SQI Raises £150,000 To Disrupt The Ski Fashion Market, With Their Environmentally-Friendly New Range
London based start-up, SQI, – has raised over £150K to take the brand to the next level, by launching an environmentally-friendly winter fashion and ski-wear range.
The BRAND NEW clothing range is made from recycled plastic bottles and bamboo, and the brand on a mission to encourage skiers to buy environmentally-friendly clothing that bridges the fashion gap between piste-and-pavement.
As the lines between fashion and sportswear continue to blur, SQI has purpose-built a product and brand to cater for evolving consumer tastes in this hybrid market. The business is already backed by over twenty investors, and they’ve attracted influencers, Remi + Anya as lead brand ambassadors, – who will be undertaking promotional campaigns later on this year.
The new range also features technology to power and charge mobile phones: A ‘pocket within a pocket’ contains a branded power-bank for phones, – to ensure that the wearer will never go without charge.
The investment to date has been generated by a mix of professional backgrounds across market research, London digital agencies, and investors from the ecommerce industry.
SQI’s Founder, Freddy Hoare, said: “Most people only go skiing for 1 week out of every 52. We wanted to create a range that appealed to customers to ensure that they will be worn away from the slopes to get more value from what can be an expensive item of clothing. We’ve designed and engineered the range from recycled bottles and bamboo to withstand the coldest conditions, while providing environmental credentials.”
“With our first round of investment helping to bring the initial pieces to life, we have just launched our second round of funding to expand our product range with full zip winter jackets and casual puffers to catch the 2022 ski holiday season,” he added.
Freddy first came up with the idea for SQI back in 2018, and he formed the company in 2019. Fundraising began in 2020, and the brand finally launched in 2021.
“It’s fair to say that my dream job would have been a professional athlete!” said Freddy: “It’s also fair to say that founding a fashionable, sustainable and sports-oriented start-up comes an incredibly close second. There isn’t a third place. Life for me is sport and start-ups. There isn’t a whole lot else!’
Freddy studied History at Nottingham University, but he quit after only a few weeks in favour of a more entrepreneurial and vocational business degree at Nottingham Trent. Being in this environment for 3 years laid the foundations for the journey he’s been on ever since. He narrowly avoided joining a corporate grad scheme, and instead, he co-founded a property management start-up, where he had 2 business partners and 1 investor.
The inspiration behind creating SQI directly came from his own personal experience. Freddy booked himself on to some skiing holidays, but as he started to research ski jackets for his own personal use, he saw a big opportunity, and that’s how the idea for SQI came along.
‘It was super tough leaving my first start-up,’ recalled Freddy: ‘We had a good thing going, and the company is still successful and active today. However, my heart was with SQI, and so I resigned from my role in order to prioritise SQI in mid-2019.’
Despite the COVID pandemic, the business’s growth has gone full steam ahead with no looking back.
Find out more here: www.wearesqi.com