UK performance roadwear company Rapha has teamed up with Apolis Activism to produce a cycling sweater called the Transit Elite. The cycling sweater is a quarter zip, 70% merino wool, 30% cashmere sweater, meant to reward you after a long ride. Apolis Activism is an independent brand that creates opportunities for developing economies by connecting them to the global marketplace.
Rapha's first road cycling collection was launched in 2004 and the brand has since become synonymous with the highest levels of quality, style and performance. A passion for road racing is at the heart of the Rapha cycling brand which produces everything from performance roadwear and accessories to publications and events. Everything Rapha does is designed to celebrate the glory and suffering unique to road riders.
Apolis Activism was founded by three brothers, Raan, Shea and Stenn Parton, as they started making garments in 2004. With their trademark red stitch, Apolis Activism is trying to create a global trade community by applying contemporary design to premium fabrics that are ethically sourced and manufactured in developing economies.
One of Apolis' non-profit supply partners is Citta. Citta operates a women's cashmere co-op in Kathmandu, Nepal. By using Citta to produce hand-made cashmere garments, Apolis is helping to create a self-sufficient infrastructure for their local Nepalese community. The women of Citta will be hand knitting the Rapha Transit Elite Sweaters.
For two weeks at the beginning of December, Cole Maness and Dave Christenson from Rapha along with Jeff Clark and Shea Parton from Apolis Activism, headed to Nepal to document the story of the Transit Elite Sweater. Nepal is quickly becoming an adventure destination for cyclist with the flatlands of the Terai and the trans Himalayan zones. The four rode all over Nepal, battled transportation strikes and customs in Kathmandu, all to document the lifestyle of a new transit culture and the hand knit craftsmanship of Citta.
You can follow the Nepal adventure over on the Apolis Activism Journal. The Rapha Trans Elite Sweater will be released in March.