I went to Spin Ldn a month or so ago – a urban cycling show housed in The Sorting Office in Holborn, full of bike porn, beer, gadgets and tonnes of lovely cycling clothing. The show itself is worth a visit if you’re into cycling (though if you’ve been before I’m not convinced that it changes all that much from year to year). I came away with fistfuls of flyers, brochures and stickers from stands full of so many pretty things I couldn’t quite handle it. There’s also a test track for trying out a weird and wonderful selection of wheeled things (included old choppers and those one-wheeled powered things you stand on) which is excellent entertainment if you’re planning on sticking around for a while with a drink.
I went with the intention of finding some awesome women’s cycling clothing that might encourage me to get on my bike a little more often, and there was one brand that stood out to me a lot more than the others. House of Astbury is, in their own words: “a reflective, cycle-friendly street wear brand with a strong feminist ethos. Born in a Punk House in South East London, House of Astbury is the result of our own experiences as women who cycle in this city. We tackle issues that we face on a daily basis, such as street harassment and body image, with products that are comfortable to ride in as well as fashionable. We are a small team of three women, striving to keep our business as sustainable and ethical as possible, and retain our DIY principles.”
Feminists? Check. Ethical? Check. Sustainable? Check. Frickin’ rad? Double check.
House of Astbury’s clothing range is put simply, awesome. Everything has a reflective print, and the clothes are so much more wearable than mostly cycling clothing. My main aim is to find clothes that I wouldn’t mind wearing to the pub or to work after cycling, and their lines pretty much hit the nail on the head.
The ladies behind the brand recently launched – and completed – a Kickstarter campaign to fund one of my favourite products: reflective leggings. They come in two prints – Thunder Thighs, an awesome lightening bolt print, and the Sex Pistols-inspired “Eyes On The Road” print.
Founders Monika, Ester, Ren and Liepa are also keen for the clothing to be worn not only by women – though they draw from their own experiences as women, the clothes are for anyone. They use their clothing as campaign tools, with the “Eyes On The Road” slogan popping up on several items, reminding road users to keep their eyes where they belong. They also have a line of bags called “Queen of the Mountain”, a playful take on the “King of the Mountain” jersey awarded during Tour de France. On a practical level, the clothes are created with cycling in mind – though they’re suitable for most activities. They’re created from technical fabrics and the 3M reflective areas are positioned perfectly to catch car headlights underneath bags.
Ultimately if you’re looking for cycling clothing that’s easy to wear and looks great, you’re on to a winner. Here are a few of the products that particularly caught my eye:
QoM waterproof bag – £30. I LOVE this. There are currently 6 different colourways online (different bag and strap colours) and the polka-dots light up like crazy in the dark.
Reflective cat tshirt – £25. Without bright light, eyes closed. With bright light, eyes open. SO COOL. Alice in Wonderland in a tshirt.
Do you have a favourite cycling clothing brand that we should check out? Let us know!
*Not a sponsored post – we just <3 them and wanted to spread the luuurrrrve.
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