Does the world need another cycling apparel brand?

It’s a question we ask ourselves every single day, and the kind of thinking that will continue to shape our product development and actions as a brand. Is it necessary? Is it better? Is it responsible? Is it fun?

We obviously think so, but you decide.

Where can I buy your products?

We only sell direct from www.kostume.cc or our pop-up events.

Cutting intermediaries means we can focus on keeping product quality high, not our prices. If you see Kostüme products on sale anywhere else, be sure to check their authenticity.

When are your products released?

Kostüme releases always follow the same format:

  • Products go live for purchase at midday (UK time) on the last Friday of the month
  • New Edits will be announced on the first day of the month
  • Products in a live Edit remain on sale for ten days, until midday on the following Monday OR until each item sells out

Please visit our dedicated how does it work page for more information.

What is an Edit?

As part of our mission to only make things people really want or need, we curate a limited seasonal selection of our products for each new release. These selections are known collectively as Edits.

Edits may be themed around specific seasons, events, places or even people.

We know this model won’t suit everyone. But we believe this is the best way to make high quality ethical products available at competitive prices. We hope that at least some of you will agree. And if you really do need a specific product in between releases, it’s always worth contacting us in case we are holding any returns.

How long are edits available for?

Each Edit will be available to buy from midday (UK time) on the last Friday of the month, for 10 days, until midday on the following Monday. Or until they sell out. Whichever comes first.

Every Kostüme Edit is strictly limited edition. Once it's gone, it's gone.

Do you have a women’s range?

Based on the industry track record, it’s a question you can be forgiven for asking. However, Kostüme is proud to launch from day one with not only male and female-specific products, but also design innovations such as the convenient drop-tail toilet break feature on our signature bib short.

We firmly believe that equality and inclusivity should come as standard.

How do I find my size?

Our pre-order model only works efficiently if every item finds a home. As such, we put a lot of focus on accurate sizing and ask customers to please check their own measurements carefully in advance rather than ordering three different sizes to try.

Our products are typically designed to be focused on comfort. Once you have found your Kostüme fit, you can rely on it being the same across all similar products, meaning you can order again with confidence.

Our detailed size guide can be found here. You can also see the size the model is wearing plus their own measurements on each product listing, to further help you understand how it might fit you.

When does my card get charged?

Please visit our dedicated how does it work page for more information.

When will I receive my order?

Manufacturing begins the moment an Edit sucessfully completes, after which it’s typically a 6-8 week window to delivery. You will be kept updated at each stage of the manufacturing process.

Can’t wait that long? We understand. The Kostüme way isn’t for everyone. But in return for a little patience you benefit from exclusive limited edition designs, ethically and environmentally sound production, and uncompromising product design at competitive prices.

Will I have to pay additional charges due to Brexit?

This is a fluid situation still, but typically if you are ordering from outside the UK you will likely need to pay local customs and duty. Please check with your local authority before ordering.

I missed out on a product, can I still get it?

There is an option to join a first-come-first-served waiting list for current Edits after a product sells out. Just visit the product page for the item you want, and click 'join waitlist'. You are not commiting to buy at this stage.

If it’s an archived Edit, feel free to contact us. You never know your luck. We plan to introduce a reconditioned resale offering to increase the circularity of our products, so this will eventually be another way of accessing historical products and Edits.

Why can't I just buy when I want?

Kostüme is different, for a reason.

The traditional model of apparel production is hugely wasteful and out of touch with modern consumer habits and environmental concerns. Have you ever considered how brands can regularly offer ‘discounts’ of up to 80%, or what eventually happens to unsold stock?

Our ‘just in time’ manufacturing approach (pioneered in the 1930's by car manufacturer Toyota) allows us to simultaneously cut waste, eliminate sales and offer competitive pricing whilst investing in no-compromise product development, an ethical supply chain and staff wellbeing.

You could call it a win-win-win.

When are your sales?

We don’t do sales.

We try not to be too preachy (who doesn’t love a bargain?) but sales only exist because of ‘waste’ caused by inefficient production.

Some brands will go as far as landfilling or destroying - often via burning - stock that is still unsold after their sale ends in order to keep it from clogging up expensive warehouse space or flooding the market. Globally, this amounts to billions of excess items each year. Just think about that for a moment.

The Kostüme pre-sale model ensures that all items are accounted for before manufacturing. Less waste. Lower prices. No damaging sales.

Where are your products manufactured?

We currently work with two highly respected manufacturing partners; one based in Italy and one in Romania. Both are independent, family-run enterprises with a strong focus on ethics and sustainability and decades of experience at the forefront of technical apparel production. You can read more in our Planet First section.

Why are your products so expensive?

Our prices reflect the cost of doing things properly. The efficiencies within our unique business model allows us to make much higher quality products with the very best fabrics, trims and manufacturing than is possible with a traditional retail model. What this means is that you are getting a demonstrably better product, at a better price than would otherwise be possible. Our press and customer reviews are testament to this fact, and we believe this is the future of apparel production.

We understand that price is a very real barrier to entry, and we are working on ways to make our products - and cycling in general - more accessible.

why doesn't everyone use your business model?

The traditional fashion production model has such long lead times, and so many interrelated moving parts, that it’s difficult verging on impossible for incumbent brands to make the transition.

What that means is that you can expect to see a growing wave of exciting, innovative companies in the near future. In the meantime, some of our favourite brands already very successfully breaking the mould such as Paynter Jacket.

Click here to hear the CEO of US brand Kitsbow talking eloquently about why the existing fashion production model is broken.

How do I take care of my products?

Product care plays a very significant role in the overall environmental impact of each item.

The single best thing you can do is simply not buy new things. The next best is to take really good care of the things you do buy, so that they don’t need to be replaced regularly.

Each product has its own dedicated care label, but generally it’s good practice to wash dirty items as soon as possible in order to limit damage from sweat, oil and environmental grime. And if you can’t wash things straight away, separate them and let them air dry before you add them to the laundry basket.

Some general guidance for technical apparel:

  • Turn garments inside out before washing.
  • Use a specialist detergent. We use Nikwax BaseWash, which is water based and uses no harmful fluorocarbons.
  • Wash at max 30ºc using a gentle cycle.
  • Use the extra rinse cycle if possible.
  • Spin on a medium setting.
  • NEVER: use softener/conditioner or bleach.
  • NEVER: tumble dry or iron.
  • NEVER: wash in the same cycle as products featuring velcro or other abrasive surfaces or fasteners.
  • NEVER: overload the machine. If possible, always wash with similar items.

I’ve crash damaged my bib shorts, can I get a replacement?

Our pre-order business model coupled with limited edition artist designs means it might not be possible to get an exact replacement, unless you can find a pre-owned one. However, if you send us a photo of the damage and tell us exactly how it happened, we will see if it can at least be repaired.

What are you listening to at the moment?

Now you’re talking. You can find our best of 2021 playlist on Spotify here.

How bad is apparel production for the environment really?

Really, really bad.

Not only is it the second-worst polluter (coming in just after the oil industry), there are also very serious welfare concerns around many of the workers involved in apparel production.

Thankfully, change is coming. Consumers are increasingly aware of the real cost of their purchases beyond the price tag, and which brands are taking direct action instead of ‘greenwashing’. Ultimately, customer purchasing habits are the best way to force the industry to make meaningful changes.

Recycled and biodegradable fabrics increasingly rival the best non-recycled offerings, but they are not a sustainability silver bullet. They represent one tiny part of a much bigger and more complex equation. Any brand claiming their products are ‘sustainable’ simply because they have some recycled fibres in the mix is being disingenuous at best.

At Kostüme, our approach is to look holistically at the entire lifecycle and value chain of each individual product, as well as our processes and practices as a brand. Our goal is making changes where they matter the most.

For more details please see our annual production report, coming soon.

Need any help?

Kostüme is always looking for creative, passionate, open-minded people to join its team. For more information, please visit Linkedin.

If you work in a field that offers products or services that could potentially help Kostüme do better in any part of our business, please contact us.