Leave No Trace
There are moments during everyone’s childhood which shape the way you view the world. One of mine was the absolute certainty, that at any given weekend or holiday, I would be somewhere hiking with my parents.
At times, it was torturous. Shaking with cold trying to find shelter during sleet storms in the Scottish Highlands. “This is where they come to do training for Everest!” my father would gleefully shout as our fingers stopped working and the winds made it impossible to stand. “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes!” he’d call, as I’d turn an icy blue inside said clothes. At other times, ascending through the clouds to the top of a mountain peak bathed in brilliant sunshine, it was euphoric, almost spiritual. There is nothing quite like the feeling that you are on top of the world. Especially as a kid.
Mountain air is so crisp and clean and cold it feels like you are drinking it when you breathe. The stillness and calm envelopes you like a blanket. The entire experience makes you feel alive and free. It is nature at its most transformative and inspiring, providing those special moments where your mind can be completely free. Free from the stress and constant interruption of modern life. I will always be at home on a mountain. If there’s snow I’ll ski it, if there’s a track I’ll hike it, if there’s a road I’ll ride it. I relate to them, in the same way I imagine a surfer feels and understands a wave. You are drawn in, finding freedom, escaping from the traffic, the technology, the to-do list. They provide you with the most elusive and pure of feelings, the natural high of living in the moment. No analysing the past or fretting about the future. Just the unshackled freedom of now.
How do you develop an awareness of how devastating the impact of losing those places would be?
My Father knew. He repeated the unwritten rule of being in the mountains – Leave No Trace - like a mantra, and it stuck for life. He was constantly aware and respected what nature gave to him.
Fast forward a few decades and I’m asked to distil Parietti’s values into 1 or 2 words. What does Parietti stand for? I write and write, eventually filling up an entire white board. But it’s clear they all group together into 2 main headings: FREEDOM & LEAVE NO TRACE.
I realise I’ve given collective names to those feelings of being on top of the world and that oft repeated childhood mantra that allowed us to be there.
And that’s what we at Parietti stand for. Being outside. Being free. The simplicity and purity of just getting on a bike. We can overcomplicate sport with our activity trackers and fitness obsessions whilst forgetting the incredible power of the now. We are about finding your freedom. Living for the ride, not the finish time. Living in the moment. And most importantly, taking responsibility to protect the places where we ride. We can no longer afford to take them for granted. It is all a choice. And that’s what we want to be. We’re not preachers, we want to offer a happier, more sustainable and positive route to a better way. We want to look good, feel good and do good. So, thank you to Mum and Dad for passing on the natural high. And thank you Dad for teaching me the importance of appreciating it.
Paul Skevington is the founder and CEO of Parietti, he lives with his wife and two children on Mallorca. His goal is to create great quality, stylish and functional, outdoor clothing that captures the joy and freedom you get from being in nature, whilst also helping to protect the planet. He is occasionally guilty of straying into motivational quotes.