I was introduced to BAM Clothing a few months back when I bought a pair of their socks and oh my sweet toes I didn’t know any clothing - let alone ethical clothing – could feel so soft! And it’s not just their socks! The world should know what BAM clothing feels like:
I spoke with founder of BAM clothing, David Gordon.
So firstly, can you quickly tell us what BAM Clothing is all about?
We make clothing and performance wear from sustainably sourced bamboo. Our clothes are for adventurers, athletes and anyone who wants to feel super-comfortable while wearing clothes they know have minimal impact on the environment.
Can you tell me about your BAM Brand Ethos and how that ties into the products you create?
We genuinely care about the environment and the planet we live on. We follow this the whole way through - the cotton we blend with the bamboo is organic and suatainably sourced, and even our packaging is biodegradable. Obviously we recognise that we are not perfect, but we do try and make a difference where we can.
We're also committed to an approach that makes sure everyone is treated fairly. We always say we'd rather make less profit but have lots of happy customers and suppliers.
Was there anything in particular that inspired you as a brand, and may inspire others to be more mindful of what we buy and wear as consumers?
I was after the utopian ideal of a business that had massive potential, that had an environmental angle and also that was interesting to me. When I discovered clothing made from bamboo in China 12 years ago, it ticked all the boxes. It has all these amazing performance criteria (great moisture wicking, thermos-controlling, anti-bacterial for starters) and it is the most comfortable material you can imagine to train or hang out in.
Aside from the comfort and performance angle of using bamboo, it is also a great crop for the environment: it’s the fastest growing plant in the world and yields the same volume as cotton from just 10% of the land area. Plus it thrives naturally without using any pesticides or fertilizers and is 100% biodegradable. I was hooked and decided to go for it.
I’ve seen your #BAMstand campaign on social media – could you tell me a little more about this?
Many years ago, when I was backpacking around the world and found myself at interesting places or had done something challenging, instead of a photo of just me standing there, I thought it was more fun to build a handstand album. I still collect photos of myself doing handstands when I visit somewhere new or I've just completed a new challenge. It’s a little bit quirky, and has evolved into the #BAMstand with many of BAM’s loyal customers contributing their own photos wearing a piece of our kit.
Check out more #bamstands here
To get involved, just take a photo of your BAMstand (ideally wearing some BAM gear) in an unusual place, after you’ve achieved some major feat or just to celebrate the joie de vivre. Then email your photo to email@example.com, or via twitter to @DavidatBAM using #BAMstand, or share on the BAM Facebook page. If it is any good, we'll post your photo on our website and social media channels, and send you a free #BAMstand T-shirt.
What are your favourite locations to explore in the UK?
There are so many fantastic places in the UK, but if you’re making me pick just one… every January I go rough camping in the Brecon Beacons in a bivvy bag with a couple of mates. We call it the Brecon Freeze. We start with a rough plan of which coniferous wood we might checkout before dark, but that’s about it. Nowadays we know all the good woods and the rubbish ones! A nice bit of bushcraft is made more interesting when it snows but in any event BAM Thermo baselayers and a decent sleeping bag get the job done!
Christmas is coming soon... is there anything as a brand you want for Christmas/the new year? Any hopes for other brands like you, and also any hopes for the world and us all as consumers?
I hope that 2017 is the year you unlock your adventurous spirit! Having a purpose and goal to look forward to is what makes life worth living. You are captain of your own ship so take responsibility, make a plan and go for it!
Most of our readers are surfers in the UK and there’s a long winter ahead! Can you chose an outfit for a man and a lady( include socks and pants too if possible!) for a windy, cold January post surf?
For a man, post surf, I’d suggest:
• Walking Socks £15 – comfy, warm and snuggly. A real treat for the feet. Super soft and will keep your feet warm
• Branded Boxers (£15) – ultra comfy with a broad waistband for a secure fit
• Sweat Pants (£45) – sporty straight legged sweat pant in a BAM medium sweat fabric
• Thermo Expedition Baselayer £65 – The ultimate base layer, with microfleece lining on inner collar, cuffs and outer shoulder panels giving extra warmth and durability. Double zipped chest pockets, arm pocket and lower back pocket, to keep gadgets close to your skin and your body warm in extreme conditions. Temperature controlling front zip opening, long cut body length and essential thumb loops finished with discreet BAM woven hem label.
• Tromso Top £55 – in our heavyweight bamboo fleece, this hoody is beautifully soft and protective in the coldest weather.
Tromso top and Beanie hat
• Beanie Hat £12 - Unisex Beanie in our Ultra Luxe Fabric. A treat for the head – warm, soft, snuggly and stylish.
● Walking Socks £15 – comfy, warm and snuggly. A real treat for the feet. Super soft and will keep your feet warm
● Seamless Hipster Brief £12 - designed to be as smooth as possible next to your skin, these seamless shortie briefs are SO comfortable
● Urban Sweat Pants £45 - a slightly leaner sweat pant in our medium weight sweat fabric. Designed to sit just above the ankles for a really on-trend look.
● Thermo Zip Neck Baselayer £50 – the super soft luxurious fine rib Thermo fabric is a new development. The rib construction means it hugs and moulds around the body, combining with bamboo’s tubular microstructure to bring maximum warmth. Protects in the coldest, harshest environments and REALLY luxurious against the skin
Thermo zip neck baselayer
● Horizon Sweat £48 – a really stylish throw over sweat in BAM’s heavyweight fabric to keep you really protected from the elements. Horizon Sweat
● Beanie Hat £12 - Unisex Beanie in our Ultra Luxe Fabric. A treat for the head – warm, soft, snuggly and stylish.
Finally, anything you'd like to add? (anything we can suggest people read for more information about how they source and recycle their clothes?)
We really embrace the slow fashion movement – it’s all about buying quality rather than quantity; repairing clothes rather than automatically throwing them out; recycling clothes using organisations such as www.freecycle.org.
Johnny on the Spot is the surfer's personal, private diary. Download it from the App Store here, or from the Google Play Store here.