Scottish company FINDRA offers an innovative new range of fashion-led, performance-driven women’s mountain bike apparel. Using a strong range of colours, distinctive patterns and a style which combines function with fashion, FINDRA is aiming to provide an alternative offering within the female cycle clothing market whose colours and styles are typically borrowed from male cycle clothing. Scottish Borders based fashion designer and keen mountain biker Alex Feechan identified a gap in the market for well fitting, functional and stylish mountain bike clothing for the female market.
“I found that the clothing available to me as a female mountain biker was pretty uninspiring and, although fairly functional, didn’t make use of the range of fabrics I was used to working with. I also felt that the styles could be more modern and exciting too.”
Alex had an idea to develop an innovative stretch-fit denim short, with a view to expanding to a full range of women’s mountain biking apparel.Back
Alex started the process by investigating using new materials to develop a stretch fit denim short. However, the process accelerated when she attended an Innovation Clinic at Glentress trail centre back in 2012, hosted by Scottish Enterprise and Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland in 2012. Here she found out about the support available to Scottish businesses through academia, Scottish Enterprise, Sporting Chance Initiative and Business Gateway.
Alex describes how the support has helped her develop her range of clothing:
“I had a fair idea of what I was hoping to achieve with a women’s specific range of mountain bike apparel. However, attending the innovation clinic at Glentress was very useful to understand the level of support offered. It was also really useful to have my ideas validated and gain encouragement that I should continue to develop my ideas.”
A trip to the world’s largest bike show, EuroBike, in Germany in 2013 confirmed Alex’s thoughts that her ideas were needed both in the UK and, potentially, globally.
“A group of twelve Scottish businesses went on a learning journey to Eurobike in 2013, organised by Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS) and Scottish Development International (SDI). It was great to experience the size of the show and get first-hand experience of women’s apparel. I knew then that whilst it wouldn’t be easy, there was a definite gap in the market for my products. It was also fantastic to be part of the Scottish mountain bike business community.”
As she further developed her ideas Alex held a series of Focus Groups at Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland, gaining valuable feedback from female riders to help validate her ideas and confirm her branding. Alex launched her first collection at the SDI stand at Eurobike in 2014.Back
At the end of 2014, FINDRA launched their first range of fashion-led, performance driven women’s mountain biking apparel range. The range includes stretch fit denim shorts, cowl neck merino jumpers, buffs, t-shirts and socks. The launch collection was showcased in Germany, London, Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders with the full range available to purchase online at www.findra.co.uk.
Alex explains how exciting it is to launch the brand:
“I am delighted with the range in terms of its quality, style and functionality and I am really interested and excited to see how it will go down with female cyclists across the country. I hope, and believe, that the range will chime with them and that they can help Findra reach its potential.”
Alex Feechan of FINDRA has also been shortlisted for Sports Entrepreneur of the Year at the 2015 Sport Business Innovation Awards.
Feeling inspired? If you have an idea for a new mountain bike product or service come along and meet DMBinS and Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland at one of our innovation clinics.Back