New cycling jacket is truly home-grown

Latest clothing is designed and manufactured in Devon

A Devon bike fan is launching a new brand of unique breathable jackets for cyclists –  designed and manufactured in his home county.

Andy Mackellar from Totnes is a keen amateur cyclist, and the idea behind the new Spinktex Blizzard came as he and a friend were unable to find jackets that kept them sufficiently dry and cool when riding hard in winter.

So they set about patenting a new kind of breathable material which lets a lot more liquid and vapour pass through from the rider’s skin to the outside, thus helping prevent perspiration build-up and excessive heat loss.

“My old cycling friend Andrew Spink and I were struggling to find waterproof jackets that kept you cool and dry enough on the inside in winter, and so  he thought well, if I can’t find the right sort of clothing I’ll have to invent it ! – and he did !” said Andy.

“Andrew patented Spinktex in the UK, the US, Australia and New Zealand a few years ago, and now I’m in a position to turn our dream into reality.

“So I set up  Blizzard Clothing Sytems and designed a new kind of jacket using the material Andrew first patented, and now we’re ready to make it available to the public. Of course, this super material could have a lot more applications than just cycling, and I’m already working on plans for skiing and sailing clothing as well.”

And now the first batch of the new Blizzard cycling jackets is being manufactured at a factory in Devon.

The outer layer is  waterproofed with  Bionic Finish Eco, which is completely fluorocarbon-free in manufacture and content, the middle layer is made of a  foam made to our specification ,and is designed to let more perspiration pass through than existing materials, and the inner layer is specially made in Devon.

Andy said: “Once I had the design right I wanted to keep everything as local as possible, so chose as many Devon-based suppliers as I could. For example, the jackets are being put together by Cottonfrog, which is based at the Newnham Industrial Estate in Plympton, near Plymouth, and the lining is being made by Heathcoat Fabrics of Tiverton, which is great because it means we’re supporting the local economy first and foremost.

“Indeed, pretty much everything in the new jackets is sourced in the UK. In fact the only thing that isn’t is the zips, which I’ve had to get from Turkey. The outer fabric is made in Nelson in Lancashire, and the thermal layer is made in Corby in Northamptonshire.

“But I am really pleased to be working with as many local suppliers and contractors in Devon as possible, because I believe we can all benefit by working together as closely as we can”

The jackets are available for order online at www.myblizzardclothing.co.uk and will also be available at the Moor 2 Sea Sportive on September 7, which starts and finishes at Exeter Racecourse.

Andy said: “There’s a special introductory offer price of just £239.99, which includes embroidered lettering of your choice, and the first 99 jackets will also have embroidered serial numbers, so some lucky people will have a chance to own a piece of clothing history!”