Balmanno has been a long time in the making. The concept behind the brand is based on my own personal experiences growing up and playing sports. I was the kid at the back of the pack when it came to gym class, overweight, out of breath, the one who was always picked last. I hated every minute of physical exertion and it wasn't until my early 20s that I discovered sports could be fun. But the clothing sucked. It was either too flimsy, not breathable or just not designed for its purpose. So I made it my mission to one day design and manufacture my own sportswear from scratch. I studied performance sportswear design at Falmouth university in the UK, a very unique course that taught design philosophy, with a focus on the human physique and the movement of the body. This is how my passion for designing technical sportswear, that is fit for its purpose came about.
Our ecological sensibility
I entered the fashion industry after university and quickly realised that the clothing manufacture process was an environmental disaster – the way clothing was made, the materials used and even the packaging wasn't sustainable and it was harmful to the environment. So I set out to find new materials and processes that were eco-friendly and could really make a difference. That’s when I came across RPET, a low-impact plastic that is collected from recycling plants and then turned into fabric. I was really excited by this innovative material, but I knew I could do even better. There’s an ongoing environmental crisis with the amount of waste that ends up in our rivers, oceans, and along our shorelines, poisoning wildlife habitats and creating islands of floating plastic. To help make a difference, we’ve found a way to manufacture our RPET from plastic that has been physically collected and turned it into the fabric we use for our Balmanno sportswear range.
Tread lightly on the Earth, leave no trace behind
My focus then turned to the amount of plastic waste most clothing companies generate with their packaging. All of our packaging materials, from the polybag to the mailing bag, are 100% biodegradable and made from a processed corn starch that breaks down easily in home composts and gardens. Our swing tags are made from cardboard and we use materials which can easily be recycled, as well as biodegrade overtime. This means our packaging materials leave no trace behind.
Our mission doesn’t just stop there, we’re actively seeking out new ways to reduce the environmental impact of clothing production and we won't be finished until we’ve transformed the industry. Soon to come, we will have our casual range, made from 100% organic cotton. Cotton is already one of the most sustainable and eco-friendly materials we can use for clothing, but a large amount of pesticides (used in the production of non-organic cotton) ends up in the soil and nearby rivers. This is why we believe in only using organic cottons.