If there is anything that allows a company to differentiate from the rest, that is without any doubt the values it promotes and represents, and the passion for the work they do.
To talk about Etxeondo is like talking about passion for sport, talking about love to do things in the correct way, talking about professionalism and to talk about working hard to offer top-end products with the assurance of good quality. Etxeondo is family, history, roots and, above all, cycling culture.
The Guipuzcoan brand has been elaborating cycling apparel since 1976, when its founder Francisco Rodrigo decided to quit his job linked to haute couture in order to embark on this beautiful journey, with his wife, tailoring sports clothing under the actual name Etxeondo.
“Etxeondo is a compound word that has not a direct translation from Euskera to Spanish, but Etxe could be translated as ‘house’ and Ondo as ‘good’ or ‘next to’.”
After more than 40 years in the industry, the brand has established itself as one of the best brands in the market regarding quality and the finishing of the product. During all these years they have worked hand in hand with the best professional cycling teams and they have not stopped improving their products through the feedback received from cyclists. Etxeondo has relied on the best materials, they have made good use of all the available technology and they have learned how to self demand and continue their obsession for top quality products in order to allow the final client to perform at its best.
VISITING THEIR FACTORY
Some weeks ago we had the chance to visit the headquarters and workshop from the Guipuzcoan brand, and we have to admit that we were greatly surprised and satisfied with the experience.
We could take a tour around each of the stages involved in the fabrication of each item; from the first moment, a new collection is proposed until the design, cutting, stamping, tailoring, quality control, tagging, and packaging of the clothing.
We were amazed by the passion and dedication that everybody at Etxeondo puts in their job. People that, after conversating a bit with them, seem to have a special affection towards what they do, that they feel it belongs to them. Because, without any doubt, one of the main values of the company is to preserve that familial environment, and that is why they decided to have all the manufacturing process “at home” and outsource nothing.
Amparo, more than 30 years at the firm: “Behind every piece of clothing, there are people.”
We could also get to know its relationship with professional cycling. Since its first years of existence, they decided to support some of the top-level teams, like the actual CCC Team, Sunweb (in previous seasons) and some other great teams of the past like Kas, Once, Reynolds, or Banesto.
They can rely on the experience from the former pro cyclist, Haimar Zubeldia, for the improvement of their clothing because it is the best way to know what elite riders demand and he is also a great link of communication between the teams and the firm.
Haimar: “The feedback we receive from riders about our products is very good and in fact we are one of the cycling brands that listen the most and let themselves be advised by the members of a team.”
They design how each rider item’s clothing will be, all that customized depending on the measures and singularities of every rider, and meticulously made so that the rider feels as comfortable as possible to perform optimally.
TOWARDS A NEW ERA
Throughout its history as a firm, Etxeondo has focused on creating, innovating and improving its products to establish themselves in the market, but due to targeting those aspects too much, the firm did not get the visibility they deserve, and that is why a couple of years ago they started working on bringing the brand to the next level so that the product quality guarantee reaches new horizons.
Patxi: General Coordinator: “We have worked on the solid foundations of this house and now we are focusing more on marketing tasks to show the world the great products we have.”
One can already see in the last few collections that Etxeondo has launched how they are closer now to the requirements of the market, with more presence in social networks in order to turn the past local strategy into a more globalized one.
We are sure that the best is still yet to come.
Photos by: Brazo de Hierro