THE GREENING OF PERFORMANCE TEXTILES
OUTDOOR RETAILER MARKET, SALT LAKE CITY PALACE, UTAH
Words, Images Judith Ecochard and courtesy of companies
The sustainable, eco lifestyle isn’t just buzz in the outdoor apparel market. It’s a mantra. And as consumers, we were excited by all of the new fabrics loaded with the technical attributes we demand in our active and lifestyle wear…emerge from recycled or sustainable sources.
COOLMAX ® EcoMade
Parent company Invista, has been actively generating products from greener sources.
At an industry breakfast, COOLMAX’s leading lights gave the press a heads up on just how involved the process of converting a PET water/soda bottle into usable materials, in this case the COOLMAX® EcoMade filament fiber that can be woven into garments and accessories.
With just 10% incremental costs (wow) and 70% energy savings (double wow), Invista gets 20 ounce plastic bottles from landfills---according to John Haigh, a marketing head for the company…and needs about 14 landscape clutterers to make an XL men’s shirt of 97% post-consumer recycled origins.
Performance wise, the fabric’s unique four channel cross-section keeps the body cool and dry via moisture management par excellence. We’ve used the terrific performance socks by DeFeet and Injinji that started using COOLMAX® EcoMade since last August. We are glad that the textile’s use has expanded into sportswear too.
INFO: COOLMAX® FABRIC
We got the 411 on two Primaloft® textiles at OR. PrimaLoft® Eco Footwear is made from 50% recycled content…and has all the superior characteristics of the mothership like superior insulation in wet or dry conditions, breathable and lightweight.
Also introduced was the new PrimaLoft® Infinity, a new continuous fiber filament insulation made for sleeping bags…that has a higher loft without the added weight.
Meaning a higher warmth-to-weight ratio that is very compressible (20% more) and water repellant! We heard that EMS has already ordered Infinity for its sleeping bags…and expect others manufacturer to follow with products for retail.
In biz since the mid 80’s, this German company’s recent partnership has spawned a Bionic Finish Eco-a fluorocarbon-free DWR treatment for textiles. Although we didn’t fully grasp the science…Bio-Finish Eco is composed of eco-friendly hydrocarbon matrix forming star-shaped, hyper-branched polymers or “dendrimers.” The latter---invisibly integrates with materials’ membranes and makes them water and dirt repellant, highly water resistant, breathable and mercifully, lasts through many wash cycles.
Many sportswear companies use SYMPATEX TECHNOLGY® in the mix…including Timberland, Nike Golf, and Red Wing Boots…because of its temperature regulating waterproof, windproof, and breathable attributes.
COCONA® is seemingly in every activewear garment from every brand we wear these days. And that’s because this eco textile performs on many, many levels like odor control, UV protection, static resistance, and wick-ability.
We looked forward to finding out what’s new with this company that ingeniously serves up yarns and fabrics made from recycled coconut shells that otherwise would end up in landfills.
The scoop that we got at a rather JAM PACKED Happy Hour…included the new categories for Cocona® like the Cocona Softshell… and fusions with Merino Wool and Pima Cotton.
Basically we took away that Cocona pumps up the other base materials by enhancing the products made with the super properties it has…and then some. Our top plus---it washes/dries PDQ!!!!
We also learned that Cocona, Inc. is currently sponsoring Woody Austin, a ranked PGA Tour competitor...via the athlete's sporting Cutter & Buck golf attire and the men's fav line Dockers---made with Cocona® technology--- at all PGA functions.
And according to a pr release:
"...Woody liked the FlashDry™ performance of Cocona® apparel so well, he decided to start a line of golf clothing using Cocona® technology. The primary item in the Austin Golf Wear line is a Pima cotton polo using Cocona® technology. Woody not only likes the quick drying performance but the great feel of Pima cotton."
Here's hoping that lady Tiger wannabes get some outfits of their own from this comfy AND functioning fabric---in sizes that actually fit and styling that actually looks like we'd wear it to the 19th hole.