Polartec is bringing its outdoor-ready innovations to the virtual realm with a new partnership empowering brands to digitally design garments using its textiles.
To drive design efficiency and reduce sampling waste, the performance fabric maker teamed with 3D digital solutions firm Browzwear. The software company’s design solutions enable product teams to craft garments digitally, and now, they’ll be able to do so using Polartec’s fabric library.
Using the platform, designers can visualize the textiles’ texture, drape and movement in three dimensions, giving them a lifelike representation of garments that is meant to replace traditional sampling. The renderings offer a sales tool even prior to production, helping brands sell into retail and sustainably gauge volume needs. The process reduces the risk of overproduction while cutting production spend, Browzwear said
The current Polartec line will be available through Browzwear’s VStitcher 2021.2 Edition starting this week, to be followed by rollouts of new fabric technologies as the software continues to be upgraded. The first rollout features 14 Polartec innovations in their original color palettes, from next-to-skin technologies like Polartec Delta, Polartec Power Wool, and Polartec Power Grid, to insulation technologies like Polartec 200 series fleece, Polartec Alpha, Polartec High Loft, Polartec Thermal Pro, and Polartec Power Air. The company’s NeoShell technology represents Polartec’s weather protection offering. U3M files for Polartec fabric technologies will be available to download on Polartec.com, and can be used on other digital design platforms.
The world of product design is shifting toward increased reliance on digital tools, and more than 650 fashion firms—including Polartec customers Patagonia, Nike, Adidas, Burton and VF Corp.—have adopted Browzwear’s technology to streamline design.
The effort also plays into Polartec’s ongoing eco-engineering initiatives. The company has long focused on material innovations, like using recycled content and seeking circular solutions, and the Browzwear partnership furthers its goal of helping clients minimize waste in design.
“Browzwear not only improves the efficiency and sustainability of using Polartec fabrics—3D platforms enable designers to realize the potential of their creativity and fuel our industry,” David Karstad, Polartec vice president of marketing and creative director, said in a statement.
Browzwear vice president of partnerships and solutions Sean Lane said the two companies share a “commitment to driving innovation for a more sustainable industry.”
“We look forward to working together to catalyze large-scale, positive change to reduce inefficiencies that impact businesses and the environment,” he added.
Polartec powers Houdini’s ‘The Storyteller’ campaign
Polartec also debuted a new marketing campaign with global sportswear company, Houdini. A series of video shorts on the brand’s social channels, collectively dubbed ‘The Storyteller’ campaign, will follow Houdini’s most well-loved styles through their journeys with consumers.
The content showcases the label’s Power Houdi, made with Polartec’s Power Stretch Pro fabrication, and the Mono Air Houdi, a lightweight hoodie made with Polartec’s Power Air technology, whose fibers trap warm air and are encapsulated in small, bubble-wrap-like pockets. The textile boasts the warmth and breathability of traditional fleece, but with a significant reduction in microplastic shedding. Four creative pieces set in different environments highlight the garments’ versatility and durability.
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, consumers in the Western world wear garments just seven to 10 times on average before retiring or discarding them. By contrast, consumers report using the popular Power Houdi an average of 1,287 times—meaning that the product garners 100 times more uses than the average piece of apparel. The long-term wearability of its offerings means that they have more stories to tell, forming the basis for the campaign, Houdini said.
“Our clothes are woven with life’s rich experiences,” Niclas Bornling, head of brand and direct-to-consumer sales for Houdini, said in a statement. “Whether it’s scars or stitches earned on a friend’s dare or stains from meals with friends, all are signs of experiences and lives well lived.”
The campaign encourages consumers to take care of their clothing for life, eliminating the need to buy new garments. “It challenges creative advertising conventions by being completely real—not only about our thoughts, but about the world we live in, the experiences we have—and it does so with humor that’s very much in line with our brand,” he said.
The video shorts and social media posts follow the garments of an artist, a climber and a sailor, as well as a hoodie that has seen its share of experiences, and relishes “getting old.” Developed in-house by the company’s creative team, the content will roll out globally across social media, magazines, Houdini’s e-commerce site and influencer marketing partnerships.
“We’re thrilled to partner with Houdini on their campaign celebrating the Power Houdi and the Mono Air Houdi, just as we’ve partnered on product development for almost 30 years,” Polartec’s Karstad said. The campaign encapsulates the sustainable ethos behind Polartec fabrics, he added, “namely the comfort and durability it takes to become a lifelong companion.”