Fashion & Shopping

Pedaling With Peppermint

June 21, 2019

With a passion for cycling, the fierce female founders of Peppermint Cycling Co., twin sisters Michèle and Veronik Bastien, are making bike clothes eloved y women across Canada and beyond. We chatted with Veronik about the differences between women’s and men’s cycling gear, the inspiration behind her company’s products, how Peppermint gives back to the cycling community, and more! —Noa Nichol


What and who inspires you in making cycling gear?

Peppermint wants to bring a breath of fresh air to women’s cycling, with products always designed with the highest standards of the industry in mind and a collective vision that continuously redefine women’s cycling experiences. Women want brands that speak their language, are engaged and make a personal connection, which is why we are creating compelling experiences and not only new cycling gear. Our first motivation was to create a brand that was going to be “purpose driven” with the strong intention to break the barriers and make all women feel welcome in the cycling world. Peppermint aspires for women to feel good and be proud, to have a strong self-confidence, and adopt cycling as a lifestyle. Coming from an industry where creation was strongly valued, we decided to focus and concentrate on our strengths. With no compromise on technicality, we chose to reinvent and innovate in an industry otherwise traditional. Our creative inspirations come from outside the cycling world such as from skiing, outdoors, surfing and yoga, in order to create original and refined designs. Peppermint is built upon an outdoor lifestyle that takes place in nature. We love to be outside, and that is the reason why we decided to ground our Peppermint Basecamp in the centre of the Mont-Tremblant village, surrounded by amazing mountains, roads, lakes and inspiring views. Connecting our office environment with nature keeps our design senses in-tune with the natural world.

How does women’s cycling apparel differ from men’s?

There are still many brands today that use their men’s offer for women (with a few changes on sizes and colours). But women don’t want designs made for men in smaller sizes and more feminine colours, they need cycling apparel that is designed and conceived for them. That is why we developed a unique athletic fit specifically for women in technical, yet super soft fabrics. Not only are they flattering, but our products are also detail-oriented in order to meet women’s needs. The designs are fresh and daring, with vibrant colours that are unique to Peppermint. A big plus is that our products are made to mix and match throughout the seasons and collections … allowing your very first Peppermint jersey to match the latest collection. Women have also multiple needs and there is not just one product that is right for them. Like in any other category, cycling brands need to adapt its offer and make sure there is enough choice for every woman.

And how does Peppermint gear differ from other women’s cycling apparel on the market?

We thrive to offer active women cyclewear packed with style, value and quality. With the concern and objective to develop a performant, versatile and comfortable product, we aim to offer an unparalleled athletic fit specially designed for active women. The products are perfectly adapted for all conditions; from racing to casual rides to indoor trainings. Respecting the “cycling code”, the Peppermint products are refined, bright and women specific and are characterized by vibrant colours, refreshing graphics, sophisticated and thoughtful details, optimized cuts and a fabric mix that delivers breathability, durability, and a flattering feel. We are very excited about the creative innovation of our 2019 collection and everything that it involves. Since its beginnings, Peppermint proved its worth in the cycling industry, allowing us to carve ourself a place among the leaders of the industry. Our new European partners, mainly located in Italy, grant us the privilege to collaborate with us for the manufacturing of our products. The renowned expertise of the Old Continent is now within our reach, allowing us to expand towards new horizons. Even if our manufacturing plan has expanded, we are proud to continue to collaborate with our amazing local partners. Our Quebec partners have been loyal since the very beginning and take good care in producing your products.

How does Peppermint stay involved with/give back to the cycling community?

Peppermint is about the overall experience of cycling. We want to inspire women and to create a collective movement around cycling to bring awareness to the countless benefits of the sport. By having a unique and distinctive approach, we wish to make it easier for women to enjoy riding. Since giving back is part of our values and because our mission is to grow the active women’s cycling community, supporting different influential women and cycling groups who share similar values is an important initiative for Peppermint. We are proud to play an active role in our community. On top of that, we have created and launched our own cycling event named The Peppermint Bikefest, a festive and accessible experience for women. The Bikefest offers a one-of-a-kind cycling event, redefined with the Peppermint mindset. This year, we have gathered more than 250 cyclists (road and mountain bike) to kick off the season at the first 2019 Bikefest.

What do you love about cycling? Would you encourage other women to try it (if so, why)?

Cycling is the most beautiful sport. It’s our way to stay in shape, spend time with friends and relieve our minds and bodies from daily stress. Cycling is all about the sport, the lifestyle, the community, the freedom and of course, the fashion. It is a balance that every active woman should discover. We would certainly encourage other women to ride. Motivating and inspiring active women to ride is part of our brand mission. We want them to break their pattern and enjoy all the benefits of cycling whether it’s on the road or in the trails.

Tips for a total cycling newbie on how to get on the saddle?

First, gear up properly! Cycling is a sport where equipment and gear have a real impact on the comfort of your ride. Then, make sure you team up with good friends to make the experience as fun and social as possible. Cycling is not only about performance and endurance but about the overall experience. So choose your favourite Peppermint kit, stop for a good latte and plan to end with a refreshing after-ride beer. And most importantly, be fully confident … there is no good reason not to be!

Personal question: best ever ride or pedaling memory?

In Croatia, where we had the crazy idea to launch a women cycling brand. Landscapes and routes were amazing and so inspiring that we finished the ride with a strong intention to make every woman feel like we did during this ride : proud, confident, free and oh so happy.


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