~ #lifeisjort ~

Letter to Jortholders

 

                   

                     As of today (2/12/21) we've sold out of most of our performance denim overalls. We no longer have men’s medium, smalls, or women’s smalls. The intensity of demand and excitement has been totally outlandish, as we just received the women’s overalls last week. I’d like to say that growing over the past year from a new business that gets a new customer order every few days, to a brand that’s shipping out dozens of orders every day has had its growing pains. We’d like to be the first to admit that we’ve made mistakes. We've sent the wrong product to the wrong customer, we’ve had quality issues especially with the women’s overall straps (in size small), and we’ve been hard to get a hold of at times for processing exchanges. We point out these faults because we are laser focused on improving in each of these categories. We don’t want to make excuses except that we are excited, passionate, and learning all the time. We have the same immediate gratification brain as anyone else. When we decide we want something online we want it as fast as possible. In the next two years you will see our fulfillment speed and robustness evolve dramatically.

That being said producing original technical denim products, where the fabric is custom-milled and then cut, sewn, and washed to our specs, is very time and money intensive. The only way we were able to afford to purchase the first round of performance overalls (like our first edition jorts) was by having many of you preorder them, like the Kickstarter concept, giving us the capital to run with our idea. This is a form of consumer democracy that has allowed Ripton to get on its feet in its first 15 months. We will continue to create systems to prioritize our current and loyal customers, by offering them a first look at our new products and often with preferential pricing. We will continue to open our latest innovations up for preorder, but increasingly closer to the actual release date of the product.

The more we grow as a company the more our vision evolves for timelessly spunky performance denim products in a range of shapes, washes, styles, and weights. Denim is a very old industry as well as being very urban driven. At Ripton & Co. we are infusing this old industry with a youthful energy, as well as from a rural, outdoor, adventurous perspective, and the results are vastly different from what else is available.

We did originally design stretchy jorts to bike in them, because bike clothes weren’t meeting our needs. And we designed the insulated denim overalls with the vision to be able to ski in them, both in the backcountry and on the resort. But, the overalls are by no means ski pants, and the jorts are by no means bike shorts. Like the iPhone, which isn’t designed to be used to answer work emails or DJ a concert, it’s merely a device that’s very well designed and can be used in many parts of life.

I remember my first smart phone back in 2008 (a droid) I bought as a ski coach in Vermont to be able to see my athlete’s times in their race from the start as they crossed the finish. This allowed me to take on the proper attitude when I saw them next, whether they needed a simple congrats or fresh encouragement after a set back. This is not how I use an iPhone today.

We hope your jorts and your overalls are this transitory in nature. That you bought them for one reason but then begin to use them for something entirely different. The number of people who have mentioned sleeping in their ‘jovies’ is both hilarious and revealing. They are a brushed-back bi-component that’s experienced as both stretchy and fleece-lined. And overalls are all encompassing, they envelope you in a warm fuzzy blanket. I definitely feel the same in mine, like I can hide from the world a little bit, I can put my arms inside of them as I write this email and conk out for a little bit. We didn’t mean to design a sleeping bag and we didn’t expect people to run marathons in them either, but that’s what’s incredible about human creativity and really well-designed products, they surprise you.

We’d like to share a few reviews we’ve gotten lately that help outline how people are experiencing the Ripton products.

I cannot possibly explain the 'overall' joy I experience when putting these on. They're more comfortable than my sweats. They're like supple soft baby blankets with diesel truck durability. I'm in love. I would like to never take them off. . .”

-Rachael Burkes, Pro Skier.

Notice her blanket reference.

“The Active Teacher's Dream

Best for... Everything! I can quite literally go from sitting, standing and playing with 1st graders to an ice-climb to my yoga mat to movie night on the couch. More colors please & thank you :)”

We didn’t design the overalls as a product for watching movies or teaching first grade, but we love imagining that.

“why wear anything else?

Feeling lucky that I scored a pair of these before they sold out in my size! Super soft, with plenty of flexibility and comfort for the nordic ski track. I had three people ask me where I got 'em on Day 1 of ski, so I must look pretty cool, too ;) I have a long torso so overalls are always a tricky fit for me, but these met the mark! I am 5'6'', 130 lbs and snagged a small. These beauties are my new winter staple and feeling psyched to wear them year-round on summer nights here in Maine, too. And probably everyday around the house for the foreseeable future.”

Again, there tends to be the same message around versatility. This is very flattering for us as the designers, as we don’t want to build something for a very narrow part of your life. This is not an accident and part of what drives the Ripton design ethos and direction.

We’d like to end with the reminder that we listen to your feedback. Like the Model T or an Alexa we do need to go out on a limb and use intuition-based decision making, but when it comes to fine-tuning a product, the user knows best. We know you want more washes in jorts, we know you want more washes in overalls, but please send along any and all ideas, no matter how crazy they are. In fact the crazier the better.

You can reach us at JortLord@jortly.com. Thanks again for being a part of this wild adventure.