Polartec introduces a lightweight version of its industry leading ‘Power Air’. An ingeniously light insulating fabric with sustainability at its heart
Not heard of Polartec? Even if you’re not familiar with the name, as an outdoor enthusiast, you’re almost definitely hanging one of their fabrics in your wardrobe. They describe themselves as fabric engineers. And they can do that because of the volume of research and development which goes into the production of each and every one of their 300+ fabrics. For years now, Polartec has been providing some of the biggest names in the industry, from Rab to Patagonia and from Mammut to Arc’teryx, with the highest performance technical fabrics you can achieve today.
What’s their ethos?
Polartec’s agenda is crammed with that buzzword of the moment – sustainability. But it’s not something they’re only just working on. It’s something they always have been and always will work on. Sustainability is sustainable in Polartec’s world. This year, Polartec announced vital environmental commitments through its new Eco Engineering pledge. A manifesto you can believe in to commit to a goal of 100 percent recycled materials and biodegradability across its entire production line.
What is lightweight Power Air?
This ethos develops with the launch of lightweight Power Air in 2020. After recognising the detrimental effect microfibre shredding is having on our environment, Polartec began researching methods to reduce this. They’re now proud to say that Power Air sheds at least five times less microfibres than other premium, mid-layer fleece fabrics. But they’ve added to the fabric’s environmental credentials by ensuring that the lightweight version of Power Air is fully recyclable. And to top it off, 73 percent of the fabric is made from post-consumer plastic waste.
How does it differ from Power Air?
Lightweight Power Air is an evolution of Polartec’s original Power Air fabric which launched in late 2018. Power Air uses ‘bubble wrap technology’ to ensure its insulating lofted fibres are encased within the knitting process thereby producing a resilient, durable material that reduces shedding in the washing machine and during day-to-day wear and tear.
How can I incorporate lightweight Power Air into my collections?
Lightweight Power Air is an incredibly comfortable fleece style fabric with a low friction surface. It’s ideal for mid layers which might be worn on their own during the spring and summer, or covered with a shell jacket or waterproof during the autumn and winter. Despite how warm it is, it’s still incredibly breathable; providing the perfect temperature regulation for outdoor activity wear.
The small world of microfibres
We’re reading daily headlines at the moment about the damage plastic and microplastics are doing to our ocean life in particular. After microbeads were banned in 2018, focus has turned to microfibres and the journey they make from our clothes, through our washing machines and out into our seas. Although no scientific evidence thus far has shown microplastics to be harmful to humans when consumed through eating fish; there have been numerous studies revealing the damage they do to ocean life – filling fish stomachs with plastic waste.
But that’s not all. Did you know clothing and shoe production stands for eight percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – that’s more than all air and water transport combined. The textile industry is also responsible for 20 percent of all water pollution globally. It’s facts like these which are spurring on many of the outdoor brands to change their research and development processes to focus on sustainability and environmental impact factors. And none more so than Polartec.
Product Focus – lightweight Power Air and Houdini
The launch of Mono Air Houdi
Swedish sportwear designers, Houdini, are the first to get their hands on lightweight Power Air with the launch of the Mono Air Houdi. Tagging it as ‘One step closer to a waste free world’. The Mono Air Houdi is a light and airy, yet wonderfully warm, insulation jacket for year-round wear with a great weight to warmth ratio. Its fit is based on the iconic Houdini Power Houdi which features the original Power Air fabric. However, this version is stretchy. It has an athletic style slim fit cut with a snug high collar hood and extended sleeves with thumb loops which are synonymous with Houdini’s Houdi style.
For more information, visit Polartec’s stand at ISPO Munich in hall B4, stand 428.