Today is Earth Day, the theme this year is "Invest In Our Planet" – I'm writing to tell you more about what we've been up to the past few years, how CHPT3 has been investing in making things better. I don't think I've spoken much about it, possibly because I've never thought of sustainability as a marketing tool, and maybe I've been wrong about that because it is a message we must share and encourage.
CHPT3 began in collaboration with some of the most prestigious brands in the world of cycling, Castelli, Brooks, Brompton, Factor, POC, the list goes on... It was at the end of 2020 that we flew the nest of Castelli and began to design, develop, and manufacture our own performance apparel products.
Yet the planning had begun well before that, and across our whole range of products and collaborations.
In 2016 we made our first T-shirts, they were organic cotton from the very beginning and used water based inks, we've never made a non-organic T-shirt, nor used non-water based inks. That was a decision from the get-go, and little did I know it would begin a long and winding road to where we are today.
Yet that wasn't enough. I wanted to know exactly where our T-shirts, Sweatshirts and Hoodies were made. So I went on a journey – it turned into a mission – to make our own proprietary products in the UK.
This meant knowing where the organic cotton is grown and to be sure it's certified, then finding where the yarn can be knitted into fabric that can be cut, knowing how and where it's dyed, then finding a factory in the UK to cut and sew to our own patterns. I began that journey in 2017, it's now 2022, and it's only in the next weeks that those first generation products will be completed, we've called them Elysées.
Our bags are made in a small factory I found in Barcelona that upcycles used innertubes from the city rental bikes in Barcelona and Girona, they're all handmade to our designs, each slightly different, all tell their own story. Our tube socks are made in Leicester in the UK. Our hats are made of recycled materials and ocean plastic. We're one of only three brands to collaborate with Community Clothing in the North of England, a small company created to keep people in jobs in factories when the seasonal cycle of demand drops off. We're Brompton's only factory collaborator, and let's face it, owning and using a Brompton is one of the biggest investments any of us can make in our planet.
Last, and not least, every single piece of our cycling apparel has been pushed to be as sustainable as possible. The vast majority of our products use recycled materials, a couple of examples: our Bib Shorts are made with a beautiful material constructed from recycled fishing nets, our Fire & Ice Tights are made using a recycled material and use an eco-friendly DWR treatment, all our short sleeve jerseys are made of recycled materials. The factory we found to work with on our cycling apparel is the most environmentally and socially responsible certified factory in the EU; everything we make is made in the EU. Beyond that we figured that the biggest investment any of us can do is look after what we own, make it last longer, so we partnered with Clothes Doctor to encourage our customers to use eco-friendly detergent, it prolongs the life of the clothing while doing no harm to the environment.
Over the next week we're going to tell you more about all of this, because we believe it's worth knowing, and hopefully it will help you realise that owning a CHPT3 product is an investment in our planet. Ultimately, Earth Day is every day.
I'll leave you with the great words of Ernest Hemmingway, "The Earth is a fine place and worth fighting for."