Where would the outdoor industry be without the passionate makers and tinkerers crafting their own gear in basements and garages? This very cottage industry practice gave way to the birth of outdoor recreation gear’s golden era in the ‘60s through the ‘80s. Instead of taking out ads in the back of Backpacker or Summit magazine like the previous generation, today’s make-your-own-gear (MYOG) community thrives on Reddit and Instagram.
It’s through these very nerdy (and awesome) internet channels that Portland, Oregon hiker, musician, and nursing school student Ryan Windus began growing his garage-sewn project of ultralight and ultrawarm fleece hoodies in early 2020, and officially launching as Senchi Designs in October 2020.
Now released one super limited, handsewn batch at a time, the brand’s unisex fleece hoodies sell out in a flash to a following of crazed ultralight gear heads with a thirst for the lightest, most exciting gear in a fashion that feels eerily similar to the kind of energy we’re more accustomed to seeing in the streetwear world.
[Editor’s Note: The next Senchi Designs drop is scheduled for today, 17 March]
As proud owners of both a very early iteration and a more official Senchi ourselves, the FM team has witnessed Senchi’s growth from byproduct of a curious Reddit commenter to LLC weilding business in real time. “The entire Senchi project has been a pretty organic process,” Windus assures.