TWO cycling enthusiasts from Ikley have launched a new company designing and manufacturing high-quality jerseys using materials sourced in Britain.
The men behind Shutt VR use a fabric called Dri-wool and have so far created four designs in 12 different "understated but interesting" colours.
They plan to add female jerseys to their collection, which will be sold from their website, www.shuttvr.com, and through a selection of stockists in towns around England.
They also promise a seven-day turnaround bespoke service which can create hundreds of different colour combinations according to what their customers want.
Co-founder Simon Warren said: "We noticed a gap in the market for well-designed, high-quality jerseys that don't cost a fortune.
"We also saw most cycle clothing is manufactured in the Far East – even the very top level brands have taken their business to China.
"We decided one of the basic principles of our company should be to design, manufacture and source our materials here, in Britain.
"The real impetus to get the company up and running was created by me being made redundant from my job as a designer.
"Although plans were already being made to launch Shutt VR, the morning after my redundancy notice was issued it seemed like a good time to accelerate the business and get things moving.
"My business partner, Alex Raistrick and I want to defy the economic gloom and create a good value, high-quality stylish brand for riders while making
a reasonable income.
"We sacrifice some profit margin to retain our 'Made In Britain' tag but see this as something we should stick to while we're in fairly bleak economic times to ensure we add value to the local economy."
Mr Warren added: "Being based in Yorkshire and Ilkley, there is a close connection around here with Bradford and the textiles industry. We got the feeling everyone is a bit disappointed that manufacturing has gone out of the area.
"We decided we were going to do these jerseys. We got prices from China and Pakistan and various other places. We made the decision to get a price from a local manufacturer.
"It was dearer, but not considerably dearer. We then decided that's what we were going to do – let's bring it back to being a local company."
The material comes from Lancashire and the jerseys are made in Cleckheaton.
On the designs, Mr Warren said: "Lycra is very garish and bright and quite often studded with logos from companies. Not everyone wants to wear bright, tight garish Lycra."
He said the company is starting with jerseys and next month will launch a range of cycling shorts.
"If that goes well we will be looking to move into other sports as well," added Mr Warren.