Heartbeat is an active lifestyle and climbing clothing brand created by a visionary young entrepreneur from Poland, Ania Pipinska. Her clothing is simple, durable and ethically made in her home country. What’s special about Ania is that she decided to run her business from a country where the outdoor industry is nowhere near as developed as in other parts of Europe, making her one of the driving forces for the development of the sector in her region. Bringing the production lines to Poland, Ania went back to the country’s textile industry roots.
Heartbeat is increasingly popular in Central Europe and you can buy the clothes online here. Delivery is EU wide.
In my opinion, the Double Cross Back Bra beats any other sports bra I’ve ever tried (it’s very soft and probably better for small breasts). The Eskimo Hoodie is a work of art that could be made better only by the addition of thumb holes in the sleeves.
Admittedly already not a startup, SOiLL is one of the most successful climbing holds companies in the US that has recently decided to become a pan climbing brand. They make funky tights, operate a climbing gym in St. Louis and now they’re about to enter the market with a whole new line of climbing shoes.
What makes SOiLL different is the great marketing that creates a community vibe and adds a human feel to their business. They managed to swiftly minimise risk by financing their first batch of shoes via kickstarter and the project was funded ten times over halfway through the campaign. Genius. (You can still get involved with the kickstarter and pre order a pair of SOiLL shoes here.)
When it comes to the product, the selling point is the combination of style with cutting edge performance. SOiLL even managed to change the colour of the sticky rubber for the first time in history. Admittedly, this doesn’t affect their most aggressive model, the all black Street that I’m very keen to test.
I can’t wait for a pair to arrive fresh off the production line in June for a review. Stay tuned!
Based on the edge of the beautiful Peak District, 3RD ROCK is run by its founder, Jessica Mor. Supported by her life and business partner Guy, Jess splits her time between being a new mum and an entrepreneur. As a qualified designer and pattern cutter, she’s an expert in creating clothing that’s both beautiful and functional (check out the tiny pocket at the bottom of their leggings! Perfect for storing a locker key at a yoga class or tissues at the crag).
The most interesting thing about 3RD ROCK is the extent to which they care about environmental and social responsibility. Jess even travelled to India to make sure that nobody involved with 3RD ROCK fabrics was being exploited in any way. Some of her designs are also made of fully recycled materials.
3RD ROCK’s marketing is in the hands of my good friend Alice Hafer and she’s already got on board great climbers such as Gaz Parry and Michaela Tracey. I must say I’m a little annoyed that Alice is so good at her job – I loved feeling original in my crazy Solstice leggings and now everybody wears them, especially after seeing both Alice and Michaela rock them at Blokfest.