The Passenger Story
Passenger aren’t just a brand that talk about escapism, it is at their very heart. Born out of a desire to escape the boring 9-5, get off the grid and wander freely.
Richard and his wife started the Passenger brand 5-6 years ago on the simple premise that they wanted to do something they were truly passionate about. As a couple, they have always been travellers therefore naturally their brand started to reflect this side of their personalities. Richard says he finds a lot of people like him have started companies because they felt the market was missing something but for him, this wasn’t the case. He simply wanted something that could help him balance his life and work as well as producing products that suited the nature of how he wanted to spend his free time.
Through the years that Passenger has been growing Richard has met some incredible people along the way, many of whom are now ambassadors for the brand. The main aim of their ambassadors is to collaborate with these individuals to have them as part of the Passenger journey and to be inspired by what they do. From doing this Richard says it’s incredible to see the people they have managed to bring together, people that otherwise might never have met or worked together. Whereas now they are all linked through what can only be described as the Passenger family.
When asked who he has found most inspiring along the way or the best the story he’s gained from his travels Richard struggles to answer, “It’s hard to think of the best one, we’ve met so many cool people along the way and created so many incredible stories.” This year on a road trip through Canada he met WSL photographer Lucia Griggi while she was travelling from California to Alaska. They had already arranged to meet but Richard says it was great to meet her in that environment, now welcoming her as one of their ambassadors there are sure to be many more collaborative adventures in the future.
Richard’s go-to place for an adventure would always be Canada, you may be able to tell that a lot of the brand’s inspiration comes from Canada and was the main inspiration behind their ‘Waves and Trees’ slogan. Although ‘Waves and Trees’ started as just a slogan it has since turned into a way to give back to the place that has given them so much inspiration, to give back to nature. The initial idea was to plant a tree for every order received, but Passenger has also now partnered with the Plastic Project to help reduce the amount of plastic that is found in our oceans. To combat this, all ‘Waves and Trees’ orders will now be sent in recycled mail bags that use zero plastic, because as a brand that talks about adventuring and exploring they also want to be able to protect the places that adventures are made.
Although sustainability is something they are very passionate about, not just as a brand but as people too, Richard says it’s something they don’t try to publicly market too much. “A lot of what we do is behind the scenes, it’s for us to know what we are doing as you open yourself up to a lot of criticism if you talk about this too much in your marketing. Instead, we just want to know that we are always building and improving where we can.” Before they even started talking about the ‘Waves and Trees’ area of the brand it was always something that came through in their work, taking a lot of inspiration from Canada and this merging of both the waves and trees is a core element to the brand.
Richard says they don’t describe themselves as a core surf brand, even though most of the team loving surfing, instead they are a brand that is there to help you along your journey. It doesn’t matter whether that’s surfing, hiking or camping, Passenger want to be the brand that connects with you each step of the way. Through their products, Richard says they like to strip away the extra technical aspects that people will never need to use, instead leaving you with a high-quality product that is made for the everyday user. Alongside this their products aim is to help you live a simpler life, as well as helping to keep their price tag lower. Richard says they want people to be able to work less but still be able to buy the stuff that they don’t necessarily need.
The adventure that Richard and his wife started has not only turned into an exceptional brand but has also allowed them to create new escapes and to write new stories. Canada is his main form of inspiration, it’s his favourite escape and the place he goes back to every year. Richard puts his love of Canada down to the wow factor you get from nature there and the fact that their way of life is geared to living outside. You will not only see inspirations from Canada coming through in their latest collection but in all their collections as it’s a place that continues to merge with the brand’s nomadic identity.
This season we are stocking Passenger’s ‘Outsiders’ Autumn ’17 collection which will carry you through all your adventures, wherever that may be! Passenger took their new collection out on the road with their van Tiki to really put the products through their paces. The weather gave them every season in a day, showing these items of clothing really can go wherever you go. The ‘Outsiders’ collection is for those looking to escape, to roam and to explore even if that’s only close to home.
Designed to wander, made to roam…