Aaron McLaughlin, co-founder of OOSC Clothing, talks to Mark Hayhurst about the brand’s colourful skiwear, their history and future.
Why did you decide to open a skiwear business?
Nick and I have always been huge fans of skiing. Countless seasons and a love for Après in the alps paved the way for OOSC. Each year we saw a lack of standout colours, eye-catching designs and unique styles when it came to Skiwear. We wanted something new and innovative that would look great on and off the mountains and this is where the idea of OOSC was born. What started off as two friends developing a small range of colourful ski suits post university, has now grown into an iconic brand and product that brings fun and colour back to the mountains in a stylish and sustainable way.
Can you explain the evolution of your business and how your product range grew?
Epic designs fused with sustainable, waterproof and breathable, technical fabrics is the core concept behind our vision, providing a contemporary alternative to modern ski and snowboard attire. This was how it started and this is still where we are today. Our product range grew as we saw new opportunities to create more designs and more ranges as we gained presence internationally. We have now sold over 40,000 suits to 110 countries.
We also listen to what our customers want and need, feedback is extremely important to us and it helps us shape new products and why we upgrade certain favourites.
Colour and making a statement seem to be a big part of the brand – does that reflect the company’s personality?
Making a statement is why we started and it 100% reflects our personality. From everyone that works behind the scenes at OOSC, to the products we produce, we go bigger, brighter, bolder than anyone out there. We are not shy when it comes to making a statement and this is what we want to convey with our branding, products, community, events and much more.
How important is sustainability to the brand?
Sustainability is core to everything that we do as a business from manufacturing partners and material selection through to global shipping and packaging. We have built our business around being sustainable and feel that all brands need to ensure they are doing their bit to try and minimize the effect of textile production and be as eco-friendly as possible. We have a duty to preserve our mountains for future generations to enjoy, as we do. We are proud that our manufacturing partners are all Blue Sign accredited and alongside them we actively seek to reduce the footprint created by the textile industry. We work to deliver a product with the lowest possible environmental burden, resource-improving production as well as augmented safety for workers and consumers
Are you ready for the new season and what new items do you have to offer?
We have never been more ready for a season. After Covid-19, there is a consensual feeling around the ski industry and snow sports lovers around the world that this is the season to kick start everything where we left off, to go bigger and better.
We have launched new ski suit designs and brought back by popular demand some of our most loved and iconic patterns. Retro is making a comeback like never before with our ski suits.
We have introduced our luxury women’s ski suit range. Our chic, figure hugging suits are lined with fleece made from 100 per cent recycled polyester for extra warmth. We have invested in the detailing and style of this new suit as it is fitted tight through the bum and thighs, then slightly flares out at the bottom of the legs. Additional OOSC branding on the collar, blocked colour patches and a colour coded belt takes this suit to the next level.
We have upgraded and updated some of our jackets with rider driven detailing and technical fabrics. Our new Yeh Man Jacket is built from 100 per cent recycled durable nylon sourced from sea waste, predominantly fishing nets. It has a 20,00mm waterproof rating and 20,000gm2 breathability rating, topped with a ZERO carbon durable water repellent to keep you dry, warm and comfortable whatever conditions you’re riding in.
Why did you decide to expand your product range into swimwear and a gym wear?
We figured we shouldn’t just bring back colour to the mountains, we should bring it to the beach and pool parties too. In 2018, we launched our first range of swimwear with Flamingos, Club Tropicana pineapples and lobsters. As a fitness fanatic myself, and the increasing popularity of gym wear apparel that can be worn working out and as a style statement, it was a no brainer to put our own spin on some functional fitness gear and expand our range even further.
How important are your brand ambassadors for you and do you expect to add more to your roster?
This year is going to be huge for us. We have teamed up with British Winter Olympian Katie Ormerod as our brand ambassador to put a serious statement out to the masses. We want to be associated with the best talent in snow sports and Katie is certainly up there. She shares the same passion for skiwear design and sustainability as us and we can’t wait to show you what we have up our sleeves.
Brand ambassadors play a huge part for OOSC. We are proud of the community we have built and are always welcoming to those who love the brand just as much as we do. We have our own Brandbassador programme where we invite advocates of OOSC to join in with fun, social media-led challenges that can award them prizes and even commission.
This year, we are launching our very own seasonaire program, headed up by our Events Manager. Being a long-term seasonaire himself, he has rallied an army of OOSC troops to represent the brand throughout different ski resorts with fun events and challenges for everyone involved.
We all know that social media plays a huge part in today’s everyday life and we have some of the best content creators in the game representing OOSC’s product and brand message through their profiles.
What next for OOSC?
The list is endless. We have partnered up with Snowbombing Festival as their official skiwear brand, ready to put on the best Retro-styled Après Ski event Mayrhofen has ever seen!
Every year, we will continue to develop new product ranges, designs and update our current catalogue of products. While staying true to the brand’s roots, OOSC strives to become a leading name in retro-infused sportswear fashion and the go-to brand for riders and Après-lovers worldwide.
We want to be carbon Neutral in the short term and longer term we are looking at options to try and make our business carbon negative which won’t be easy but worth the challenge to preserve our planet.