The British skiwear start-up bringing performance onesies back in from the cold
We’re firm believers that there’s a positive spin on almost every situation imaginable – you just have to find the optimism and creativity to see it. When Naomi Hampton broke her leg in several places playing rugby, for instance, it certainly didn’t seem like a blessing in disguise – not least because it was her first game back after breaking her other ankle, and it meant postponing an upcoming skiing trip. Holed up indoors on crutches and with a lengthy recovery period ahead of her, it was easy to lose sight of any silver lining.
Luckily, Naomi’s best friend and fiancé, Christie, had the ingenuity to save the situation. You see, Naomi had taken to wearing onesies pretty much 24/7 while on crutches, and it had become a bit of a standing joke between them. To prepare for their rearranged ski trip, Christie decided to buy Naomi a skiing onesie – you know, the retro types you’ll find an old Bond movie, minus the awful puns and casual racism.
The catch here, though, was that skiing onesies are usually pretty crap. Your options boil down to a super retro design, which means sacrificing any degree of performance, or a better quality suit that looks like it was made in a lab. Christie’s solution to this was, frankly, genius: she designed her own, contacted a factory and was sent a sample ahead of her ‘big order’, which she then presented to Naomi as the best Christmas present ever. We know: utterly brilliant.
As it happened, the custom suit attracted a lot of attention on the slopes; Naomi found herself being chased down runs and approached in bars so skiers and boarders alike could ask where she got it. From there, the girls figured they had nothing to lose from producing a few more and testing the water with some prototypes – and the response they got was incredible. People loved the suits. Not only did they solve the age-old issue of snow cascading inside your clothes every time you stack a landing, they were fun to wear, comfortable and performed just as well as any modern jacket and trousers combo. Red7SkiWear was born.
Fast forward to 2018 and with a successful Kickstarter campaign behind them, Naomi and Christie have perfected the design of their flagship all-in-one ski suit and are looking ahead to the next evolutions of the Red7 brand. With a degree in Sports Technology, Naomi was able to not only apply her own knowledge but leverage the support of her peers in the industry to create a technically advanced product, which she and Christie then distributed to their ambassadors and friends around the world. These guys were using the ski suits across Europe and North America, providing instant feedback on technical features and design so the girls could truly nail the suit.
Nor is it finished, either. Red7 are aiming to be fully environmentally sustainable in three years time, which includes producing the ski suits from recycled materials. They’re already selling a range of tees and sweatshirts using organic cotton and produced in a wind-powered factory – for Naomi and Christie, that eco-conscious mindset is an essential part of their brand. Their premises are all run on renewable energy and each order is sent out with packaging made from recycled materials.
Sure, as a skiwear brand they have a vested interest in the planet not heating up, but their convictions go deeper that – not least because Red7 are releasing a new range of apparel that can be used off the slopes too. With that expansion comes a heightened awareness of the kind of brand that they’re perceived to be, and the girls are determined for Red7 to play its part in combating climate change.
These are big plans which seem all the more extraordinary when you consider that Red7’s Kickstarter campaign only ended in 2016 – since then, they’ve come on in leaps and bounds. Skiers and boarders all over the world are sporting Red7SkiWear onesies, from professionals to instructors and amateurs alike. And we can’t see ourselves suiting up in anything else anytime soon.