Pearl Izumi 002

As we’re ushered through the neat and tidy office located on an industrial estate in Boulder, Coloroda, it isn’t difficult to get a sense of the pride and passion the Pearl Izumi employees have for the brand. It runs through everything they do. With an enviable reputation for innovation in the sports clothing market, Pearl Izumi is an iconic clothing brand.

The clothing brand has its roots in Japan. Started over 50 years ago in Toyko, the clothing brand romantically came to being when a father handmade cycle clothing for his bicycle racing son. In 1989 Pearl Izumi USAwas initiated to develop clothing outside of Japan and this office and facility in Boulder is the result, and now the company has several offices designing and developing clothing for the different markets around the world.

Pearl Izumi 008

More recently, in 2008 Shimano bought Pearl Izumi. This has given the company the stability and financial security to press ahead, and strengthen their its portfolio of leading edge clothing and footwear. As we found when we visited Pearl Izumi, they’re being allowed to push forward. There's little interference from Shimano - the component manufacturer is clearly happy to run Pearl Izumi as a separate entity, with offices around the world.

And, if you’re wondering about the name, ‘pearl’ is derived from the gem pearl and ‘izumi’ is named after an area of Japan known for its clear water. Literally translated, the name means, "fountain of pearls."

It was fascinating touring the Pearl Izumi offices and learning about the brand. It's clear from spending time with them that they really want to offer the best clothing possible. Everyone that works for the company is into their outdoor sports, whether it's running or cycling, and that feeds into the lively culture that exists in the offices.

Here's a photo gallery from our visit:

There's a strong interest in sports and outdoor activities in Boulder, and Pearl Izumi is typical of that outdoors loving culture. Plenty of people ride to work

They live and breathe the brand

Testing, testing, testing. A bunch of short inserts here being tested. Pearl Izumi produce everything themselves, from fabrics to short inserts

No factory tour is complete without a shot of boxes. Lots of them, stacked high

While most of the manufacture is done overseas at larger facilities, they're able to produce small runs for prototyping and developing inhouse

Are they kidding? We didn't ask

Pearl Izumi sponsor the Tour of California, and produce all the stage winner and leaders jerseys using a sublimation process in-house

They've got a good sense of humour. These we like, we've been trying to get some for the Bikemagic office

Well, why not