About Odyssey Activewear

Our story isn’t as long or as epic as the Ancient Greek Odyssey, but this is how the adventure of Odyssey Activewear began...

The Odyssey Activewear brand started in 2020 as a little side project for founder, Chris–a graphic designer who enjoys a range of outdoor hobbies, including mountain biking, walking, and shooting sports. His wardrobe contains plenty of technical clothing that provide a functional role in all weather conditions, or when working up a sweat, but he noticed a pattern when shopping for gear... Base layers from outdoor shops tend to be plain, boring colours; The mountain biking scene has plenty of cool jersey styles, but they are often loud, vivid designs; Sportswear is also popular performance-wear, but they are always covered in brand and sponsor logos. So Chris decided to design his own and create the kinds of outdoor focused activewear he wished was available in stores! 

Photos of Chris, the founder of Odyssey Activewear

He first made a couple of concepts for personal use, but the curiosity of seeing how different art styles would look when applied to clothing led to some late nights experimenting with patterns, colours and visual effects. The curiosity then grew to wanting to know what all those digital artwork concepts would look like as real, printed garments, so he set out to find a manufacturer who could bring the designs to life, not only visually, but with the technical functionality to match.

Early Odyssey Activewear T-Shirt design concepts
Odyssey Activewear jersey products

What started as a quick design experiment soon turned into an odyssey in itself as artwork was processed into clothing templates, print and fabric samples were ordered, size adjustments were made, and the long job of building a brand identity and the associated website was underway. Too much time and money had been invested to turn back now! He just had to press on and develop Odyssey Activewear into a fully fledged apparel brand, and hope there are others out there who share his desire for great-looking functional performance wear.

The store immediately found success and grew exponentially month after month. This meant that–although a good problem to have–items quickly sold out. There was not enough stock to meet the demand, but no space to store the much needed larger quantities. It was soon time to level-up this fun design project into a serious business. The inventory was moved from an IKEA bookcase in the spare room to a self-storage facility to provide the much needed space to organise and hold sufficient quantities of each item, design, and size.

Branded parcels from Odyssey Activewear
Matrix Business Centre, the home of Odyssey Activewear

After outgrowing three self-storage units throughout 2021, in early 2022 Odyssey Activewear moved into its very own premises, securing the last available workshop in a modern business centre on the outskirts of Sheffield. It was the ideal work environment combining functional warehouse space with office facilities, all contained within a secure gated courtyard. It was quite the upgrade compared to the previous setup, boasting 2.5x more space, a large roller-shutter door, and actually provided basic amenities such as electricity, heating, and a chocolate vending machine!

Odyssey Activewear is a true little family business consisting of Chris, who covers the design and marketing; his wife Laura, who manages the numbers behind the scenes; and his sister Katie, who keeps the business running by packing and posting daily orders. After losing her job during the 2020 pandemic, the timing was ideal for her to come on board and help take Odyssey Activewear to the next level... A brand that also reflects her own hobbies and interests!

Moving into the first Odyssey Activewear unit

Our range at Odyssey Activewear is designed to give you the technical functionality your clothing needs for wherever your odyssey takes you. You will find great-looking functional wear suitable for all kinds of outdoor activities, such as mountain biking, trail running, hiking, fishing, workouts, or whenever your clothing has to deal with adverse moisture conditions, either externally from the weather, or internally from perspiration. Inspired by the great outdoors, you will find plenty of subtle designs with earthy tones, but also collections of colourful, vibrant patterns to make a statement in the gym or out on the trail. Browse the design collections to find your style!

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