Celebrating 25 years delivering exceptional print

Profile: A journey into wanderlust with David Gordon at BAM, Bamboo Clothing

To say David Gordon, founder of BAM, has a varied CV would be an understatement. Between running a successful activewear clothing label, he also jets around the world competing as pole-vaulter, he has completed an impressive man-haul expedition across Greenland with a team of Gurkhas and has a stint as a trainee stunt man on his list of achievements.

It may come as no surprise that David tells me he’s a man who rarely stands still for long…

“I like a focus, something to train towards. A challenge to achieve.”

So how did BAM begin?

David began BAM in June 2006. He stumbled upon the idea of using bamboo as a material for clothes during a trip to China, where the material was being quietly, but widely, used.

“When I came back to the UK and spoke to my family and friends about setting up a activewear clothing label using bamboo material they thought I was a bit mad. Although in China its use as a clothes material was completely normal, no one outside of the country has really heard of it. In fact, when I was researching setting up BAM I only found only one other business experimenting with it in clothing and they were all the way in America.”

Twelve years later and BAM has a team of 35 behind it and its catalogues are distributed to more than two million people.

“Before BAM I was considering a number of business ideas, but it wasn’t as simple as coming up with that idea to make money. Instead I wanted it to mean something to me, to be environmentally friendly and sustainable. I wanted a passion and to feel like I was doing something good.”

Bamboo is high performance material that, despite being on face value unconventional, lends itself perfectly to the type of clothing David wanted to create. It’s incredibly soft, antibacterial, absorbs moisture away from the skin, is warm yet breathable, and cuts out 97.5 per cent of harmful UV rays. It’s perfect for adventures who like the outdoors. You could say it’s perfect for people like David.

What’s clear is that every part of the brand reflects David. It’s a brand that caters for those who love the outdoors and being active.

“I created a label I would buy. I wear my brand day in day out.”

“Comfort and performance has always been key for us. You want your clothes to work for you, to respond to your needs, but most of all you want to enjoy wearing them.”

David’s wide range of interests also help inspire BAM he tells me.

“We get inspiration for our designs every day, but I consider the label to lead the market, rather than have a knee jerk response to it. It’s always been important to me that we not only understand our audience, but that we’re one of them. We are our audience.”

The partnerships BAM forges is just as considered as the material used.

One of those partnerships is JPS Limited. It helps produce BAM’s stylish catalogues which are distributed each season to more than two million people.

“Working with JPS Limited makes everything seamless. They look after everything and their attention to detail is second to none. It’s always a professional service and the team is on the ball.”

For those new to BAM, how would David describe the brand?

“Simplicity and style. Wanderlust, quirky and with integrity.”

And with a flick through its most recent Spring 2017 catalogue it’s easy to see why.

JPS Limited has successfully worked with BAM, Bamboo Clothing to support the production of its activewear catalogues for over four years.

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