Heavy Duty Cargo

March 04, 2022

Our hard-wearing Cargo Shorts get the job done, and look the business

Bear with us here—but we reckon if the non-violent 80s action hero MacGyver was reincarnated as an item of clothing, he’d probably be reborn as a pair of cargo shorts. Just like our man Mac, they’re prepared for anything. Alright, they can’t speak five languages—but thanks to their tough fabric and plentiful pockets, they’re the perfect hard-wearing summer accomplice.

Like many of the best functional clothing items, cargo shorts evolved from a military design. Their full-length older brothers, the cargo pants, were born in the late 1930s, when the British Army introduced the Battle Dress trousers (a design which was soon copied by American paratroopers), and as soldiers returned home after active service, so too did their cargos.

These utilitarian trousers were ideal for fishing, hiking, and anything else that required a bit of pocket space. At some point down the line, the scissors came out and cargo pants became cargo shorts. Specially-produced versions followed, and these functional shorts soon became a firm outdoor favourite.

Refined for Today

We put a lot of thought into our clothes. It’d be fairly easy to just recreate an old pair of cargo shorts in a few nice colours, and give ourselves a big pat on the back, but where’s the fun in that? We wanted to refine our shorts for modern life—keeping the aspects that you liked, and ditching the ones that were surplus to requirement.

You wanted your shorts to still have that hard-wearing military feel, without being too big and baggy. Pockets were important too—but they needed to get in line. Good call.

Made of Stern Stuff

For fabric, we took things right back to the source—cotton sateen. A classic military fabric, sateen is densely woven with a smooth finish. Put simply, it’s tough stuff and looks tidy.

We opted for 300 g/m2, double twisted yarn organic cotton sateen from Beppetex in Italy, which was washed for a soft, comfortable feel. After all this, the fabric was put to the test by independent lab SMT, where it scored a solid four out of five on the all-important rub test. You can’t argue with science like that.

A Sharper Shape

Getting the shape right on cargo shorts is important. They’re designed for doing stuff in—so they need to give you space to move. That said, big and baggy shorts aren’t the most flattering of items—so care needs to be taken with the cut. We trimmed ours down a touch compared to most cargo shorts but made sure we didn’t sacrifice any of the leg movement.

Form Follows Function

The clue is in the name with Cargo Shorts. They’re designed for carrying cargo.

We went for six pockets. Two on the back. Two on the sides. Two on the thighs. Tired of lugging that backpack around with you everywhere? Good news—unless you’re planning a particularly gruelling day out, the sturdy and spacious thigh pockets should more than have you covered on stowage.

And whilst we’re on the subject of pockets, we’ll also mention that we secured the pocket bags—so they’ll stay firmly in place when you pull stuff out of them. You’ll thank us later.

Seriously Sturdy

In keeping with their military roots, we backed our shorts up with serious hardware. Chunky YKK zip for the fly? Check. Bartacks in all the key areas? Check. Reinforced stitching on the waist. Check. Built-in radio? Er… sorry… we didn’t go that far—but you get the picture.

These things are most definitely made to last, and whether you’re commando rolling down to the beach, or completing an all-important mission to the local chip shop, you can rest easy knowing these things are more than up to the task.

We wanted to make sure our shorts were fully prepared for whatever you can throw at them—and because of that sharp fit, they work just as well with a t-shirt as they do with a button-down shirt.

Made with Care

Our organic cotton grew in the picturesque fields of turkey, before being woven into fabric by our Italian friends at Beppetex. Both partners are fully certified which means that all workers operate in a safe environment, free from discrimination and child labour. Important stuff.

The fabric was then transformed into Shorts by Pinha Mansa, just outside of Porto in Portugal. This lot are dab hands when it comes to work-wear, making them an obvious choice for these sturdy Shorts. Constructed to OEKO-TEX® standards, each and every component of the shorts has been tested and cleared for harmful substances.

Three is the magic number

Classic cargo shorts design calls for three classic colours...


Military green - The tried and tested hue for anything with extra pockets.

Navy - Perfect for sea-dogs and land-lubbers alike.

Sand - Ideal for sea-side yomps.

What's the cargo load?

Back in 2021, we committed to giving you the full environmental impact of every item we release. La totale as we say in France.

So this is what goes into, and comes out of each pair of Cargo Shorts.

6.59 kg of CO2 emissions, which is equivalent to travelling 119 km (74 miles) by car. Here’s how our partners at Fairly Made come up with that number.

77L of water. Equivalent to 1 x 5min shower.

1114 MJ of energy, which is about 39 h electric heating (average flat).

Load up those pockets

Sound good? The Cargo Shorts are available to preorder for 79€ from Tuesday 8th of March.

Concerning delivery, you can expect your Cargo Shorts to arrive by end of June (that's anytime between the 21st and the 30th).

And for those who're wondering, if it doesn't work out when your Cargo Shorts arrive, returns and exchanges are easy—the return costs are on us.

Need to know anything else? Ask away via the comments below, or alternatively, you can check our international Instagram page for more info.

Cheers,

The Asphalte Team

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