Five years ago, Slovenian watersports clothing manufacturer Sandiline had the vision to launch a SUP-only brand, StandOut SUP Wear with one idea in mind, equip year-round stand up paddlers with top quality gear. Withing a few years, their drysuits used and recommended by some of the best paddlers in Europe, have already made a name for themselves and have been synonym with cold paddling among regular SUP racers. Aleksander Ljutić, StandOut’s CEO tells us how there is much more behind the brand than the visible success of the drysuits and why he has been gearing up for the next challenge: become an environmentally responsible company.
Hello Aleksander, can you present your company Stand Out Sup Wear, its history, and your role within the company?
My name is Aleksander and I am the head of StandOut SUP Wear.
We are the first specialized SUP clothing brand, with a full range of SUP clothing.
StandOut is a daughter company from Sandiline. Sandiline has a history of over 25 years of manufacturing water sports clothing and dry suits. All of which is, and has always been made, on the sunny side of the alps, in Slovenia. StandOut is now 5 years old, and we have developed a full range of specialized SUP clothing, made to fit the needs of SUP paddlers, so they can paddle carefree year-round.
Aleksander Ljutić, StandOut’s CEO
A company entirely dedicated to SUP wear… what is the extent of the market like?
The market is growing fast, and it is following the trajectory of the SUP boards market. Paddlers started to realize that with proper clothing, SUP becomes a year-round activity.
Years ago, the idea of Stand Up Paddling was as a fun summer activity, that you practice during your summer vacations, and then forget about it for the next 10 months. With the inflatable SUP market exploding, more people have come to know the sport aspect of stand up paddling and they fell in love with it. These paddlers are our main customers. When you fall in love with a sport, you are looking for ways to practice it no matter the season. And here we step inside with our SUP Wear collection, made for paddlers that are looking to practice this beautiful sport year-round. Our idea is to become synonymous with SUP clothing and the sport of SUP. A brand that takes care of the paddler’s clothing needs from what to toes, so he can go and paddle care-free year-round, no matter the weather.
As the saying goes: “there is no bad weather, only bad clothing!”
In this case, good clothing 😉
Swiss SUP Racer, Alain Luck wearing a 2020 StandOut drysuit model
In what situations/conditions are drysuits better than wetsuits?
In most cold water conditions a wetsuit is more favorable for performance in the water, while dry suits are more favorable out of the water.
That is why we see surfers and windsurfers typically wearing a wetsuit, and SUP paddlers wearing a dry suit during colder days.
There is a “myth” let’s say, that was true until recently, that a wetsuit allows you to move more freely than a dry suit. However, with the latest changes in material technologies, in most cases, this is no longer true.
The laminated materials, from which the dry suits are made, have made giant steps forward when it comes to development. The materials that used to be stiff, heavy, and nonelastic, have now become breathable, ultralight and super elastic … These are the types of materials that we use for our drysuits , and they are game-changers.
One of the early ambassadors, Austrian powerhouse @Christian Taucher
Would you say dry suits are winter products only though?
Definitely not! It mostly depends on the person. A dry suit can be used from the coldest of winter days, up until early Summer.
In continental Europe, some people take their dry suit out of the closet towards already the end of September and they don’t put it back in the closet up until May. It can happen that a dry suit might come in handy even during a cooler rainy day in mid July! So keep your drysuit at hand also during summer 😉
From Slovenia with love
Can you take through your product collection? What is your current best seller?
Our product range goes from Light UV shirts for summer, through a 1,5 mm breathable neoprene range called Airprene collection, which is useful for midseason paddling when the air temperature is between 10-25 degrees, up to our dry suit collection.
Our best sellers are definitely the drysuits. Making a great reliable suit is a very high skill process, that requires high levels of craftsmanship and skilled handwork. Our drysuits are all handmade in our home production, by our skilled man and women right here where it all started, on the sunny side of the Alps, in Slovenia !
It looks like paddlers see that and realize it, and they put their trust into us and what we do, for which we are very grateful.
Italian racer Ricardo Rossi wears a Wave Shade UV shirt
What are your Unique Selling Points when comparing StandOut drysuits with what’s available on the market?
There are a lot of options on the market for SUP dry suits and dry suits in general.
Here at Standout, we put a lot of emphasis on quality, so every dry suit that we produce is held up to the highest standard of quality. Our products need to stay on the market as long as possible.
Last year we just developed a brand new material that, besides being sustainable, it is also one of the most stretchable and breathable drysuit materials on the market, with 26.000 g/m2/24hrs of breathability, is at minimum 30% more breathable than the rest of the SUP dry suit materials on the market.
Handmade in-house dry suits and tech wear
Our drysuits are made with the paddler’s movements in mind, that’s why we never put zippers around our shoulder areas. Keeping the shoulders free and flexible is our priority when designing a dry suit.
A StandOut dry suit is not like someone would think of a regular dry suit, which is heavy, rough, stiff, and prevents you from moving freely. The most common question when someone sees or tries a dry suit is »is this really a dry suit?« . The common idea of a dry suit is a stiff, baggy, hard, plastic-looking garment, that you try to avoid wearing unless is absolutely necessary. We manufacture dry suits that are light, flexible, breathable, good looking, which allow you to paddle carefree year-round.
Where do you currently sell your products? What is your business model? What are the opportunities for possible resellers?
We currently sell our products via dealers in 9 countries all around Europe. All our products are also available on our online shop, so the StandOut gear is available for a worldwide audience.
Many of our resellers are SUP and water sports shops that sell various water sports equipment and SUP boards. the water sports gear sales are usually highly seasonal so Our drysuits are a great item for our dealers to balance the gap that occurs between the high summer sales season and the winter season.
How does the future look like for Stand Out? What plans do you have?
This year we have made the first big step into becoming a more environmentally responsible brand.
Last year we have successfully developed a unique dry suit material, made from recycled polyester fabrics, which are made from waste production yarn, waste production fabric, used garments, and fishnets. This was our first major step in our goal of becoming a more responsible and sustainable brand.
But having our dry suits made from recycled polyester is only a small step in this direction.
The goal is to move our company from a linear economy towards a more circular type of economy. To achieve this we will need to take more responsibility for the products that we put on the market and take care of their whole lifecycle and not forget about them once we have sold them. In order to achieve this, we plan to go through 3 steps.
First, you need to produce a high-quality product, that will last for a long time and it will have a long life cycle. We would like to think, we have this step covered.
If the garment breaks, or tears, that item should not end up in a landfill somewhere, where it pollutes the environment. That’s why we offer repairs on all our gear that we sell, so we could extend the lifecycle of the product, and this way the product stays in use for longer.
The third step is to take responsibility for the products that we put on the market, and towards the end of the lifecycle of the product, take it back if the customer does not need it anymore and make sure it does not end up in a landfill.
We plan to do this with a buyback program, where the customers can return used gear to us and get a discount in return, so they can buy another piece of gear.
The used clothing that we receive, will be repaired and resold again, or be disposed of in an environmentally friendly and responsible way.
TotalSUP: Thank you very much Aleksander for taking the time to answer our questions. See you on the water!
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