About FR.


 

About

We are a small company founded by Ralph Dunning who has been making quality athletic apparel for 3 decades.

We manufacture core essentials designed for post-ride comfort, daily performance and simple living. 

The foreign rider co. was started to ensure premium quality, sustainability and ethical business practices. 

The name Foreign Rider comes from the fr.eedom of exploration - whether it's on two wheels or two feet, bike or board...doesn't matter as long as you enjoy the journey.

Ride the planet - protect the planet. 

 

Our Purpose

To build quality product the right way for the life of an athlete. Always do the right thing.

 

History

The foreign rider co. was first developed in 2009 as a personal project for Ralph Dunning who has over 25 years of experience in apparel design, manufacturing and business .

Ralph first got into the apparel industry in the early 1990’s when he started a company that manufactured technical apparel for cyclists.

Then in 2001, Ralph forever changed the game of golf introducing the very first apparel line comprised exclusively from performance fabrics. He built Dunning Golf from the basement of his house to become one of the most respected brands in the game selling to 1500 of the top private clubs and resorts in the world.

Over his career, Ralph learned about sewing, proper construction methods and became an expert in developing performance and natural fabrics. When he first started in apparel, everything was manufactured in Toronto with a very hands on approach in every step of the process. But as the companies he built grew, he had to start manufacturing in different parts of the world to be able to produce at a higher volume. He developed a very strong understanding of how the process works on both a small scale and mass scale.

In 2009, he started to miss the hands on approach to local manufacturing where he could truly be a part of the process from the very beginning working with pattern makers to the cutting and sewing team to the last steps with the pressing and packing group. 

That same year, he went on a cycling trip to the Giro D'Italia with the Cervelo Test Team as a guest of Cervelo co-founder Gerard Vroomen. It was his first time cycling outside of North America and was a completely new perspective on riding. Ralph rode everyday and moved from town to town as the tour moved. 

Ralph has been a dedicated cyclist for the majority of his life and on this trip was thinking about how to pack products he could wear for daily performance and comfort. He wanted to build a line comprised of timeless designs he could pack for either a weeklong or month long trip. To him, this meant natural hand and performance fabrics that are engineered for versatility.

Foreign Rider was launched with the goal of building a small company around the following guiding philosophies:

 

Culture 

We believe a company doesn't have culture - A company is a culture.

We as a team operate with complete transparency behind the scenes with our design team, fabric mills and garment factories. This allows us to demonstrate a level of commitment to sustainability , ethical production standards and consistent quality.

We believe in the valuable importance of feedback from each member of our team and each customer. 

We are driven each day to deliver the world's best fabrics, construction methods and innovation to constantly evolve. 

 

Sustainability and Being Responsible 

There is a great deal of talk today about sustainability and being environmentally friendly. Some companies are truly doing it and some are just smoke and mirrors.

It's incredibly difficult to achieve all sustainability principles on every level operation and in your products . At some level, something can get compromised whether it's in shipping or how a factory is powered. 

Our position on sustainability is based on the following:

Manufacturing locally in Toronto where possible.  

Global manufacturing partners with ethical production standards.

Quality products that are built to last.

Timeless designs.

Bluesign certified fabrics.

We believe products that are truly built to last and timeless in design keep products out of landfills. 

 

Vendor relationships 

We believe in doing as much business as we can with as few vendors as possible. The result is trust and mutual commitment as these partners are one of the main keys to our ability to deliver consistent quality and sustainability. 

We have personal relationships with each factory and mill owner and take the time to get to know each person. Our common goal is for each person in a factory to handle each piece of fr. product as if it were their own. 

We are all driven by a shared belief for sustainability and ethical standards and each vendor is truly a partner in our company and vice versa. 

 

Design 

Simplicity and versatility using sustainable long lasting fabrics and construction is the driving force behind our design philosophy. 

 

Our Core Values.

Ethical business practices.

Simplicity in all aspects of how we do business and design product.

Build long lasting product with a defined purpose and timeless design.

Do more business with less vendors to build mutual trust. Treat each vendor and member of our supply chain with respect. 

Be responsible with every decision we make to reduce impact on the planet.

Transparency and open communication with all people who are our customers, in our company and in our valued supply chain.