Interview with Milo – Founder of Pennine Hiking Gear
Here at Bob Greens we’re thrilled to be stocking Pennine Hiking Gear. Their Standard socks are perfect for trainers and shoes, their Heavyweight socks are great for boots (and when you really need to keep your feet warm) and their hats look great, while protecting your head from the cold.
The quality of their UK made socks and hats are incredible. In fact we can safely say that their sturdy, comfortable, and great looking socks are the best we’ve ever worn. Our customers seem to agree as well, with quite a few coming back in for additional pairs after wearing them for the first time. We were keen to share a bit more about the brand and Milo, Pennine Hiking Gear’s Founder, very kindly agreed to answer some questions for us about the inspiration for the brand, the manufacturing and design process, and future plans.
What’s the inspiration and history behind Pennine Hiking Gear?
I started the brand around six years ago. Initially, I just wanted to make some socks that I could wear everyday, but that were versatile enough to wear whilst out walking, and that’s how the brand started. From there, we made some hats and expanded our sock range but I’m keen to keep the brand small enough to ensure that everything we do is authentic. The main inspiration behind the brand is the Pennines, where we are based. It’s a great place to live as you can be out in the hills in no time at all even if you’re in the middle of a town.
How does the manufacturing and design process work?
I’m keen to ensure that everything we do is manufactured in the UK because I want to be able to visit our factories on a regular basis and speak to the people making our stuff. This helps with the design side of things as we can find out what’s possible, with regards to manufacturing and this sort of collaboration has resulted in some of our best selling hats!
Pennine Hiking Gear seems to have quite a following in Japan, how did that come about?
We were contacted by a really cool shop a few years ago now called Purveyors – who run this really amazing space, where they hold events and since then it’s just grown from there. I think the fact that our hats and socks are so well made helps, and the authenticity definitely has an influence on our popularity in Japan.
Since we started the brand we’ve been lucky that we have a core group of followers who really appreciate what we do. I think recently we’ve gained more customers from the outdoor style crossover that is happening, so we’re seeing outdoor gear appearing on the high street in the same way as streetwear and sportswear did a few years ago.
Are there any items in your range that you are particularly proud of?
Our Standard Socks are definitely a product that I’m proud of. They were the first socks we made and have been a staple of every collection that we’ve done. They’ve been sold in cities all over the World, from Paris to Tokyo – which is a massive achievement. I’m also proud of our Holmfirth Hat, which is without doubt our best selling hat and is made using a really nice Kilcarra Wool and our Barnsley Hat which we make using British Wool.
And finally, what are your future plans for Pennine Hiking Gear?
Just to keep doing what we’re doing really. I’d quite like to expand into other garments but we would have to work with the right factories and ensure that everything is up to the same standard as our hats and socks. I’ve been looking at developing a range of fleeces for Autumn/Winter 2020, and maybe we’ll do some bags and pouches again.
We really appreciate Milo taking the time to answer our questions about Pennine Hiking Gear, so we could share a bit more information about this very special brand.
Shop our range of Pennine Hiking Gear here.