By Wendy Larimer
Winter in the Northeast encourages hibernation even among the most die-hard athletes. The idea that the weather is never bad enough to head outdoors if you have the right clothes means even these enthusiasts spend many days, January through March, on the couch instead of running the streets, or snowshoeing the trails. No amount of layering or wickaway fabric can properly accommodate a body buffeted by cold, wind and rain and the rising heat and sweat that comes from a tough workout. Sportswear lines claim to have warm, wind and waterproof solutions, but reality does not always live up to the hype.
In London, a city synonymous with cold and wet winters, two brothers saw that gap in the market for supposed “clothes for any climate” versus what was truly available, and answered with the launch of men’s sportswear line, Castore.
Tom and Phil Beahan were professional athletes—soccer and cricket respectively—disillusioned by the lack of available performance sportswear. While brands such as Lululemon and Sweaty Betty were providing innovative, high-performing products for women, there was nothing comparable for men. The brothers tossed aside their careers in finance and launched Castore in 2015 with an end goal to be the premium alternative to companies such as Nike and Adidas.
The Castore tagline is “Best Never Stops” which reflects not just their goal of making athletes better, but of making clothing that enables athletes to train and perform at their peak. The innovative products bring breathability, warmth and protection from the elements to athletes who have to or want to train year-round, in any climate.
The Castore company relies on engineered and technical fabrics, with materials sourced from mills in Italy and Switzerland. To keep rain out and allow for body moisture transfer, a tight weave structural insulation is used along with a stretch blend fabric to regulate body temperature and encourage moisture wicking.
Castore engineers a simple tee turning it into a high-performance piece of activewear through use of laser cut patterning that enhances ventilation and 100 percent sonic welded construction that helps prevent chafing. The shirt also features anti-odor protection.
Castore promotes itself as the premium alternative to mass-market brands, supplying jackets, tops, bottoms and accessories for both men and women who participate in sports ranging from golf and tennis to skiing and running.
The company’s winter gear, under their Proteas Collection, is designed to provide warmth without weight. The collection includes leggings, shorts, tees, and jackets but its shining star is the Sousa Sweater. Made from a unique patented fabric with merino thread, the sweater is waterproof yet prevents the user from overheating and it is lighter than most training tees. A bonus is the sweater is finely tailored to look stylish before, during and after a workout enabling a smooth transition between the track and corner café.
Adding to their winter line, Castore has taken on the competitive brand market of ski jackets with what the company calls its “luxurious cold weather masterpiece.” Warmth is supplied by a fill of European goose down and windproof technology while mesh lined guard and underarm vents allow for breathability. Castore used its patented laser cut technology to map areas of the body that produce high heat and ventilate those areas to efficiently cool the skier.
Because bringing increased athletic performance is also demanded by Castore, the ski jacket is made with a high flex fabric that is tailored to shape around the skier’s body to reduce drag up to 17 percent. In addition, a removable storm hood that fits over ski helmets rotates with head movements allowing for clear vision of who or what a skier is overtaking.
All of Castore’s clothing is worn and tested by elite athletes for 100 days to ensure optimal performance in all conditions. Attesting to its value to the world of professional sportsmen, Scotland’s Andy Murray has become a champion of the Castore brand. Murray launched a partnership with the brothers and wore their brand for the 2019 Australian Open and will, presumably, be wearing Castore for all his matches going forward. A full line of tennis wear was released to coincide with Wimbledon last June. This demonstrates Castore’s determination to lead the field as the go-to brand for athletes of many sports and seasons.
Castore is available online, but the brothers have been selective in choosing retailers to sell their products. Castore is currently sold through Mr. Porter, Matches Fashion, Harrods and Lane Crawford, and a few future storefronts are planned in larger cities across the globe.