Fledgling activewear brand Castore turned heads last month when it secured £1.2m in funding, backed by New Look founder Tom Singh. Drapers spoke to co-founder Philip Beahon to find out more.
Philip beahon headshot
Founded in 2016 by brothers and ex-professional sportsmen Tom (26) and Philip Beahon (23), Castore is a premium men’s activewear looking to make waves on the sportswear scene. Focusing on high performance and superior quality, the brand sells exclusively on its own website. Prices range from £90 for a short sleeved T-shirt to £245 for a technical jacket. Despite being just one year old, the brand has already gained some high-profile support, and secured £1.2m in funding from backers including New Look founder Tom Singh. Drapers spoke to Philip to find out more.
What’s your background? How did you first become interested in fashion?
Both myself and my brother and co-founder Tom were professional athletes [Tom played football and Philip cricket] before we started Castore, so we’d always had a strong interest in sportswear.
This gradually evolved into a more business-focused interest. That interest eventually became a full blown obsession. As good as the traditional mass-market brands are, they are very much focused on hitting as large an audience as possible, and there just weren’t any options for those customers looking for sportswear of a higher quality.
How would you describe the brand?
Castore is a premium sportswear brand that creates technically advanced garments for athletes who value superior quality. Our brand DNA lies in our maxim of “Better never stops”, and this philosophy underpins everything we do – we strive to create products that push the boundaries of performance sportswear in being lighter, more flexible, more durable, than anything else, so whenever our customers wear Castore they know they are wearing the highest performing sportswear in the market.
Why was the high-performance aspect so important to you?
It was really something that we both felt incredibly passionate about. We wanted to try to create garments technically superior to anything that had come before them. If you look at the sportswear market over the last few decades, the level of innovation has been pretty minimal and very much focused on footwear rather than sportswear. The more research and testing we did, the more convinced we were that we could create garments superior to existing market standards. Over time, that ideology has evolved into being core to the Castore brand.
Your run the business with your brother – how do you find working together?
Challenging at best! To be honest we have very different skill sets which fortunately appear to complement each other quite nicely. More importantly though, I’m pretty confident that our mum would kill us both if we ever fell out over business.
You both come from sporting backgrounds, so why the switch to clothing?
I probably speak for both of us when I say that although we were pretty good at our respective sports we were never quite good enough to make it right to the top level, and professional sport breeds into you a certain level of competitiveness which I think lends itself quite nicely to launching a brand.
There is a big focus in sport on the concept of marginal gains – breaking down a challenge into its component parts and systematically looking to improve each of those part by 1% to deliver an aggregate compound improvement. This attitude has certainly been prevalent within our product development.
How do you keep yourself motivated?
Of all the challenges in starting and growing a brand, motivation certainly isn’t one of them! If you don’t truly believe that you’re doing something special that is going to make an impact on the world, you’re probably in the wrong business.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve received?
Authenticity will sell more than any marketing plan ever will.
Favourite clothing brand
Rapha or MEHM+
Favourite places to shop
Last fashion purchase
Shorts from Orlebar Brown
South of France
Last book you read
Built to last: successful habits of highly visionary companies by Jerry Porras and Jim Collins
Last film you watched
Scent of a Woman with Al Pacino (fantastic film)
What would we find you doing at the weekend
Usually working and/or drinking coffee