written September 2019 (updated spring 2022)
We are starting Ripton & Co. with the mission of producing the best high performance denim in the world. The need for this, done stylishly, seems obvious, and if you’re getting fired up on the high performance denim concept it’s probably because it resonates with your lifestyle and values as well. We don't like most plastic outdoor technical clothing, and as denim mills globally have learned how to produce fabrics with increasing levels of stretch, jeans have found their way into our wardrobe. High performance denim works for jumping on your bike / going to class, and lives throughout your active lifestyle. A well-made Ripton garment takes a classic work-wear silhouette with nostalgia, character, and history, and adapts it to our active lifestyle.
This is a conceptual melding of the old with the new. Like the current melding of carbon fiber technology with a classic object like a bicycle, a completely reimagined experience is created for human-powered recreation. As we bring elements of technical innovation into classic streetwear, we don’t need to compromise, we don’t need to wear rubbery petroleum products or Lulu sweat pants on a daily basis, we can wear something with Americana spunk that lives up to our daily needs. Just like putting a modern engine in a classic Porsche, or an electric engine in a Westfalia, we celebrate the past and the future seamlessly. We create innovation by remembering where we came from, who we are, and what’s becoming available, without haphazardly throwing out the old for the new.
Furthermore, in the era of Amazon and digital immediacy, we recognize that products which improve, wear in, with age, and build character over time, are increasingly rare, and a value that’s important to promote in a world strained with growth and consumption. And as Covid-19 has consolidated the size and power of massive American conglomerates like never before, supporting small business is something to take seriously.
Today, we find ourselves in a divisive America, where community is eroding and more people are feeling lonely and isolated. We’ve found that riding bikes, skiing, camping, have created communities far stronger than what’s available in our status-quo social landscapes. We cherish the culture created through outdoor (ski and bike) communities and see it as a powerful way to connect, innovate and solve many of our worlds toughest problems.
Those beliefs are as foundational as our pulse, as we aim to connect a disjointed world around us, and promote trust, shared memories, and cohesion. As Ripton evolves, we are entering a cooperative ecosystem of outdoor brands, creatives, engineers, and innovators, not an adversarial or competitive one.