Michèle Bastien: A Founder With a Mission

This isn’t Michèle Bastien's first rodeo as a business owner, but this time around she set out to do things a bit differently.


Michèle Bastien: A Founder With a Mission

This isn’t Michèle Bastien's first rodeo as a business owner, but this time around she set out to do things a bit differently. When Michèle founded Parmi along with her twin sister, Véronik, and three local entrepreneurs, she chose to venture off the beaten path: Her goal was to offer outdoor enthusiasts products of outstanding quality that transcend what we’ve often come to see in the market. Parmi’s founder and head of strategy and operations tells us about this new stage of her career.

Q: Why did you decide to get back into business?

A: Well, I didn’t want to at any cost! I was aware that if I started a new project, it would be to incite behavioral changes that would benefit both people and the planet. When I met the Parmi team, I quickly realized we all shared that same vision. Together, we built a brand whose values and DNA are crystal clear. More than just pretty words on paper, these values guide us in everything we do, from creating products to selecting partners.

Q: What mission did you undertake when creating Parmi?

A: We launched Parmi with the goal to simplify the outdoor experience. We want people to be able to do more with the same product – and for a longer period – therefore breaking the cycle of overconsumption. Our collection comprises high-quality essentials that are suitable for a multitude of uses and styles. It lies at the intersection where cycling, hiking, trail running, cross-country skiing, fashion and innovation converge to address the need for simplicity of consumers and the planet.

Q: How did this desire to simplify the outdoor experience guide the team's choices?

A: Oh, in several ways! Simplicity is omnipresent; even our name is simple, yet at the same time super-warm and evocative! For instance, we have developed a style creator tool to simplify the shopping experience, helping people create looks that reflect their style. We also created a comparison tool to explain how each piece within a category is unique. Our pages are ultra-detailed, providing in-depth characteristics for all our products. And of course, simplicity is also found in our products’ designs.

Q: Speaking about design, can you tell us what was the thinking behind your colour choices?

A: Colour choices are paramount because we always have maximum durability in mind. Our clothes are designed and manufactured for all seasons. It’s important to us that people can wear our clothing whether for sports activities or in their day-to-day lives. So instead of offering flashy colours that tend to be popular in the sports world, but not necessarily the go-to option for a Saturday dinner, we favour a variety of rich colours that are versatile and timeless.

Q: When trying on your products, we can’t help but immediately notice that the materials are unique and pleasant to wear. How do you go about choosing them?

A: Very conscientiously! We want our clothes to have a casual look, yet also have a refined technical side. Most of our raw materials are from Europe and are renowned for their exceptional quality and durability. For example, behind a simple and minimalistic Parmi t-shirt is the important work of selecting fabrics that provide stretch, softness and optimal quality. We’re also extra meticulous about details, from the abrasion-resistant nylon finish of a merino sweater to the patch pockets on a bike bib. We do not cut corners: Anything that adds value to the product and allows us to stand out, we’ll do it.

Q: What criteria were used to find your European partners?

A: We were looking for more than suppliers; we wanted real partners whom we could trust. We first found them mostly in Portugal, and continued to establish strong ties elsewhere on the continent. There was absolutely no way that we were going to compromise on quality, so we had to do a lot of research. It was crucial that our partners not only had access to premium fabrics, but also to the latest industry innovations that would encourage us to push our limits and take our products to the next level. And finally, we wanted to work with people who, just like us, have a truly earth-friendly approach. The business relationship we have with our Portuguese partners is straightforward and meets Parmi’s premium quality standards.

Q: Finally, how would you describe Parmi in a few words?

A: Simplicity. Multi-use. Quality. Casual style. Parmi is a brand that deconstructs the fast-fashion model by offering premium, versatile clothing that simplifies people's wardrobes, and their lives.



Inspired by its desire to simplify the outdoor experience, Parmi Lifewear ventures off the beaten path to create essentials that can be handed down from generation to generation. By offering durable, high-quality essentials, we want to encourage outdoor enthusiasts to simplify their wardrobe and to do more with less. To learn more about the work that goes into our products, take a look at our launch video.

By Parmi Editorial Team
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