There's a new player getting ready to enter the cycling softgoods market, with the aim of creating high end, technical apparel purpose built to withstand the rigors of mountain and road biking. Based in Squamish, British Columbia, the 7mesh team has decades of combined experience in the apparel industry. The company recently announced their partnership with W. L. Gore & Associates, a move that will allow them to use GORE-TEX® and WINDSTOPPER fabrics throughout their upcoming clothing line. Tyler Jordan, 7mesh's president and CEO, said, “Our goal is to become the most respected softgoods company in the cycling industry. Gore is the acknowledged leader in waterproof, water resistant, and breathable fabrics and we’re thrilled to partner with them for our launch.”7mesh is able to create prototypes at their Squamish, BC, facility.
Where does the name 7mesh come from? It's a nod to the company's Squamish location, which the indigenous inhabitants called Sḵwx̱wú7mesh. Located in between Whistler and Vancouver, Squamish has gone so far as to dub itself the 'Outdoor Recreation Capital of the World', a bold claim, but one that its close proximity to world class climbing, skiing, cycling, and kiteboarding makes it hard to dispute. 7mesh's decision to base their design studio here was prompted in part by the variety of available outdoor activities as well as the broad spectrum of weather, which includes everything from hot summer days to weeks of pounding rain, the ideal conditions for thorough product testing.
The entire range of clothing is designed and tested at 7mesh's Squamish facility, and then manufactured overseas. This is slightly different than the normal procedure – typically, a company comes up with a design on paper and then relies on a factory to come up with the initial samples. Having the ability to manufacture their own samples allows 7mesh to create a product that accurately reflects their vision, rather than relying on others to bring a concept to life.The recently announced partnership with Gore will allow 7mesh access to technical fabrics ideally suited to wet climates like the Pacific Northwest.
When asked about what inspired the creation of a new company, Ian Martin, 7mesh's vice president of R&D said, “We're all cyclists, and we really felt that we couldn't get what we wanted out there; we thought that the product could be way better. We saw a hole in cycling, and felt it was as good a time as any to go for it.” 7mesh isn't hiding the fact that their products will be at the upper end of the pricing scale, but they also stress that their apparel is designed to last season after season, as opposed to being a nearly disposable garment that lasts only a few months. 7mesh's full line will be revealed at this year's Eurobike tradeshow, which takes place at the end of August.7meshinc.com