Maium Rainwear. Mixing style, function and ethics
Je kunt er de donder op zeggen. Thunderstorms are soon to come. Het regent dat het giet. It's really coming down. Het regent pijpestelen. It's raining steel pipes. Hollen of stilstaan. From one extreme to another. The Dutch language has a wealth of proverbs to describe the weather and arguably none more so than rain. No surprise, when you consider the average yearly rainfall in Amsterdam is 45% more than in London and 15% more than Paris. And in fear of lapsing into cliche, couple that with a country that tops the European charts for bicycle travel modal share, you can see an issue appearing on the cloud-filled horizon.
Maium, dutch slang for rain, is an Amsterdam based team of designers who have hit the market with a range of cycling rainwear that performs a necessary function, adds a broad-brush stroke of style and perhaps most importantly in today’s world, a laser focus on environmentalism, sustainability and production equality. We dusted off our best Dutch (OK, someone else translated for us!) to speak to Maium Co-Founder and Head of Design, Anita Palacios.
There are three styles in the correction collection. Palacios, clarifies how they differ. "The key differences between the three styles are the design and fabrics. The Maium Original Raincoat (made from 66 recycled bottles) is our first design, a classic staple piece that mixes style and function. The coat has a fit that is over the knee and the fabric is made from recycled PET. All seams are welded, a technique that sticks the fabric together so the rain can’t go through."
"The Maium Trench (111 recycled bottles) and the Maium Mac (88 recycled bottles) coat are fresh styles launched this season and showcase more vintage silhouettes with a modern twist. Both styles stay true to our ethos of functional, sustainable and elevated design, being fully waterproof achieved by taped seams and made from a blend of organic cotton and recycled PET."
Each item has all the requisite features you’d expect of a foul-weather cycling jacket. A hood with peak and a high collar, adjustable cuffs, long three-quarter length fit and ventilation holes in the armpits. And yet, perhaps the standout feature on each jacket is a set of side zips that transform the garment into an on-bike poncho. Palacios explains how it works. "There are two ways of wearing each style as a poncho. First, you zip up the zippers on the side seams. Then you slip the coat over your handlebars and put your hands through some holes in the jacket to grip your handlebars. The second way of wearing the jacket is to leave the coat resting on your lap; both ways it prevents the rain from falling on your knees and upper legs."
Each of the three styles is made to be unisex. "Firstly, as a designer, I believe in a world where men’s and women’s fashion should be one,” says Palacios. “I don’t believe in attaching the male or female stigma and think that every type of clothing should be suitable for whoever would like to dress in them. It was important Maium reflected this philosophy. Aligned with this is our sustainable vision. Having a unisex collection aids a lean production model, keeping overproduction and overconsumption minimal."
That brings us neatly to Maium’s sustainability credentials. “It’s the base of our company,” states the brands lead designer. “I couldn’t imagine starting a new brand without thinking of your ecological footprint. And this ethos has only increased as the brand has developed. It’s part of the Maium DNA and every day it’s at the front of our minds.”
The fashion industry is one of the most environmentally harmful industries in the world, which is why forward-thinking designers must combine fashion and design to create sustainable, functional and unique alternatives. Maium uses responsibly sourced fabric that is not only highly durable and waterproof but is produced from recycled plastic bottles, does not contain any harmful substances and is manufactured under fair, safe and healthy working conditions. All materials Maium use are certified under GRS, GOTS and OEKO-TEX(R) Standard 100 principles. But Maium doesn’t stop there. “Our polybags are biodegradable. We use recycled, reused and reusable carton boxes,” explains Palacios. “Even our lining and taping is made from recycled materials. None of our garments holds any animal products.”
Future plans for Maium include experimenting with recycled materials that have a higher waterproof rating to make their jackets even more suited to the rigours of every day riding. But for now, three jackets are available to buy here, in what has to be said are a charming range of colours.