Mover – the world’s first plastic-free sportswear brand

Can you really design and make sportswear without using plastic? For every sport? In conversation with Mover founder Nicolas Rochat, we hear the remarkable story of the brand taking on that challenge as well as taking a peek at the workspace where all the magic happens.

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Hi Nicolas! Tell us all about Mover

Mover is the first sportswear brand to be 100% plastic free. It is a proposal to challenge our competitor’s dependence on fossil fuels and plastics as almost all sports apparel is made of synthetic materials. Our background is technical ski clothing, made with Gore-Tex®, coatings, and membranes, so we know very well how this works, the ups and downsides. We decided to challenge the so-called technical clothing by using nature-inspired solutions, mainly wool and cotton in different textures, combinations, and weights, while remaining highly performance-oriented, weatherproof and breathable.”


What inspired your choice to go plastic free?

It is because of a sailor friend, Stève Ravussin, who came back from a round-the-world trip with an NGO called Race for Water in 2015. They collected sand from the most remote beaches around the planet to analyse their composition. No single sample was plastic free. This acted as an eye-opener for me. Plastic pollution is gigantic, and the largest part of it is invisible. The plastic we see floating in the ocean gyres, washed up on the beaches, swallowed by birds, fish, turtles, and whales, or accumulated in landfills only represents 8% of the overall plastic pollution. 92% is invisible, made of micro or nano-particles, carried out in our atmosphere and in our waters. Research shows that a good third of these microparticles, around 35%, originate from our synthetic fabrics. This means that the impact we can have by simply changing the way we consider our clothes is staggering.

Mover founder Nicolas Rochat

Featured: giroflex 150

Removing plastic can seem like such an obvious choice, so what challenges are there? Why doesn’t everyone go plastic free? 

Mostly, going plastic-free results in a price issue. Polyester or other synthetic fibers are amazingly cheap. Natural fabrics are – and ought to be – expensive. Because the farmers must treat their animals fairly and the growers must respect their ecosystems.


Fundamentally, we believe that the real question should be: what is the true cost for the planet when choosing the cheap alternative? We believe synthetic fabrics bring no advantage in terms of breathability, comfort, or performance, all the while producing huge environmental damage. By simply changing our wardrobes we can impact one-third of the ocean's plastic pollution.


What kind of materials do you use instead of plastic?

We use mainly wool and high-density woven cotton. Wool with different structures and weights, pending on the needs and applications, and cotton shells to protect us from wind and rain. We use the same Ventile® cotton cloth that made Burberry trenchcoats famous and that was used in most of the polar expeditions, or by Sherpa Tensing and Sir Edmund Hillary when they reached the summit of Mount Everest in 1953. If it worked for them, why would it not work for us?


And I have to ask – do you have zippers too? are they biodegradable?

Sure! But you are right, during the entire development process, the devil was in the details. We struggled for the zippers, not so much for the metallic teeth and sliders, but rather for the tape they are fixed on. All tapes provided nowadays are either polyester, polyester blends, or recycled polyesters! It took us a good year to find the right zippers, horn or nut buttons, aluminium trims with plastic-free cord stoppers and cotton cords, ribbons and labels.
Featured: giroflex 313
Featured: giroflex 313, giroflex 150

Let's get to the nitty gritty – What is your workspace like? And what design features have you enacted to promote your company culture?

We work in an open office overlooking a former freight station in Lausanne, a modernist building built in the 1920s. We designed the office ourselves, leaving enough room to work in a comfortable and very luminous environment to encourage ideas and creativity. The light factor is important to me, as are the materials. When it comes to furniture, I eventually realized that over the years, we gently slipped from pure function to another way to relate to our environment, through natural materials that we feel and touch every day. Intuitively, the evolution we followed with our furniture, we made with our clothes.


The open office organization is often conducive to creativity but can slow down productivity. There is no magic formula, but we like our work environment and the feeling of freedom that is associated with it.


Mover has such a strong focus on the outdoors, how do you relate that to your inside space?

Like any human being, we simply feel better in the outdoors! Unfortunately, we have no choice but to spend most of our time indoors. Natural light is therefore of the utmost importance in any office, room, or home. I believe that our office layout is the reflection of our brand’s spirit and soul. Quite minimalistic, focused on the essentials, with a touch of sophistication, and very bright.

Featured: giroflex 313

And natural materials too?

For our conference zone, we wanted an organic and inspiring atmosphere. We felt attracted by natural wood and selected Castor, a beautiful program designed by Big Game for Karimoku. Naturally, when we heard about the new giroflex 150 made out of wood and designed by Big Game for Giroflex and KNS, we immediately adopted it.

We created different atmospheres across our workspace though. Most meetings, but also lunches and brainstorming sessions are shared within our organic environment, while the computer work, and most of the day, is spent in an ergonomically optimized surrounding


At our workstations, we specifically chose the giroflex 313 office chairs, as we need to stay focused and concentrated, sitting for hours, mostly working on our computers, we needed a chair with maximum comfort and ease of operation.


What qualities do you feel the Giroflex 313 adds to your workspace?

With its Swiss heritage, the name Giroflex is particularly resonant to us. In our minds, it is intimately linked to quality and good workmanship. We also know it as an inventive brand, for having been the first to patent a suspension system for office chairs with the spring swivel back in 1926. To be that successful after almost 100 years demands respect.


The Swissness, the quality of the materials, the craftsmanship, the design, and the great ergonomy made it a natural choice for our office chairs. We spend eight good hours per day seated on a chair, so we better sit well!


What’s next for Mover Clothing? Any ambitious Projects in the pipeline to watch out for?

We are in the middle of multiple product launches meant to demonstrate the universality of our proposal,  building up a realistic alternative to plastic-based sportswear. We are also working on collaborations with high-end, high-performance-oriented, sports organizations.

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Featured designs

  • giroflex 313

  • giroflex 150

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