We have developed a Preferred Material List to use internally to inform the design and production teams on better alternatives to current materials. This tool is available to view here.
Why synthetic fibres?
Synthetic textile materials, derived from petroleum-based chemicals, have gained substantial popularity since their emergence and make more than 60% of the global fibre usage today. Engineered to cater to specific needs, they provide high-tech versatility and making them suitable for diverse applications. Their durability and easy maintenance offers great advantages over natural fibres. Yet, at current scale synthetics have a high environmental impact and can cause micro plastic pollution, further are lot of synthetic textiles blended, which makes them hard to recycle efficiently. To address these concerns, the industry has invested in research, resulting in more sustainable and advanced synthetic textiles. These innovations include recycling technologies, bio-based materials, and improved durability. In the below section we are shortly presenting some of the synthetic fibres and materials and why we are using the materials in our products, along with our vision for potential eco-friendly substitutes in future.
Neopren is a synthetic rubber, that can be used as a textile fibre, yet it is mostly used in form of a supported elastic film. Neoprene is a highly effective isolation and waterproof material for apparel. Due to the structure of the material and elastic properties, it is the ideal material for wetsuits and other swimwear products, that keep the wearer warm in an cold and wet environment. We are using the material as a bonded layer in our heavy overshoes for keeping your feet warm and dry in poor conditions.
Neoprene is created using fossil fuels, and the manufacturing process is highly energy-intensive. There are some alternatives, such as natural rubber-based materials. Currently, the most relevant outlook is to phase out neoprene and replace it with other materials with similar technical properties.
Why cellulosic fibres?
Natural cellulosic fibres encompass a group of natural fibres, which are extracted from the seed, bast or leaf of plants, and include materials like cotton, flax or linen. These fibres have long been used by human to create textiles, due to their versatility and durability.
Regenerated fibres on the other hand are made in a chemical process, wherein cellulosic raw material is dissolved and spun into a fibre. The fibre material created in the process commonly goes by the name viscose. Textiles made of viscose are very soft and have a good comfort on the skin. Both cotton and viscose can be found in our products, yet this type of fibre material comes with a high water absorbency, which makes it rather adverse to be used in sportswear.
Why wool fibres?
Wool fibres belong to the group of animals fibres and encompass a group of natural fibres produced by mammals such as sheep, cows, camels or goats. The majority of wool is produced by sheep and goats, yet it makes less than 1% of the global fibre production. Wool fibres have long been used to make clothing and textiles, because they provide excellent insulation, breathability, and the ability to absorb moisture, which makes it an ideal fibre for the use in apparel.