Southern Utah. FOW: Alex Andrews // Photo: Kevin Kinghorn (@kevinkinghornphoto)
Constructing the Future
Responsible apparel. Is there really such a thing?
With an overwhelming variety of clothes available, fast fashion, planned obsolescence, and that new fad that was once an old fad, there’s more than enough evidence that the bulk of the textile world isn’t doing great on the responsibility front.
For our own part, it would have been much simpler to bolt on a 100% biobased moisture wicking application to the first textile we could find, make up a fancy name for it, and call it a day.
But... we’re a little more stubborn than that.
As anyone that knows us from our roots is aware, taking the more technical line is in our nature. We thrive when the stakes are high and the rewards of success are big. So we operate with healthy skepticism, seek the best data and beta, and we hold ourselves to high standards as we incrementally construct the future we want to see.
That means that we scrutinized every one of the material inputs that went into the Phase Series, from the petroleum-free wicking finish to every textile that makes up the apparel you can touch and feel today.
Microalgae Empowered Textiles
At the heart of the Phase Series' active comfort is a unique biobased finish: miDori® bioWick.
A product of international collaboration between biologists and green textile chemists, miDori® bioWick offers competitive moisture wicking properties to the petroleum-based inputs it replaces. And it’s petroleum-free, with an 80% lower carbon footprint than a traditional wicking finish.
To create the Phase Series, we applied this finish to a combination of textiles that we selected for performance, durability, and comfort.
Like what you see? Wait until you feel it. Salt Lake City, UT. Photo: Pep Fujas (@pepfujas)
Tencel Derived from Wood Pulp
What’s softer than Tencel? Not much. We selected renewable fibers derived from raw wood pulp, using a closed loop production process to drastically reduce water & chemical use.
By utilizing a blend of this bio-based Tencel, recycled polyester and recycled elastane, we were able to achieve a lived-in hand feel in our prototypes that testers didn’t want to take off - or wash. Good thing Tencel naturally repels bacteria, too.
Castor Oil Based Nylon 10,10
Using castor oil based nylon 10,10, we were able to uphold our core philosophy of using biobased materials with no sacrifice to performance. Our hands-on development approach working with a trusted world leading supplier made this material one-of-a-kind.
What’s more, Nylon 10,10 has high tensile strength and excellent abrasion resistance, making it an excellent material for living your life to its fullest.
After our successes with integrating SpiralMade™ reclaimed materials in our skis and boards, putting recycled material inputs into apparel was also at the top of our list.
Any apparel you plan to play in needs a little bit (or maybe a lot) of stretch. Utilizing recycled ROICA Elastane from Asahi-Kasei means we can reduce our footprint and environmental impact as well as use the leader of elastane durability from the world leader.
Recycled Nylon is highly abrasion resistant, extremely durable, and the performance is unmatched in the world of synthetic fibers. By choosing constructions such as double weaves, we were able to prototype pieces that were soft next to skin, but delivered a more durable outer texture.
Recycled Nylon for excellent abrasion resistance. Salt Lake City, UT. Photo: Pep Fujas (@pepfujas)
The Icing on the Cake
So what was the point of meticulously selecting this palette of responsibly sourced biobased and recycled fabrics?
Combining these textiles with our petroleum-free, microalgae-derived MiDori® bioWick finish delivered some stoke-inducing results.
Testing wicking properties. Muttenz, Switzerland. Photo: Flo Schweighofer (@flo.sndum)
We tested the textiles in Switzerland and at our Design Lab in Salt Lake City with the finish applied and witnessed incredibly fast moisture wicking. When we began to test complete apparel prototypes, things got even better. All of our testers experienced rapid drying, excellent temperature management, and best of all - supreme comfort. We were smitten.
Biotechnology-empowered apparel is real and it’s available today! But you'll want to touch it to truly experience it: