In 2006 skingrowsback was started by a bike messenger couple in the spare bedroom of a small Marrickville flat. With a sewing machine from the 50’s we started making purses out of recycled inner tubes. This was a boom time for Single Speed Mountain Biking so we had a healthy supply of wide tubes.
At the time they turned out to be quite popular. So we thought we’d turn our hand to something more courier specific, which was the Lock Loop. Again, many of our local Sydney Messenger friends thought the product was great and it served them well during their working day.
Later that year the Cycle Messenger World Championships came to Sydney. This really helped expose us to the international messenger community, even though our product range wasn’t that vast. The next product to arrive was the Top Tube Pads, then Phone Pouches and Hip Packs.
Adelaide held the Australian Cycle Messenger Championship in 2008. I had the very first prototype Courier Bag with me to show the crew. This was the start of the skingrowsback mission to produce one of the hardest wearing courier bags around. That prototype is still in service as a courtesy bag in Sydney today.
We now manufacture over 20 different products. We already have a solid reputation in the Messenger scene and it starting to come across into other forms of cycling with skingrowsback sportsoft range.
There is a continuous progression of all products, because they are made in relatively small runs it’s very easy for changes to be made to patterns. This creates an organic development for our products.
The search for new materials and hardware is relentless. New processes and techniques are always being discovered.
Particular attention is made to the functionality of the product. How the person uses it is paramount. It also helps if it stands the test of time, this was a particular challenge with many of the courier products as they get an absolute flogging on a daily basis. A careful selection of materials and there application ensures a decent working life span.
With more than a decade of experience it wasn’t difficult to develop the products we made for bike messengers. First hand experience has been the key to nailing these. Again this comes across into the skingrowsback sport soft range, as a family rider owned label.
Ethics and the environment are important issues to us. Almost all our materials are sourced domestically, but not at the expense of the product. Some components come from Germany and the United States because we believe them to be the best parts for the job. All backpacks and carrying equipment is manufactured on site in our Australian based workshop. There has never been any plans to take these products offshore.