matter, you may have found it hard to come across ethical options for work out gear. Things have improved over the last few years, partly down to the athleisure trend, although it has made it difficult to find items that combine both style and substance. It’s taken me a while to find both the perfect look and the perfect function in my pieces, but I’m finally there!
This is my pride and joy when cycling! I love being a little gold beacon, whizzing around London, yet I’m not too auspicious as the gold is a light, soft sheen, with a satisfying white trim too. It’s a Thousand Helmet, an independent helmet brand that aims to make quality cycling gear without unnecessary harm to the planet. The helmet has a unique lockable cap, magnetic clasp, and better still, the straps are vegan leather. I purchased mine via Bear and Bear, a good option if you’re based in the UK.
Now that I’ve moved house, my commute has doubled – and my need for proper cycling wear has too! In the picture is what I like to wear on a short trip: my breton-striped second-hand top, and my Fat Face puffer jacket (now made without any duck down!)
But for serious cycling (I’m talking 30 minutes plus), I need something that will wick away sweat, keep me cool, and is form-fitting so as not to catch. My answer has come from Asquith: using bamboo, organic cotton, and their very own mix of the two with elastane, I’ve found their breathable leggings and organic cotton batwing top are perfect. They both keep my skin cool, and the top is thin enough to wear under a jacket without trapping too much heat.
If you’re a “proper” cyclist, i.e. for sport or for more than simply getting from A to B, I’d also recommend checking out GRN Sportswear, who use recycled materials and manufacture in Britain, or No Such Thing, who make fashionable, technical womens cycling gear.
You’ll have to forgive me, because my bike is the one part of my outfit that I’m not totally in love with. You can spy it in the corner of my photo, and it’s a great piece of kit – and old school Raleigh bike with Prince of Bel Air paint job to boot. Sadly, it’s just not my style, but it’s been in my family for around 10 years and it’s still serving me well for now… I am however lusting over a matte black Foffa Bike, or better still, a Tokyobike CS in any of its crayon colours… They’re both beautiful and perfect for the city. I’m going to be trading up soon, although finding an ethically-made bike is quite hard. I suppose the plus with any bike is that it’s an extremely green way to travel, and better for your health than a car too.
Edit: I am now the proud owner of a Foffa Bike! If you’re interested in purchasing one, let me know and I’ll try to help with any questions you may have.
The final piece of the puzzle! I’ve been pragmatic with my accessories so far, as I need to be able to transfer everything when I get my new bike. So far, my top pick has to be my USB rechargeable lights, which are dinky enough to go unnoticed, powerful enough to keep me seen, and versatile enough to be charged at my desk. I’m also using my second-hand Kanken backpack on the daily basis – if you prefer new, try the Rekanken – and I would have no bike if it wasn’t for my d-lock!