I have worked in Fairtrade and ethical sourcing since 2004 when me and my then business partner imported the UK's first 500 Fairtrade certified footballs. We then went on to develop the world’s first Fairtrade footwear brand (ETHLETIC) and set up supply chains for organic and Fairtrade cotton and natural rubber.
As a lifelong cyclist I wanted to combine my love for cycling with my experience in developing Fair Trade sports and fashion products and noticed a huge gap in the market for ethical and sustainable cycle wear, thus VELECO was born (more of how from John). I've noticed a huge rise in the popularity of cycling, not least amongst my friends who never rode bikes in their teenage years and twenties but now all seem to own £1000 + carbon framed speed machines.
I look after product development, sourcing and I use my network of contacts to develop groundbreaking new clothing and accessories for the VELECO range. My bikes of choice are beaten up mountain bikes which I take on and off road and a racing green Brompton, the later I have stolen on average every three years. I soon plan to brake the habit of a lifetime and invest in a proper fast racing bike.
I was fed up spending half my life commuting up to London, and I wanted to work for a company that cared about people and the environment. I've known Jamie for years and knew that he worked in ethical production. So at a mutual friend’s wedding we talked about setting up a new ethical business together.
After a few pints in the pub, we decided to set up Fair Corp the ethical fashion and sports company. After a few more visits to the pub, and even more pints we hit upon the idea to create a truly ethical cyclewear company for urban riders, luckily we remembered the idea in the morning!
I was a keen sports cyclist when I was younger (and fitter), so from 1990 I followed the Tour De France around France riding many of the famous climbs. Now I just ride my bike to work and for fun at the weekends.
At VELECO I do all the marketing, PR and website stuff. I ride a 1970s Bianchi (stolen from my dad), an 1980s 753 Peugeot and an old mountain bike. Recently I found a tandem mountain bike at the local tip which needs a lot of work. If I can find the time I also want to build a track / fixie bike.