FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
We were thrilled at bluewhiteandgrey.com to catch up with brand partners, friends and champions of adventure ‘Passenger Clothing’. The story behind this lifestyle brand is inspiring and refreshingly honest.
Regardless of your interests or what you do for a living, it’s rare to truly become inspired by a brand of clothing, but after speaking to Rich who runs Passenger with wife Alexa, I’m stoked to report inspiration is what is flowing through my veins right now. We’ve had a partnership with Passenger for a little while now and there is a reason we teamed up with them. I met Rich and his wife back at Boardmasters last year and couldn’t believe how down to earth they both were, all smiles, that’s what you want to see. But it’s not until now that I’ve spoken in depth with them about the brand that I’m understanding where that joy comes from.
Passenger are a brand after our own hearts, inspired by the very same things that spur us on to discover and plan new adventures.
‘A big part of the ethos for Passenger is being in or around the sea, it’s at the heart of what we do along with the music that inspires us, the places we see and experience as well as the people we meet along the way. We live for the outdoors, art, photography and adventure.’
Passenger are based in New Forest, between the forest and the ocean, and it’s that landscape that has shaped their lives and inspired the concept behind their clothing range and selected designs.
Initially more male focused, Passenger are a crossover brand, purely due to the appreciation of their quality products and the narrative of what they have created. Women have grown to love the brand and products as much as the men, so 2016 is truly an exciting year for the Passenger team, and it will be challenging for them to keep up with the demand. Not a bad problem to have.
Passenger’s spring/summer Wanderlust range encompasses the Passenger escapism ethos and will be bringing that to the collection of limited stock. Katie is their women’s designer and Patrick takes care of the fellas.
Visit the site for a sneak peek and get in first when the new line becomes available for purchased in early March.
Waves & Trees:
Waves and Trees is another range of Passenger’s apparel and a distinct segment of their brand identity because it’s these elements more so than any that shape their adventures..
‘Being at home in the new forest, it’s exactly these elements that inspire us and we go to Canada when possible because it’s surrounded by waves, trees and mountains. Waves and trees are something that we’ve decided to focus on and we’re working with our local forestry commission partner and spreading out across the UK to work on a tree conservation and wildlife program. We’re working on getting it into motion at the moment so there’s good things to come.’
Tell me a bit about how you got started and what you’re about?
Really for us Passenger was never about money, it was really about a way of life. We wanted to do something we were passionate about. It took a few years to get off the ground, a lot of planning, learning and long days but the challenge has always been fun and something we are very passionate about. It’s one of the hardest things we’ve ever done, trying to do everything as organically as possible and learning from our mistakes.
We want our audience to be inspired to go on the road, go on an adventure, go out wandering, get lost and Escape for a while!
We want the people that buy our products to get value for money, feel good about there purchase and go out and enjoy them so the quality needs to be there. finding a balance between quality, sustainably and price is high on the agenda to offer maximum qulaity and detailing. All our products and graphics have stories behind them.
The Passenger site has a dedicated Wandering Collection featuring stories from brand ambassadors such as photographers, film makers, surfers and musicians such as Australian Mike McCarthy.
One of the great elements and differentiators of Passenger is your content, you seem like story tellers above all else, how has that come about and what part does in play in the brand?
When we were first conceiving the brand we were out in Sri Lanka and we thought we were going to call it Passenger but we weren’t 100% sure. We were trying to come up with a brand idea and we met a couple from Australia who were friends with Aussie musician Mike McCarthy. We were hung out for a week and chatted about music and they said you’ve gotta listen to this guy Mike who is a friend of ours. We listened to his music non-stop, during the development and shaping of the brand, in the office and on road trips. He sort of became a key part of the start-up of the brand so we got in touch with him and he was over the moon to be involved.
As a brand we’re about trying to share our vision and our ethos and our stories with people, rather than trying to sell products we’re trying to share and inspire people. We like to sit around the campfire and meet like-minded people telling tales and take those experiences away because you keep those far longer than you will products.
This year we have some really interesting stories lined up and the wandering collection is a key part. We like to share stories of people who are on adventures, not everyone can come and get lost in these journeys themselves because of work or family commitments, but they can come and visit the site and get lost and be inspired to plan adventures and experience new things.
A new story on the Wandering Collection follows an English photographer Lucia Griggi who lives in California. She used to be photographer for the WSL and she’s a real inspiration.
We met her and her boyfriend John who travelled from California to Alaska in a campervan that John built with his own hands. They went travelling and documented the whole thing. We met them in Vancouver Island and put it all together from there so we’re now able to present their journey.
We met another of our ambassadors Robert when we went to California and he is just off Vancouver Island living on a float home, he has Orca wales that come past his house, it’s incredible! He has a wood stove in his cabin so it’s all misty and gloomy and he looks out of his windows to see clouds peeling over mountains. It’s these guys who inspire us and we get to document what they’re doing and tell their stories
Some of the other ambassadors Barry Mottershead who came on a trip with us to Scotland and we stayed with him in a tipi for a week. And there’s Adam Stickland who is a friend I grew up with and has been travelling for about 3 years. We keep in touch and work closely with all these people and live vicariously through them and hopefully our readers can immerse themselves in that cool stuff as well. It’s not pretentious it’s just a place where people can come and get lost.
You’re surfers, snowboarders and Adventurers and you’ve just come back from Canada – is that a big element?
We’re heavily influenced by surfing because that’s what’s around us and we were recently in Canada snowboarding for a couple of days and snow shoeing, hiking and exploring. So we’re not a surf brand, a snow brand, an outdoor brand a summer brand or a winter brand - but we’re all of them. Passenger is about the story and adventure and how you got there, surfing is the icing on the cake but it’s about the journey.
‘It’s not really been said before but we’re an escapism brand!’
That seems right, we’re about the whole journey and it’s about escapism. A lot of brands focus on the board sports element whereas that’s what you do, but not necessarily the reason you do it! It’s the whole escapism part that inspires us, the whole journey, and the joy of sitting out in nature – it’s the simple life. When you strip it back you only need the core elements in life.
So you’ve been off to Canada already this year, what’s the plan for your next adventure?
We usually take our dog Ralph away in our van, we’ve had to extend the end of the bed because our dog who is a whippet takes up so much room now. He comes everywhere with us. We had planned to go away in Feb despite it being so busy so we’re going to drive west, keep an eye on the swell charts and just peel off. If there’s no surf we’ll go to Dartmoor or Wales or somewhere and just get lost.
03 May 2016 09:30
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