As part of our HUCK Indies 2013 exhibition, we meet the Bavarian outdoor adventure company, Jeckybeng.
“Throughout my childhood, I loved to be outside, whether it was snowboarding, surfing or just being in the woods, so wanted to combine this into a brand,” explains Moritz Lorenz of the vision for his outdoor adventure lifestyle company, Jeckybeng. “I want to show people these adventures you can have on your door step. You don’t need to climb Mount Everest. As soon as you move your ass off the couch, you can have an adventure of your own.”
Based in Nuremberg, Germany, Jeckybeng make an array of clothes, tools and accessories to enable this pursuit of adventure. It all stems back many years to when Moritz was backpacking in India. A simple misunderstanding of a name imprinted itself in his head. When spelled phonetically, it became Jeckybeng. So, in late 2011, when he grew dissatisfied with his work as an art director and started up his own brand, Jeckybeng was its destined name.
But outdoor goods are often very technical and require years to test and research, and, of course, plenty of money. With a budget of shoestring proportions, Moritz set his sights on something a little more DIY and with a commitment to sustainability.
With resources limited, he chose to work with a raw material that was deemed worthless: old skateboards. With the help of a carpenter friend, the first product he developed was a surf comb for changing the waxing a surfboard.
“All the surf shops, you get surf combs but they are all plastic,” says Moritz. “I wanted to make it more natural, sustainable and so I went for recycled wood.”
Luckily, the tough, layered maple of skateboards is built to take some punishment and so worked perfectly for the job of scrapping wax. And following on from this, they were soon making surfing fin keys and screwdriver sets from more old shred sticks – all tried and tested by Moritz and his friends on their adventures.
From these beginnings, Jeckybeng has expanded into clothing and accessories but the DIY cottage-industry approach to manufacturing still runs through Jeckybeng does; Moritz screenprints the organic tees and cooks up Jeckybeng’s organic surfwax in his workshop, the duffel bags are made by his girlfriend, and the beanies are all knitted by his mother! Moritz also chooses to shun what he calls “corporate stores” and only supplies to local independent shops as well as selling via the Jeckybeng website.
“It’s just a reflection of my lifestyle. It’s my own thing from the heart. It makes me happy everyday,” says Mo. “Everything you are doing is for yourself and what you love. There are so many inspirations out there that I could do this my whole life. It’s like running Jeckybeng is the missing puzzle piece in my life.”