Peppermint Cycling Co. has always been more than just a cycling apparel brand. The Quebec-based company makes unique women’s cycling apparel, but its broader mission goes beyond physical products and focuses largely on building community. “Peppermint was born out of a desire to inspire women to enjoy the benefits and fun of cycling in a predominantly male-led industry,” says Émilie Tétreault, Peppermint marketing manager. “Our recipe is really to remain as authentic and humble as possible and to make sure that women feel welcomed in the cycling industry.” The brand has helped bring together a diverse group of female cyclists who are drawn to the colourful apparel and the community it represents.
Kit made specifically for women
Peppermint’s kits are made for women from the beginning of the design process. The clothing ranges from comfort-focused (for beginner riders and casual rides) to performance-based race-ready kit. The brand’s colours are bold, bright and powerful. “We want our kits to stand out in a pack of cyclists,” says Tétreault. “Style is a unique expression of individuality. Every cyclist should be able to create her own.” There is no uniformity in the kit designs, just as no two riders are alike. “We want to break the pattern and help riders feel proud and confident in doing so.”
This season’s collection focuses on the environments that surround cyclists. The patterns are bold and fun while also looking sleek and clean. The collection pays tribute to nature, but more specifically, to the mountains. “Mountains are key to cycling,” says Tétreault. “Whether it’s on the road or in the trails, mountains determine the difficulty of the ride, they challenge us to always surpass ourselves and they are the reasons we achieve personal victories.”
Helping bolster confidence, Peppermint’s Let’s Ride program creates a welcoming space for women to come together and ride. Female cyclists of all levels can feel intimidated joining a new group ride: they can feel the need to justify themselves and prove that they deserve to be there. In contrast, the Let’s Ride events are casual and fun, with different rides for all levels of cyclists. They’re led by Peppermint brand ambassadors, who work in local cycling communities across North America to bring together female cyclists. The rides don’t necessarily happen every week. Peppermint recognizes that it can be hard to stick to a strict schedule, especially with the pressures of work and (for many women) family responsibilities.
Allowing yourself to be proud of where you are in the sport, no matter how that compares with others, and acknowledging that sometimes life can get in the way of cycling, is a refreshing approach for a company that sells high-quality athletic wear. In 2019, the brand revamped its eight-person, Quebec-based Peppermint racing team into the Peppermint racing squad – an outfit of more than 50 independent riders across the country. The squad got rid of performance constraints and race attendance requirements in order to make events, both competitive and non-competitive, more accessible. The squad could be compatible with the various schedules of its members. “Peppermint mentors women to step out of their comfort zone by training together,” says Tétreault. “We sign up for new events, new races and try new cycling disciplines, all within a laid-back group vibe.”
This philosophy of riding, purely to challenge yourself and for the enjoyment of the sport, is really the core of the brand. It brings you vibrant colours, inclusive energy and a supportive community of strong, confident female cyclists.