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Polartec Supports Sweden’s Houdini Sportswear’s North American Launch

Innovative textile solutions provider Polartec said it will support the North American launch of Houdini Sportswear, a Swedish company offering a range of functional clothing.

Through the arrangement, Houdini and Polartec will co-manage sales with key retail accounts and leverage these relationships to share their brand stories through special events, targeted product seeding and other promotions. Launch events currently planned include a fall pop-up store and launch party at Westerlind New York City, a winter shop-in-shop; a party at the new Westerlind Denver store during the OR+SIA trade show; and a spring 2019 shop-in-shop at The Athletic Community in Portland, Ore.

“Houdini shares our commitment to taking meaningful actions that improve the sustainability of our products, supply chain and business practices,” Polartec CEO Gary Smith said. “As longtime partners in Europe, we’re thrilled to support their introduction to the North American market. Their quality and versatility will be embraced by a new base of customers, while their business transparency sets a standard the entire industry should strive for.”

The leadership of both companies helped foster this collaboration. Helmed by CEO Eva Karlsson, Houdini is predominantly led by women, and the company recently published the Planetary Boundaries Assessment report, a corporate sustainability report based on the planetary boundaries framework. Smith has reconfigured the Polartec global manufacturing footprint with respect to environmental responsibility, while continuing to lead breakthrough product innovations such as new fabric constructions that enable greater versatility. This work has helped convert more than 1 billion plastic bottles into premium performance fabric innovations.

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“Polartec is our longest-running partner and one synonymous with uncompromising quality and craftsmanship,” Karlsson said. “In the early days, when Houdini was a peer-to-peer business among climbers and mountaineers, they were kind enough to let us into the samples room to buy fabric by the meter. Today, 25 years later, they’re still a key partner and to have their support in launching Houdini to the North American market is invaluable.”

Retailers supporting the Houdini North American fall launch include EVO, Paragon Sports, Backcountry, Westerlind, Sporting Life, Beyond Boston, Portland Dry Goods, Powder 7 and Moosejaw.

Key Houdini products made of Polartec fabric technologies include the Power Houdi made of Polartec Power Stretch Pro fabric; the Wisp Jacket, which employs Polartec Alpha Direct breathable insulation; and the Outright products made of a lighter weight version of Polartec Power Stretch Pro fabric.

Based in Andover, Mass., Polartec’s products range from lightweight wicking and cooling fabrics to insulation and weather protection textiles utilized by leading consumer brands, the U.S. military and global militaries, as well as flame resistant, workwear and contract upholstery markets.