Australian brand Black Sheep was started with a mission to break down the stigmas that exist in the sport we love and invite all-comers from all corners of the world to experience the joy of riding regardless of age, ability, gender or race. Here, they tell us how they're doing things differently.
Black Sheep was co-founded by former professional athlete John Polson in 2014. It started as a passion project, to challenge an industry that had become tired, boring and self-congratulatory. We wanted to create cycling kit that could be an expression of self.
From a small shared office space on the Gold Coast to a flagship store in Brisbane with cafe and creative working environment, our brand has gone from strength to strength. Our team has expanded from two to ten with 24 garment releases instead of four. Our worldwide community of like-minded cyclists continues to grow.
We're still grounded in our original mission. We want to innovate and inspire our community and unite everyone for the sport we love. And have a bloody blast doing it. Because, let’s be honest, a sense of freedom and fun is why we started cycling in the first place.
We do so much more than make cycling kit. We're creators, doers and storytellers. We live and breathe what we do. So if we’re not slaving over innovation, we’re probably out riding our bikes. Or running. We sometimes do that too.
Since 2016, mental health awareness foundation The Man Ride has positively helped shape the way people think about male mental health – in and outside of the industry – and raised awareness with rides and events across the globe.
The WMN Initiative focuses on providing a pathway through cycling for female athletes by giving elite female cyclists opportunities in the professional peloton, through sponsorship of the Specialized Women's Racing team. Through this initiative, we also want to inspire more female participation in cycling.
To support this, dedicated female-specific collections and content are produced by women for women, with five per cent from the sale of all WMN branded products going straight to the WMN Initiative. There's also the dedicated Love Women's Cycling Podcast, bringing you a behind-the-scenes look at the professional peloton.
Above all else, Black Sheep is a small and passionate crew, devoted to the continual pursuit of creating and designing the world’s most unique cycling apparel.