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Supporting product development in the mountain biking sector: FINDRA

Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland has been instrumental in the development of FINDRA. Alex chatted to them about how FINDRA came about.

An innovative new range of fashion-led, performance-driven women’s mountain bike apparel will be launched this week by Scottish company FINDRA. 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.

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A Scottish Borders based fashion designer, Alex Feechan, has been developing a range of female mountain bike clothing for the last couple of years. Alex, an experienced fashion designer and keen mountain biker, initially identified the need for better fitting, functional and stylish mountain bike clothing from her own experiences.

Alex explains:

“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 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.

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 to Scottish businesses through academia, Scottish Enterprise, Sporting Chance Initiative and Business Gateway. 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.

Alex says:

“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.”

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Since EuroBike in 2013, Alex has held focus groups at the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland at Glentress which served to further validate and develop her ideas and to confirm her branding. She is delighted to launch the range in Edinburgh, London & Innerleithen in December.

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.”