For the first Journal post of 2016, we put one of the most exciting new brands in cycling apparel in the limelight. We meet LUMO for the latest in the Freddie Grubb Focus series. 

Hot on the heels of becoming the most funded cycle clothing project globally on Kickstarter earlier in the year and having secured equity investment via Crowdcube, LUMO have now launched their debut range (see launch video in gallery). We met up with Co-founder, Lucy Bairner who explains where the inspiration came from:

Cycling in London is like playing a game of Snakes and Ladders. Whilst riding a bike in a city certainly has its challenges, we believe there is simply no better feeling than the freedom you get from getting around on two wheels. The London Collective is inspired by, and in some cases, made in the capital. The look of the garments has been very much influenced by classic British designs, with cutting edge technology subtly integrated for less snakes, more ladders. The launch video is called ‘#freedomofthecity: London’ and aims to showcase the city as well as our new collection.
— Lucy Bairner

LUMO’s launch range, The London Collective, features jackets and bags with an LED lighting system that increases cyclists’ visibility to traffic, yet is completely concealed off a bike.

Fellow Co-Founder (and recently husband - they married on 4 July in the midst of their Crowdcube campaign), Doug Bairner explains where the thinking behind the launch range came from:

After I was knocked off my bike yet was still too vain to wear fluorescent clothing came the realisation that city cyclists don’t just dress for our journey, we dress for our destination too. We gave up our jobs and set out to design garments that would make cyclists more visible on their bike yet allow them to step straight off it into a business meeting or nice restaurant.
— Doug Bairner

The jackets and bags contain ultra high brightness LED strips on both the front and back, subtly hidden within the construction of the design. The lights are said to be visible from 400 metres away and their placement has been deliberate to ensure they’re visible regardless of riding position. The LEDs are waterproof and washable and are powered by a removable USB-rechargeable battery unit that is tucked away in a small inside pocket.

The jackets use Schoeller® fabrics to deliver water-resistance, dirt repellence and breathability and the Bermondsey backpack is made from a hardy waxed cotton from Halley Stevensons. The jackets are also packed with cycling-friendly features like dropped hems, inner cuffs, stretch shoulder panels and lots of useful zipped and magnet closure pockets, and the bag comes with an inner laptop sleeve. 

Doug goes on to describe their future plans:

The plans go way beyond visibility. Through the design process we’ve uncovered ideas for building various technologies into garments to make life easier for city cyclists. Imagine a day where you can charge your mobile phone in your pocket as you cycle to work, navigate from your jacket sleeve or ultimately can actually contribute to the grid by pedalling from A to B.
— Doug Bairner

With plenty of dark winter days left to go this year, LUMO's LED apparel is certainly one to keep an eye out for. Take a closer look at the LUMO Bermondsey backpack, for sale in the Freddie Grubb shop and available online here.