I’ve been following Forward for the past few months after I discovered their account on Instagram. Every so often, filtering through my feed, would be a photo of an eye-catching jersey or a landscape with a strong message in artistic typography.
I found that I was getting an instant digital mood-boost from their content output on this social media channel. Their designs seemed so refreshing and original and in this phase of limited apparel for women’s cycling, particularly in the UK, I wanted to know more. I got in touch with the founder and designer, Helen Eady, about her inspiration, passion and business goals. There is more to this women’s cycling brand than meets the eye. This is Helen’s story.
Helen Eady, Founder and Chief Bike Rider at Forward
“Forward is a women’s focused cycling apparel company (though we are making some of our caps in sizes that will fit men too). It all started from a desire for a more fashion forward approach to cycling wear. Influenced by fashion, street style and sports outside of cycling (we want to bring the fun, playful approach that sports such as surfing, snowboarding, yoga and running take towards women’s athletic wear and bring some of that attitude and aesthetic into cycling). Forward is all about the love of cycling, and while we think that winning races is super cool, our emphasis is on having fun and fostering a sense of community. We will be launching in spring 2015 with 3 jersey styles and 2 cap styles and hopefully more to come after that.
Beyond making the cycling clothes that we wanted to wear, we wanted to make sure that our company firmly embodies our values and our desire to make the world a better place. That’s why we partner with sustainable manufacturers and use recycled fabrics in some of our products. We also give 10% of all sales to a good cause. Our main charity partner at the moment is an organization called Bikes without Borders (http://www.bikeswithoutborders.org/) whose focus is on getting bikes and bike ambulances to medical health workers in Malawi, helping them to serve their communities better and save more lives.
I’ve always been a biker, and been through almost every bike style imaginable (fixie, bmx, vintage shopper style, cruiser). My love of road cycling came as the fortunate outcome of an unfortunate event. A few years ago I fell 35 feet in a rockclimbing accident and basically shattered my ankle to bits. I took up road cycling as a recovery activity and have not looked back. I fell in love with the sport and that passion is what led me to found Forward. With Forward I get to combine my love of sport with my love of design, having 10 years of experience designing in the advertising and fashion industry, adding up to something that is way too fun to call a job.”
The Forward range will be available here in the Spring