THE HEY REFLECT'O STORY
The Hey Reflect'o Story
My inspiration for Hey Reflect’o came out of my desire to be easily seen on my bike without having to resort to boring old tradie’s workwear. In the past, I would roll up to trendy bars in an awesome outfit with a yellow hi-vis vest slung unflatteringly over the top. Not a good look! So I set out to design high visibility reflective wear that would not only keep me and other cyclists safe, but also compliment our everyday clothes and make us feel great. Hey Reflect’o cycling gear is fashionable, breathable, durable and eye-catching. Adorned with funky and fluoro geometric patterns, our vests and other products make you stand out day and night. It’s high visibility meets high fashion.
Meet the Maker
Lisa Penney is Adelaide-born and bred, and the creator of Hey Reflect’o.
It all began with Lisa on the kitchen floor, messing about with paper patterns and fluoro material. It took one month to create all of the initial designs and to sew up the vests, but a little longer to refine the process and make them even more perfect’o. At first, the fluoro and reflective shapes were stitched onto the vests, which looked amazing but there was a problem: an inadvertent extra layer of warmth. The solution? A new printing technique Lisa discovered and fell in love with. Besides being fade resistant, the new printing allowed the vests to be lighter and more breathable while maintaining a similar appearance to the originals. Another advantage was that this new printing process did not involve water and was a more environmentally sustainable method of dying fabrics. Lisa then took the idea to the local Adelaide printers where she introduced them to the fabulous fluorescent printing. They hadn’t known it existed but were willing to give it a go. The new technique proved to be complicated, taking over six months to set up and a further six to perfect it. Now vests are able be produced in no time at all. Lisa frequently travels to the factory on her retro single-speed bicycle, which has a bike trailer attached and transports all the material back to her studio where she applies the reflective artwork by hand. Increasingly, Lisa is collaborating with leading local artists from diverse backgrounds, including Agata Rybicka, Tom Borgas, and Sarie Tardif, to create new and exciting designs. Featuring everything from gum nuts to gelato, confetti to clouds – even a tribute to Mondrian! – there is something for everyone at Hey Reflect’o.
Five years on from Hey Reflect’o’s humble beginnings, we have a wide range of designs and products to choose from to ensure that you are seen. With safety still a paramount issue for cyclists, customers continue to testify that they notice that people driving cars, motorbikes, trucks, and buses acknowledge them more in our products and give larger distances when passing them, and particularly before turning right at night. Hey Reflect’o’s vests, leggings, bag covers, and caps are ideal for the everyday commute and cycle touring alike, and we cater to children as well as adults. This year, a whole family is cycling around Australia on tandem bicycles and they are all standing out in Hey Reflect’o. Be seen and be safe!
From our customers:
I adore Hey Reflect’o’s vests for their colour, comfort, and unique styling. They’ve become an Adelaide institution and it’s great to see them appearing interstate and overseas too. The fact that they are sustainably and ethically manufactured only makes them more appealing. As the climate crisis worsens, we need to empower individuals to use their cars less often and their bicycles as much as possible so anything that makes the roads safer for cyclists is an excellent thing. Lisa’s care, craft, and zest for life – all qualities reflected in the products she continues to lovingly make by hand – are an inspiration to us all – Ben, writer, 34
A Personal Note
Reflect’o is back to being made in Australia after a small time of being half made in Bali and half made in Australia (so they could be more affordable.) I want to cut down on the carbon footprint that manufacturing creates to try and save the climate from change. Being locally made means I’m back to cycling around Adelaide to see the printers and the tailors, limiting carbon emissions significantly. Also, Reflect’o is now made from Recycled plastic bottles. While I am always striving to improve our products’ functionality, making them as environmentally responsibly as possible is critical. My passion for cycling, and keeping cyclists safe on our roads, is grounded in my environmentalism, and it is important to me that my brand is underpinned by these same values. If we are to confront climate change, we have to begin to transition to a zero-carbon society and if I can play any part, no matter how small, in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, then it makes all the hard work worth it.