Whether climbing Mount Everest or scaling a rock wall at the local gym, running a marathon or chasing a toddler on the playground, skiing in the Swiss Alps or building an imaginary fortress out of freshly fallen snow, consumers expect their clothing to offer more than just a protective barrier against the elements. They expect performance.

Outdoor activity boom

Modern performance textiles have changed the way people interact with the outdoors, enabling them to scale the tallest mountains, run long distances in all seasons and even circumnavigate the world on a bicycle. But even for those with less lofty athletic ambitions, performance wear has become the new t-shirt and jeans.

Today’s consumers expect so much from the products they buy, Achieving versatility in textiles is a relentless pursuit, but that’s what drives manufacturers to keep innovating.

The jet-setting culture

“The textile industry is a smart industry. We have scientists, engineers, chemists, knit technicians and many others who are constantly pushing the limits of fiber and textile technology to solve a whole range of problems. If we couldn’t wear clothes, everyone who lives in a cold climate would have to migrate south every winter. At Polartec, we are constantly working to create the most innovative, adaptable and versatile textiles that meet the needs of our multitasking, jet-setting culture.” says Gary Smith, CEO of Polartec®, a premium producer of innovative textile solutions that eventually find a home in waterproof running shoes, moisture-wicking base layers and warm, breathable jackets that allow freedom of movement.

Innovation in apparel is inextricably linked to the textile itself. But prior to the 1970s, the performance wear category had little to offer. Polartec’s innovations in waterproof, breathable, durable, moisture-wicking, active stretch and insulating textiles led to incredible growth of industries and brands founded on performance wear technology. “We often take it for granted that what we are wearing is technology,” said Smith. “Ninety percent of the value of a garment is embedded in the textile itself. You can’t take a bad textile and make a great garment.”


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