Founded by fitness and endurance sports enthusiast, Charlie Evans, Bonk is a UK-based lifestyle and performance apparel label for the athletic community.
From humble beginnings selling a small range of t-shirts at South East England triathlon events, Bonk has gone on to deliver successful lifestyle clothing collections, the first ever company to design casual wear dedicated to the fast-growing world of triathletes, and more latterly, quality technical training wear.
Bonk was borne out of an addiction to the swim, bike, run lifestyle and though its roots lie firmly in Triathlon, the brand is evolving and aspires to unify people with a passion for fitness and endurance sports. Training and pushing physical boundaries is the very heartbeat of the brand, echoed in Bonk’s ‘Live to Train’ mantra. Bonk is committed to the athletic lifestyle but also prefers not to take itself too seriously; a sense of fun underpins the entire brand ethos. This is reflected both in the playfulness of the brand name.
Bonk is the jargon term used by endurance athletes to describe a condition when the glycogen stores in the liver and muscles are depleted, resulting in a major performance drop – and the fresh, alternative clothing that celebrates the camaraderie, the fun, the dedication, and the competitive spirit that are all part of being an athlete.
Bonk founder Charlie Evans has been on his own voyage of discovery since finding the sport of Triathlon in 2008.
“A few years ago, I was more likely to be found perspiring inside a packed out nightclub than racking my bike in transition ready for a race at 7am on a Sunday morning. Then in 2007, a couple of mates and I challenged each other to race the London Triathlon 2008 while having a drink in the pub. The training may not have come straight out of a handbook, but it had some structure and was enjoyable – even to someone like me who wasn’t known for a love of the gym at the time!
In fact prior to this challenge, the only lifestyle I embraced was that of the London ‘party’ circuit. But the more I trained, the more I began to see and feel the benefits of improved fitness, health and well-being. One month prior to London, the three of us converged on an event in Upton-upon-Severn in Worcestershire to get some experience before the big race.
Despite the horrendous near drowning experience of that first open water swim, with the complete disorientation and washing-machine effect, some of the slowest transitioning in history, cramping and a stitch on the run, I was hooked from the euphoric moment I crossed the finishing line. The one thing I was not happy about was coming third to my friends.
I trained even harder for the next couple of weeks focusing particularly on the run, and one month later the tables were turned at the London Triathlon, when I led all the way from the swim to come home first in our ‘race within the race.’ Who cares that our times were not exactly impressive? Inspired by our new found love of racing, we had found a whole new way of living.’’
Bonk is a brand whose roots will always lie firmly in Triathlon; the sport of swim, bike, run was the birthplace of the brand, and the dashed underline of our logo signifies the relevant distances of the three disciplines.
But really the brand is about unifying people with a passion for fitness, who like to have fun – whatever the sport and want to pay tribute to this through the clothes on their back.
Since the inception of the brand we’ve met tons of amazing people who have achieved incredible things, as we move forward we hope our passion for an athletic lifestyle will be expressed with our thoughts, feelings, ideas and into the evolution and development of new designs, apparel and products to enhance all that we do.
This is not just sport, it’s a way of life.