February 21, 2017
The next in our #AMTDetox series comes courtesy of British crafted runwear brand Iffley Road. With training for the London Marathon well underway, and participants working hard to find the right products and processes to help them over the line, we talk to husband and wife team Claire Kent and Bill Byrne about the story behind their collection, the benefits of running and why you should be able to wear your kit in the pub as well as on the track.
At Alice Made This we are all runners to different degrees. Ed is a natural who closely monitors Strava and competes when he can, Alice runs to channel stress and enjoy some well-earned me time and I’m a recent graduate of the Couch to 5k app who is proof that, with the right focus, anyone can run.
Whether you run for physical improvement, mental strength or just to get outside, the benefits of running are diverse and undeniable. Claire and Bill have both been keen runners since childhood and quickly realised that running kit shouldn’t be based on uninspiring gaudy colours, shiny material and ill-fitting designs.
“Most of my career was as a luxury goods analyst at Morgan Stanley,” Claire tells me, “and most of Bill's was in communication and IT at British Airways. Dealing with luxury goods companies made me realise that there was a lack of really nice running kit available.”
Iffley Road was founded to create something completely different. They have produced a range of running gear that not only performs well, but looks sharp and feels wonderful without compromising on technical details.
“Nearly all our kit is made in Portugal from highly technical fabrics, sourced in Europe,” she continues. “All our short sleeved and sleeveless running tees are made from a dri-release pique, which is bespoke to us. Our shorts are made from Italian performance polyester. Our running jackets and gilet are made from well-known technical brands such as Event and Active-Collant. We split some roles (Claire: customer service and PR, Bill: website and production), although we both get involved in the design of the kit.”
The result is a balance of freedom, warmth and ventilation with simple and precisely engineered designs that you’ll be happy to wear for a post-run coffee or a pint. They share Alice Made This’ value for clean and honest products with a deep rooted British heritage. Iffley Road’s pared-down aesthetic reflects the timeless values of running, with the kit named after running landmarks – including the Cambrian tee which is named after a gate into Richmond Park.
“It lifts our spirits every time we go through that gate to start our regular 5k circuit,” she finishes. “Richmond Park is definitely our favourite place to run, and fortunately right on our doorstep. Running (often with our dog) helps us to maintain a work/ life balance, along with yoga and swimming. We always recommend running to someone who’s struggling because running always clears the head and you always feel less stressed afterwards if you have a problem.”
Learn more about Iffley Road here.