Lululemon, the Vancouver, British Columbia–based clothing manufacturer, has made a minority investment in cycling apparel company 7Mesh. That’s great news for 7Mesh, which should benefit from the athletic-wear juggernaut’s marketing and distribution know-how, and a blessing for consumers who will hopefully start to see more and even better gear from the Squamish, British Columbia–based cycling brand.
“We are looking forward to input and guidance from a big technical-apparel brand,” says Tyler Jordan, CEO of 7Mesh, though he’s quick to point out that 7Mesh will retain its independent structure and vision.
For Lululemon, it’s a smart investment, as the company has struggled to crack the riding market.
A couple years ago, Lululemon sent a box of new, house-built cycling apparel to Outside for consideration. The patterning and fabrics looked fine, and few of the male editors in the office were mildly interested in the apparel. But I couldn’t bring myself to wear the stuff. In my estimation, black cherry and aubergine are things you pick up at the grocery store—not colors for road jerseys and mountain bike shorts. And given that the gear is strikingly absent from Lululemon’s website today, it’s clear that the market agreed.
Lululemon and 7Mesh don’t seem like obvious partners, but the two companies have a lot in common. There’s the B.C. connection, of course, and I’d argue that 7Mesh has also had marketing challenges.
A little over a year ago, I got a box of new winter road bike apparel from 7Mesh. As with most of the company’s gear, it was excellent—built from top-shelf fabrics and patterned just right. I took it to our annual bike test for others to try, and the feedback was resoundingly positive. But it struck me that of the 20 or so testers, few if any had heard of 7Mesh outside of my coverage.