Apparel specialist PEARL iZUMi is introducing a new brand position. The company notes that this has an ‘inclusive foundation, designed to bring-to-life and directly tie together the depth of its mission and values’. This positioning will also clearly complement the brand’s efforts around social responsibility and a refreshed product line for 2019.
After six decades of commitment to cycling, PEARL iZUMi adds that ‘everything the brand will introduce in 2019 and beyond will ensure this passion lives on for future generations who share a love of bikes.’
‘Unlock the Power of Inspiration and Impact’ is the mission that captures why the brand exists. Chris Sword, President of PEARL iZUMi described it as follows, “We didn’t create our mission, we discovered it. This was an energizing process that included 100% of our team, and also gave clarity to our values – trust, craft, empathy, impact, and plus 1. These elements of our brand, now well-defined, are forever, and will guide everything we do.”
‘Here we go’
A new brand position with the tagline ‘Here we go’ seeks to celebrate the common feelings all riders share and the positive impact individuals can have on communities through bicycles. According to Geoff Shaffer, PEARL iZUMi’s VP of Brand Marketing, “We developed our new brand position with a connection to our mMission and the brand’s history to establish a perspective that’s uniquely PEARL iZUMi.
“No other brand is like this brand. We have so much history, and have been a part of so many riders’ cycling experiences, we believe we have incredible future potential by capturing the inclusivity that’s in the DNA of our brand. This is the beginning of an entirely new chapter.”
A release from PEARL iZUMi adds that ‘Here we go’ is anchored by one simple, powerful word: go. Sometimes it’s a word of encouragement. Other times, a call to action. It celebrates the individual, as well as the collective, and elevates riding to much more than a competition. It acts as a rallying cry for all the good that cycling has to offer. The brand’s goal is simple: to connect with a diverse group of riders that are united by their love of riding, which takes on many different forms for many different people.
PEARL iZUMi formally embraced its social purpose as core to the company’s business model in June 2018, with the introduction of its social purpose statement… ‘Because we believe how we live shapes how future generations ride, we pledge to Ride More and Do More.’
This social purpose seeks to go beyond social responsibility. The brand has been leading the industry in socially responsible practices for years (it’s reportedly the only cycling brand that reports on the Higg Index for a sustainable supply chain).
The brand feels strongly its impact can be powerful, if it’s focused, aligned, and uniquely PEARL iZUMi. With this perspective the brand is leveraging its business practices, products, and advocacy to maximize this impact, and embolden all of us to ride more and do more. This is the brand’s path to what it calls ‘net positive’ impact on the planet.
With this in mind, PEARL iZUMi is setting high goals to lead in this area. Impactful examples of recent actions include the industry’s first-ever effort to essentially ‘eliminate’ hangtags. Effective January 2019 the brand will only attach one card to capture critical codes and pricing information, at the smallest size that can still be recycled.
“We feel that with all of the digital resources available, relying on a large hangtag to communicate product details is outdated, and they generate a surprising amount of our total packaging waste,” said company President, Chris Sword.
The new hangtags use 19,400 lbs less paper, saving a reported 165 trees, 68,082 gallons of water and 4,503 gallons of oil annually. In addition, all new polybag packaging shifted to 100% recycled plastic, which can be recycled again, further reducing waste.
Notable product initiatives related to the Social Purpose include new sustainable technical fabrics made from responsibly-sourced merino and Reprieve recycled polyester, that will be introduced this spring. By 2020, 30% of the PEARL iZUMi line will be made of recycled materials. And by 2022, the brand plans 90% of the total product line will be made from recycled, renewable or organic materials.
A partnership with The Renewal Workshop to repair and resell PEARL iZUMi warranty returns will give gently used products a second life instead of adding to landfill.
A design refresh and renewed focus on the most significant styles for spring 2019 has resulted in ‘the most compelling collection in a decade’. A further emphasis on everyday riding gear can be found in the brand new BikeStyle range, with cycling inspired apparel for men and women that ‘looks as good off the bike as it does on’.
The BikeStyle collection also includes a wide selection of organic-cotton graphic tees, with designs to appeal to bike lovers of all stripes. Several new innovations will also be introduced in the updated mountain bike collection, including a new Trail Access pocket design that conveniently moves pocket contents out of the way for unencumbered pedalling.
The new Summit collection features lightweight trail gear for dedicated riders, and includes a 100g wind shell, hooded rain jacket, lightweight shorts and feature rich WxB waterproof shorts. The new X-Alp Flow flat pedal shoe adds dual compound sole technology at a compelling US$100 price point.
The company approached the look of the road line with a ‘jeans and t-shirt’ inspiration, allowing riders to mix and match tops and bottoms for a fresh look. “We moved away from the typical matching kit with the idea that we could empower riders to look great, and build a wardrobe over time that never goes out of style,” said Lynn Bush, Design Manager for PEARL iZUMi.
“We’re also excited to introduce new prints that use hand drawn graphics to bring a human element to sleek silhouettes.” All new PRO Bib Shorts for men and women headline the new collection, featuring integrated graphics, and a fresh navy colour option. The new gear will be launching in early February.