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218 items found in OUTDOOR APPAREL.

Taiwan’s experts stay one step ahead
Once again Titas was awash with new ideas - biodegradability, novel recycled fibres and the circular economy among those on the agenda.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2019
Energy supply
High-end winter clothing brand Moncler was 50 years old when Italian entrepreneur Remo Ruffini acquired it in 2003. No one would deny that he has made his mark on the company, taking the classic down jacket that Moncler’s French founders invented and developed to protect their own workers from the cold, and propelling it into the world of luxury goods and high fashion.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2019
Why socks matter
Though they be but small, socks can make a huge impact — on feet, on the supply chain, and on the environment. Farm to Feet is a brand built on the importance of all three.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2019
Houdini’s circular pledge is no illusion
The chief executive of Houdini Sportswear says she wants the brand to make more use of technologies that “work in partnership with nature”.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2019
Fine-tuned breathability
This autumn, outdoor brand The North Face will launch Futurelight, its new, proprietary breathable-waterproof outerwear technology. The company says Futurelight will “redefine the future of technical outerwear”. A closer look suggests they might not be exaggerating.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2019
A response to the retail crisis
With online shopping and sky-high rents hurting traditional retail and wholesale business, confusion reigns in the debate about how best to come into contact with consumers. The group behind outdoor brands Eider, Lafuma and Millet believes it has found a solution.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2019
An ‘off-piste’ take on breathability
Rise To The Challenge: Kjus And Osmotex - A new ski jacket from Swiss sportswear brand Kjus is the first product to feature an “active” membrane technology that is said to be ten times more efficient at transmitting moisture vapour than a traditional membrane.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2019
Protection and style
Game Changers: Aurore Calmier - Aurore Calmier says city life is not for her. It seems apt, therefore, that she has found herself leading Eider, a brand that has a love for the mountains at its core.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2019
Performance Days makes itself at home at Messe München
After many successful years at Munich’s MTC exhibition centre, Performance Days took a step into the unknown in November with its move to Messe München, the exhibition’s new home.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2019
Helly Hansen rides the wave of Volvo Ocean Race
Newcomers: Helly Hansen’s Ægir offshore sailing collection. The round-the-world Volvo Ocean Race proved the ideal testing ground for some of the products in Helly Hansen’s new offshore sailing collection.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2018
A new future for OutDoor
The announcement in February that the OutDoor exhibition, which has taken place in Friedrichshafen for 25 years, would be moving to Munich, and the subsequent fallout from the decision, means the industry has been faced with some uncertainty over what the summer trade show calendar would look like from 2019. WSA takes a closer look at the unfolding story.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2018
Berghaus breaks down women’s product design
RISE TO THE CHALLENGE: NORTH POLE EXPEDITION. In April, Berghaus helped an all-female team complete an expedition to the North Pole. In turn, their feedback will help the outdoor brand as it seeks to rethink how it designs products for women.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2018
Recycled down, as good as new
With many brands introducing recycled down in their autumn-winter 2018-19 collections, demand for the material is up, as is the price of virgin down. Some see this shift to regenerated down as opportunistic, while others believe it helps reduce textile waste and is a rare example of upcycling a post-consumer item into a highly coveted product.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2018
Aiming at fair play
In 2009, Antje von Dewitz took over the running of German outdoor group Vaude from her father, Albrecht, who founded the company in 1974. She has built on Vaude’s heritage and is carving out a reputation for turning its commitment to people and to environmental responsibility into concrete action. Its quest for fairness is now shaping the products it brings to market and how it makes them.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2018
The great outdoors
The It’s Great Out There Coalition wants to inspire more people to get active in the outdoors. A number of the outdoor industry’s leading brands are lending their support.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2018
Smart thermal solutions
Electrically powered textile heating systems for garments are programmed to deliver just the right amount of warmth when and where it is needed. Mastering this simple function is far from easy, involving many different textile, electric and electronic options, arguably making it a blueprint for next-generation wearable electronics.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2018
Down has ‘ten years left’
Vanessa Mason, director of engineering and technology at PrimaLoft, says she’s proud of many of the company’s innovations in performance insulation, but insists the best is yet to come and that, within a decade, no one in the outdoor apparel industry will be using natural down.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2017
PFCs: a debate still soaked in controversy
Five years after an environmental campaign focused on the problem of polyfluorinated chemicals in durable water repellency solutions for outdoor garments, the industry’s search for viable, high-performance alternatives is far from over.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2017
Sharing is caring
The Sympatex CEO discusses the environmental footprint of the textile industry and how it can collaborate to tackle some of the big issues.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2017
Mountain man
Game Changers: Sun Bin - Sun Bin is China’s most famous mountaineer and was the first from that country to complete the Seven Summits, reaching the peak of the highest mountain on seven continents.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2017
The comfort zone
US start-up Omius Tech has developed a waterproof jacket that uses artificial intelligence to regulate the wearer’s body temperature.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2017
Persistence pays off for Gore
A new Environmental Chamber at WL Gore’s headquarters in Maryland will help the company test new ideas for using its membrane technology in footwear and apparel.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2017
The adventurers of tomorrow
Brand Profile: Isbjörn: Environmentally conscious Swedish brand Isbjörn aims to give children the clothing they need to embrace the great outdoors.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2017
Leave no trace
When it comes to considering a product’s sustainable end of life, there are basically two options: recycling or decomposing. Though the case for biodegradability is rarely brought up in performance fabrics, the situation may change as synthetic fibres engineered to disintegrate in controlled conditions come to market.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2017
Brand Profile: Teton Bros
Teton takes on Mother Nature: Japanese apparel brand Teton Bros is on a mission to help outdoor enthusiasts overcome the most challenging conditions on the planet.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2017
Rise To The Challenge: Patagonia and Primaloft
Eco extras for the Nano Puff: Partners Patagonia and PrimaLoft have worked together to develop a new synthetic insulation material that offers the required performance attributes while incorporating post-consumer recycled content.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2016
More than mileage
There’s more to choosing the right apparel for extreme runs than meets the eye, as Shari Shallard has found out from researching the subject in depth and from her own running experience.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2016
Advanced adventure clothing
Brand Profile: Vollebak - Newly-formed adventure sports clothing brand Vollebak believes it can help athletes tackle extreme conditions with its innovative take on garment design that draws on physiology and psychology.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2016
Rise To The Challenge: Event Fabrics / Topo Athletic
New shoe “doubles” breathability: Membrane technology provider eVent has worked with Kansas-based outdoor footwear company Topo Athletic to launch Hydroventure, which the two partner companies have called “the lightest waterproof breathable trail running shoe available on the market”.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2016
Brand Profile: Nau
Nau targets new generation of urbanites: Launched by the founder of Marmot, the brand takes its environmental credentials seriously and touts an ‘insulation revolution’ with its recycled down collections.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2016
Why Greenpeace targets outdoor brands
Pressure group Greenpeace is deliberately targeting major outdoor brands in its new report highlighting the presence of polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) in snow and water samples from remote mountain areas. It knows there are other sources of PFCs than water-repellent finishes in outdoor clothing, but prefers to flag up the perceived failings of outdoor brands first.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2015
Brand Profile: Ortovox
Ortovox puts safety at top of agenda: The German outdoor brand relies on wool to keep consumers warm and dry, and has played a key role in the development of emergency equipment for the mountains.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2015
Brand Profile: Haglöfs
Haglöfs extends sustainability aims: The Swedish outdoor brand has set its sustainability bar high so there can be no accusations of greenwashing, and has introduced a set of criteria for footwear to carry its Take Care label.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2015
Finding inspiration on the show floor
There were a great number of interesting products on display at the recent outdoor and sportswear-focused events in Germany and the US. We pick out a handful.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2015
The layering system in transition
This July, at the OutDoor show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, crossover clothing, which attempts to fuse function and fashion, was the subject of many discussions. What styles and fabrics suit this transitional product category that aspires to reach a wider consumer audience of people who are looking for versatility and novelty?
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2015
Rise?To?The?Challenge: Ternua And Pertex
Light, fast, free: The relationship between performance fabric manufacturer Pertex and Basque outdoor brand Ternua goes back decades. Ternua’s ambition to make lightweight, compactable high-performance wear has brought them back together and it has included fabrics such as Pertex’s Shield and Quantum in its new collection for spring-summer 2016.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2015
A Retrospective Part 2
20th Anniversary: Two decades of change: In the second part of WSA’s 20th anniversary celebrations, industry insiders discuss how the magazine has kept them informed of market developments, and give us their views on the changing face of the outdoor and sports market, and what lies in store.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2015
WSA - The Second 10 Years
A brief timeline in textiles and sports, Part 2.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2015
20 in 20: Textiles and Apparel
20th Anniversary: 20 in 20: Textiles and apparel. In the 20 years since we began publishing WSA there have been many landmark moments in the field of innovation in outdoor and sports products. In the second of two articles, we look at 20 important developments in the last 20 years in textiles and apparel for athletic and sports. There is no order of preference and nor is the timeline important. These are simply stories centred around fibre, yarn, fabric and finished product developments that created headlines in WSA and beyond and helped define the shape of the performance apparel industry today.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2015
The new shape of shells
Change is under way in the hard- and soft-shell categories as innovative waterproof-breathable membranes come to market.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2015
Anniversary Perspective: 20 years on
Looking into the future market with the benefit of hindsight: In 1995, textile management consultant David Rigby outlined his thoughts on present and future markets for sports- and leisurewear in WSA’s first issue. Twenty years on, Alexandra Zakharova decided to focus on the same markets and review the factors that have contributed towards their growth. Using Rigby’s original article as a starting point, it has led her to consider multiple areas of activity and highlights the importance of the ‘Millennials’, especially women, for the sector’s further development.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2015
WSA - The First Ten Years
A brief timeline WSA in textiles and sports.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2015
20th anniversary: A retrospective
WSA hits the spot: As part of WSA’s 20th anniversary celebrations, some of the big players in the textiles and sportswear supply chains share their views on the advances of the past two decades and consider where we are headed, and explain how the magazine has helped inform them.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2015
Swiss firms brace for impact
The Swiss National Bank’s unpegging of the franc against the euro shocked the markets and made its exports substantially more expensive. How will this affect the outdoor sector?
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2015
Innovators: Gert Boyle
The original tough mother: The chairwoman of Columbia Sportswear faced serious difficulties when she took over the running of the company after the sudden death of her husband. But Gert Boyle has grown the small apparel firm into a $2 billion business – and the 90 year old has no intention of retiring soon.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2015
Sustainability: WL Gore
Better boots have a lower carbon footprint: As consumers become increasingly keen on knowing the environmental profile of all the products they buy, WL Gore has calculated the extent to which higher-quality hiking boots can help people keep their carbon footprint as low as possible.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2015
Standards In Sport: Polar Expeditions
Journey to the ends of the earth: Polar expeditions push adventurers to the ‘limits of human endurance’, but whether for research, charity or merely fun, it is their high-tech apparel that keeps them safe.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2014
Brand Profile: VF Corporation
Outdoor and action all the way: The focus of footwear and apparel group VF Corporation is still broad, but in 2014 its senior management team has consistently said sports and outdoor are where all the momentum is.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2014
Innovators: Sarah Howcroft
The woman who said hello to science: Now more than 40 years old, outdoor brand Rohan says it likes to talk about products that are not new, which is unusual. It likes clothing that’s tried and tested and it likes products that are stuck, unused, in cupboards and wardrobes to find new owners. Change for change’s sake is not the Rohan way. Innovation, though, is, and always has been, as co-founder, Sarah Howcroft explains.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2014
Innovators: Aaron Feuerstein
Phoenix from the ashes: Polartec-maker Malden Mills was destroyed by fire in 1995 but instead of retiring on the insurance its CEO, Aaron Feuerstein, paid the workers’ salaries until it was rebuilt, earning him the nickname ‘the mensch of Malden Mills’.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2014
Brand profile: Mountain Equipment
Scaling new heights: From humble beginnings, the UK brand has supplied insulated jackets and sleeping bags to every British-first ascent of an 8,000m peak, has been part of more than 175 Everest summits and equipped unsupported trips to the North and South Poles.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2014
Blends bring new stories into merino wool
As the market for performance clothing made from merino wool matures, new blends with Tencel and Cordura, among others, seek to keep the natural fibre’s popularity alive and offset some of its shortcomings.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2014
Innovators: Yvon Chouinard
Social climber: Modest and charming, but always inventive and entrepreneurial, Yvon Chouinard says he never wanted to be a business man, but the founder of outdoor brand Patagonia is widely recognised as a pioneer in supply chain transparency, in green business and in giving back. Now Mr Chouinard wants us all to live simpler lives and to stop consuming for the sake of it, only buying things if we really need them, including things from Patagonia.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2014
Engineering warmth into fabrics
The ongoing challenge to provide warmth without weight is being addressed by fabric finishes that absorb or reflect heat to keep the body warm. These thermal solutions also reduce the need for thick padding.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2014
Brand profile: Moncler
Off piste: Moncler’s repositioning from skiwear to luxury shows that pulling away from the pack can have a thawing effect on brand perception.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2014
Single purpose versus versatility in functional outerwear
Outdoor apparel collections have shifted gradually from general purpose to sports-specific ranges following a pattern similar to the evolution of performance fabrics. As the market matures, new ranges focusing on particular user segments have expanded the options available to designers, highlighting a key trend that drives the outerwear market today.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2014
Brand profile: Rocky Brands
Growth is on Rocky Brands’ mind: Buyers of work, hunting and western-style footwear in many markets know the family of brands that comes under the Rocky Brands umbrella, but perhaps a little less about the company behind the boots and about its plans for growth in 2014.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2014
Brand profile: Sherpa adventure gear
Made in the mountains: Sherpa Adventure Gear makes most of its outdoor apparel in Nepal, using some of the most innovative fabrics on the market, but with traditional respect and a desire to help the communities around it underpinning its whole corporate culture.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2013
Rise to the challenge: Outlast and C. Russ
Humidity causes discomfort: With too much emphasis on temperature control, a specialist consultant believes the outdoor industry is missing an important point in the comfort debate. Different people feel comfortable at different temperatures. Humidity, however, can make it hard for anyone to have a comfortable night’s sleep.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2013
Standards in sport: Expedition to Everest
The world’s top attraction: To climb Mount Everest, rising 8,848 metres above sea level, is the dream of many. In the 2013 season (which ended in June), it came true for 600 people, more than half of those were Sherpa. Without the mountaineering skills of this Himalayan people, expeditions to the world’s highest peak would not be possible and this has been the case since 1953, when Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first stood on top of the world.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2013
Brand profile: Bergans of Norway
Nordic know-how: For 105 years, Norwegian outdoor brand Bergans has been bringing new ideas to the market, but always with the emphasis on high levels of quality and functionality. The 2014 line will be no exception.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2013
Function is the new chic
Sports influences have made numerous inroads into menswear collections for many seasons, but appeared to reach a new level for summer 2014 where the trend has been spotted on countless catwalks from Burberry to Louis Vuitton, and inspiring fast-fashion retailers to expand their own athletic offering.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2013
Brand profile: Canada Goose
Flying solo: Canada Goose believes the strength of its brand lies in being faithful to its roots, and 3,500% growth over the past decade suggests it is on the right flight path.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2013
A day in the life
At the end of the European winter, outdoor brand Merrell organised an event aimed at giving insight into the work of the mountain rescue team in the Peak District National Park in the centre of England. WSA was there.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2013
Lifestyle layer can be new outdoor apparel category
A new and distinct clothing category could boost revenues for outdoor brands and retailers.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2013
Colombia: open for business
With the ink barely dry on a trade agreement with the US and with a similar deal with the EU about to come into force, the South American country is readying itself for a rapid increase in trade – and it sees sportswear as a sector that will drive its growth.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2013
Rise To The Challenge: Patagonia And Polygiene
Patagonia’s silver lining: The outdoor brand is notoriously thorough when it comes to choosing partners, so for Swedish antimicrobial expert Polygiene the tie-up is a welcome seal of approval.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2013
Sustainability: Toray
Fibre manufacturer has garments in mind: Innovating its fibre offering by using renewable raw materials is just the first step in Toray’s strategy. It wants its new ideas to come to market as part of a “complete concept”, involving finished garments that partners have made using its innovations. The latest examples, outdoor jackets that combine fabric made from sustainable fibres and sustainable down from Toray, will be on show at ISPO 2013 in Munich.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2013
True grit
by Simon Roberts: Away from the glitz and glamour of the high-profile commercial battles between big-name sports shoe brands, a much quieter footwear revolution has been taking place amidst the mud and rocks in the United Kingdom where fell runners run free.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2012
Rise to the challenge: Rab and eVent
New fabrics make year-round rainwear a reality: High-end outdoor apparel brand Rab is one of the first to use a new waterproof fabric from eVent called DVL, offering high levels of weather protection in a lighter weight than tried-andtested three-layer constructions.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2012
Brand profile: Arc’teryx
Culture and quality remain unchanged: Arc’teryx is in the middle of important changes at the top of its organisation. But it is determined to stay faithful to its West Coast Canadian roots.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2012
Brand profile: Rohan
“Everything you need”: UK outdoor company Rohan is celebrating its 40th birthday this year and continues to create clothing which appeals to its loyal customer base.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2012
One women’s wardrobe for warmth in a world of snow and ice
Earlier this year extreme adventurer Felicity Aston became the first woman to ski alone across the continent of Antarctica. This article gives details of some of the specialist clothing and equipment she wore during the two-month trip.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2012
Ask the expert: Thermal insulation
Something in the air: The latest in our series of articles questioning textile experts focuses on the subject of thermal insulation.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2012
Brand profile: CAMP
Keeping it in the family: From its roots in the foothills of the Italian Alps, family-based mountain hardware company CAMP has developed into an important brand with an international presence.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2012
Sports trends – colourful, retro & luxury
There are many seemingly contradictory trends in winter sports footwear, but they can complement each other too. Some very obvious trends at ispo 2012 were colourful, retro, luxury, barefoot, and family winter sports.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2012
Protecting the extremities
Whether ultra lightweight, extra warm or perfectly adapted to a specific sport, developments in gloves over the last year have been interesting and innovation-pushing.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2012
Design and technology: the evolution of thermal insulation
New developments in outerwear, from body-mapped insulation to wool-look downproof fabrics, and in natural down as well as synthetic fillers, are exploring many possible incarnations for next winter’s puff jackets.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2012
Form versus function
‘Lifestyle’ clothing has become the next big category across the board in apparel. Combining functionality with fashion, sportswear characteristics such as breathability are infiltrating high-end fashion, forcing brands to reassess the balance between function and form.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2012
Focus on winners: Iker and Eneko Pou
Mapping new ground: Spanish climbers Iker and Eneko Pou recently opened a new route on Mont Blanc, naming it the ‘Classic Modern’. Highlighting the importance of wearing the right apparel in tough conditions, the brothers say the clothing they wear has saved their lives on countless expeditions.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2011
Predictions for 2012 and beyond
An experienced commentator on the performance textiles sector and applications in sports and outdoor apparel has spoken about a series of issues that he believes will prove important for companies in the industry in the year ahead.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2011
Brand profile: LL Bean
Centenary season: Outdoor apparel brand LL Bean will mark a special anniversary in 2012: the company will have been in existence for exactly 100 years. It is celebrating its centenary with a special commemorative collection of products that it will make available along with its spring-summer 2012 lines.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2011
The enduring appeal of snow
Fortunately for the outdoor clothing and footwear brands who dedicate part of their autumn/winter collections to jackets, suits, trousers, hats, baselayers and boots that are specifically for wearing in winter weather, people all over the world still yearn for the peace and powerful beauty of snowy landscapes.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2011
Rise to the challenge: Mountain Khakis
Classic, cool and core: Jackson Hole Wyoming-based outdoor brand Mountain Khakis (MK) has included 23 new men’s styles and 21 women’s in its spring-summer 2012 collection. Traditionally focused on ‘hips down’, the brand has said it is “particularly excited” that a majority of these new styles are tops, and that nearly half are for women.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2011
Columbia sets its sights on Gore
A storm that has been brewing for years between rival providers of waterproof membrane technology for shoes recently reached new levels of intensity.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2011
Ask the expert: Performance & comfort
Comfort zone: Performance apparel manufacturers and brands know that consumers are likely to come back for more if their clothes offer comfort as well as functionality, but how best to engineer comfort in is an ongoing discussion.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2011
Brand profile: Fjällräven
Nordic beginnings: From the invention of a 14-year-old boy to international sales and a strong presence in the outdoor market, Swedish brand Fjällräven has come a long way from its rural roots.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2011
Another string to the bow
VF Corporation, which owns outdoor brand The North Face, recently added Timberland to its list of acquisitions, prompting questions about how two companies with a similar product offering can co-exist in one conglomerate.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2011
A breed apart
Entrepreneurship is alive and well in the outdoor and sports industries. Entrepreneurs are often highly acquisitive and avoid becoming too closely involved in the businesses they buy into. They believe that emotional attachment can cloud sound business judgement. For some of the most iconic outdoor entrepreneurs, however, normal rules do not apply.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2011
Rise to the Challenge: Sympatex/Bench
Bench heads for the mountains: UK-based clothing brand Bench has ventured into the sports apparel market, launching its first high performance range for autumn-winter 2011/12.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2011
Ask the Expert: Luca Mosso & Amir Nankali
Bonding technology in apparel: Sports and outdoor brands are increasingly opting for bonding technology instead of stitching in garment seams. The questions in this issue’s Ask The Expert focus on the best ways to apply the technology in sports and outdoor apparel.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2011
Brand Profile: Vaude
Green dreams: German company Vaude has set itself the goal of becoming “the most ecological outdoor supplier in Europe” by 2015. So what exactly is the brand doing to achieve this?
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2011
Local focus
French outdoor brand Mountain Lion insists that it will keep its supply base as simple and as local as possible while still producing “interesting and intelligent” clothes for enthusiasts across Europe. In future, it aims to have a similar production network serving the markets in Asia and the Americas too.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2010
Lighter touch fromVasque
Specialist outdoor footwear brand Vasque has introduced new light hiking and multisports shoes as part of its spring 2011 collection.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2010
Former canoe slalom Olympian, and four-times world freestyle kayak champion Eric Jackson is now president of his own kayak manufacturing company. But he refuses to give up competing at the top of the sport just yet.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2010
Outdoor company Jack Wolfskin has plenty of vision for developing new products and expanding geographically. However, it is aware that building long-lasting relationships with suppliers, and caring for workers, consumers and the environment are just as important.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2010
Omni-Heat: the new hot topic at Columbia
Snow might have been in short supply in Vancouver at the start of the XXI Winter Olympic Games, but new technology from Portland, Oregon, might still have been welcomed by the spectators.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2010
Focus On Winners: Ueli Steck
The importance of new ideas: Swiss climber Ueli Steck has always been passionate about outdoor activities and sport. Before he started climbing he was into ice hockey and other group sports. However, it was the challenge of reaching the peak that finally won his heart.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2010
The breathability debate continues
A new softshell fabric from Polartec could help its clients raise the stakes in offering high levels of protection against the elements without compromising breathability.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2010
A trek in British Columbia
Alberta-based outdoor enthusiasts Cathy and Andy Harris spent a week last summer completing the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island in British Columbia with their teenage daughters, Emily and Madeleine, and their cousin Livvy. This is Cathy’s account of the trip, and of how the outdoor clothing and equipment they took with them stood up to the conditions.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2009
Encouraging signs for the outdoor sector
Outdoor goods manufacturers should be cheered by the fact that more people are deciding to get out in the open, whether for economic, health or social reasons.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2009
Brand profile: Regatta
Fun for all the family: According to the Regatta group, getting outdoors is all about enjoyment. As a result, the products it makes are designed to provide the necessary technical support as well as being fun to wear.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2009
Focus On Winners: Helen Thayer
Wonder woman: Helen Thayer has spent more than 60 years tackling some of the toughest terrains on earth. At 71, her appetite for trekking, hiking, kayaking and cycling remains as keen as ever.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2009
Focus on Winners: Ivan Basso
Making winning a habit. Italian cyclist Ivan Basso is enjoying a glittering career and his passion for road racing clearly hasn’t dwindled since he first started competing on the world stage. Nicknamed Ivor the Terrible, he started entering cycling competitions at the age of seven in Cassano Magnago, Lombardy, where he grew up. He remembers his father giving him his first bike, made by Italian bicycle company Olso, and spending the whole evening just staring at it in sheer admiration.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2009
Kitting out the “silver surfer”
One generation in particular should be excited about a new project launched at the University of Wales, Newport, at the end of April. The New Dynamics of Ageing research project will look at ways of improving the clothing options available to older people, many of whom are still mobile and active.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2009
BBC to present technical textiles to new generation
A new series for schools called The Design World includes a specially made programme that looks at how textile innovations often make an impact in the sports and outdoor arena first before pushing into the ready-to-wear market.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2009
In the bag
Camping and other outdoor activities can be a lot of fun and are a good way to explore new places. However, gathering the right equipment could influence whether the trip is a success or a complete disaster. Choosing the right sleeping bag can be key to ensuring a good night’s sleep so that travellers wake up feeling ready for an active day ahead of them. This is why a number of outdoor specialists are continually looking for ways to improve and expand the available options when it comes to sleeping bags.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2009
New “cradle to grave” ski glove
Two sports textile innovators have teamed up to launch what they claim is the world’s first ever recyclable ski glove. Swany America, backed by Swany Japan, has teamed up with Japanese textile firm Teijin Fibers to produce gloves that are made from recycled polyester and can be recycled over and over again.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2009
Dolomite and Dryarn unite tradition and innovation
Italian outdoor brand Dolomite is the latest textile firm to incorporate Aquafil’s Dryarn into its garment collection. The company showcased its Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) line at the most recent edition of Pitti Immagine, in mid-January. The bright, clear colours used were chosen by the company to reflect natural elements, such as, red for fire, blue for sky, white for snow and grey for rock. However, it is the collection’s technical attributes that really sets it apart.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2009
Intimate details
A look at some of the most recent developments in underwear for the sports and outdoor markets.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2009
Emerging markets climb
A recent report from Global Industry Analysts suggests that various emerging markets will play a key role in growing the global sporting goods market in the coming years. The report, entitled ‘Sporting Goods: A Global Outlook’, also states that there has been a growing interest in outdoor pursuits such as rock climbing, hiking, camping and backpacking.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2009
Brand Profile: Dicks Sporting Goods
Fishing for a living Dick’s Sporting Goods was established by a young man with a lot of ambition. In 1948, and at the tender age of 18, Dick Stacks was working as a salesman in a small Army and Navy store in New York. He started developing his own ideas when his then boss, an avid fisherman, asked him whether he thought fishing gear could become a major seller for the store. Mr Stacks went away and spent a lot of time developing a business plan around the fishing idea before eventually presenting his ideas to the manager. The response was not a positive one and he felt sure he was not cut out for this type of work.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2009
Life at the high end
From the time you picked up this magazine to the time you happened upon this article, odds are that the stock market stumbled by a percentage point or two, and several currencies juggled their relative value multiple times. Such is the state of the global economy at the moment: erratic, worrying, and tight. People are tearing up their credit cards and counting their pennies (and yen and rubles). As a result, budget retailers and purveyors of necessities are ushering in new crowds, while the once elite are feeling suddenly quite lonely.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2009
Lead market initiative
The European Commission has launched a special project called the Lead Market Initiative to encourage innovation in the 27 member states of the European Union. The Commission chose six specific industry markets in which to try the idea out, listing Personal and Protective Equipment as one of them, which could be good news for companies throughout the textile supply chain.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2009
Research Institutes: University of Leeds
Ideas and action. In this brand new section, we look at the most interesting people, ideas and inventions to have to come from academic institutions around the world that devote themselves to performance textiles, starting with the Centre for Technical Textiles at the University of Leeds.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2009
Focus on winners: Russell Coutts
A life on the ocean wave. In this new section of WSA, we present the views of champion sportspeople on recent textile developments for the clothes, footwear and equipment they use. In this issue, Olympic gold medallist and three-time America’s Cup winner Russell Coutts provides an insight.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2009
Sourcing strategies change as the world becomes a tougher place
Most economic predictions for 2009 are bleak, which means companies selling sports and outdoor clothing, footwear and other equipment are being very careful about what they put on the shelf. Suppliers in all parts of the supply chain are preparing to modify their sourcing strategies accordingly.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2009
A logical combination
When fibre manufacturer Advansa developed a new product that combined the thermobuffering qualities of Thermolite and the moisture-management capabilities of Coolmax, it seemed obvious to call it after both.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2008
China’s big moment
Enthusiasm for the Olympic Games in Beijing this summer has spread way beyond the capital city, as the reception that the Olympic torch relay has enjoyed the length and breadth of the country has shown. China was already sports mad, but the Olympics is turning the country’s passion into a frenzy, and the big brands in the international market are keen to fan the flames.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2008
How silk began to make an impression on fabric mixes for outdoor apparel
Dinner is over, the Oscars start in an hour. Striding to the front of the restaurant, your lavender gown clings and flows in all the right places. As you enter the evening air, rain starts to fall and you step quickly back inside — the limo can wait. Let your $3,000 silk Gucci dress get wet? Not a chance. So why are mountaineers, skiers and runners heading out into nature’s drizzling, muddy, treacherous conditions, donning apparel made with this most exquisite of materials? Because silk is getting rebranded.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2008
Micro encapsulation: it makes scents
Micro capsule manufacturer Celessence International – a subsidiary of New York-based International Flavours and Fragrances – has been working in partnership with man-made fibres, resins and intermediates manufacturer Invista, among other companies, to produce garments with odour-combating qualities using natural ingredients. Whether technology is incorporated in fresh smelling socks, relaxing yoga wear or energising sports apparel, aroma-producing textiles are becoming a real hit with active customers.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2007
Outdoor industry’s snow and ice dilemma
The outdoor industry—apparel, footwear and equipment—is growing partly because more and more people are spending time in the mountains. In summer, we hike and cycle, in winter we ski, and we climb all year round.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2007
Performance fabrics step into the light
We know that weight weighs on the minds of fabric manufacturers. It’s a subject that appears to be of great importance as these companies decide on their research and development priorities. They want to make their materials lighter so that the brands and finished goods manufacturers they sell to can add the tag ‘lightweight’ to their marketing literature.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2007
Winter success leads to summer launch
Four-times World Cup gold-medal winner Marc Girardelli hung up his skis competitively in 1996, but his passion for the sport, and for outdoor activity in general, has never left him. That’s why he has devoted the last few years to building and growing his own outdoor clothing brand specifically for children. He recently expanded it to launch, for the first time, a summer collection to add to the winter-wear range he first brought out in 2005 under the Marc Girardelli Ski Wear label.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2007
A fresh take on the lotus position
The mix of small and large companies at the techtextil and Avantex Innovation Awards in Frankfurt was interesting. One of the big-name winners was BASF, which was acknowledged for a new nanotechnology development. Named Mincor, it claims to produce textile surfaces that are self-cleaning.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2007
When black becomes cool fashion
textile engineering has taken a new turn. Innovators are paying more attention to the invisible, and some visible, parts of the spectrum to generate some surprising results.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2007
Auxetics expand their horizons
It is 20 years since the first synthetic auxetic polymer foam was developed but many people remain unaware of the word, let alone the unique properties that auxetic materials possess which could benefit the performance textiles sector.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2007
Brands ignore special qualities of stretch garments
Size matters and big brands in the sports and activewear sector need to take the matter of stretch more seriously. Dr Penelope Watkins explains why.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2007
Fighting back against nature - polyester does its bit for the planet
Although new 'natural' fabrics and apparel appear to be the 'in' thing with companies and consumers at present, polyester is fighting its corner and is even transforming itself into a sustainable product.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2007
An exercise in (UV) protection
The first glimpse of the sun has us taking to the outdoors in droves but, whilst we may look after our hearts, too few of us take the necessary precautions to protect our largest organ... the skin. This situation will not improve until UV labelling in garments becomes mandatory.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2007
Performing a balancing act
Human physiology is a natural wonder, a finely balanced system intricately designed to regulate itself. But we then reduce its efficacy by swathing ourselves in clothes. As a result, textile developers around the world are faced with the challenge of trying to recreate a natural wonder.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2007
"If he hits a home-run I'll eat my hat!"
Conserving the environment and 'going green' has become a fascination for the masses, from eating organic food through buying fair trade products to wearing eco-friendly apparel. This has 'naturally' had an impact on the textile industry as manufacturers strive to combine performance and the Earth's preservation.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2007
Only natural for cellulose and linen to score skin-friendly success
Fabric and finished garments that are kind to the wearer's skin are of growing importance in our health-conscious world, and the implications for sports and activewear are obvious.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2007
Q-Angle - brought to market
Tha latest innovative entry into the footwear market caters strictly for women. Q-Angle is not an innovation in itself but a biomechanical correction for an exaggerated natural motion, but the benefits offered to women by the products designed to deal with this problem could well be far-reaching.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2007
Wool turns greener
The trend towards sustainability and eco-friendly products is here to stay and this has led to a resurgence in the use of natural fibres, with wool leading the way. But, it appears there is room for even the most natural of fibres to turn greener.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2007
A new twist on wool
Whilst wool may be a natural choice thanks to its inherent performance properties, it has not always received good press due to the dreaded 'itch' that was associated with woollen garments for so long. That has now all changed thanks to numerous innovative developments using soft Merino from Australia and New Zealand.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2007
Cosy feet and a warm winter at ispo
Despite all of the talk of global warming and the lack of snow this winter, there was plenty of exciting new winter gear at ispo in February.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2007
Power dressing women with feminine appeal
Performance brands are now dedicating an ever larger share of their ranges to women, but producing women-specific apparel is not as easy as some may believe, as the 'fairer sex' is most definitely a demanding customer to please.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2007
Showtime: Winter wonderland
Buyers visiting this winter's trade fairs must have felt like children in a candy store as they were treated to a feast of new products and developments across the spectrum of yarns and fibres, laminates, apparel, footwear and protective gear.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2007
Five years on and PTT starts to make its mark
There are a limited number of polymers from which man-made fibres are currently produced. Polyester, polypropylene and polyamide are the three most widely used in the world, but PTT is now beginning to make its mark.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2007
Competition heats up in the fleece market
Analysts of the US fleece market are reporting increased levels of activity and a shift in the market share within the sector. This had led to increased competition within the industry and has resulted in some interesting new products.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2007
Innovation for extremes
The fourth Innovation for Extremes conference was held at Lancaster University in the UK in September. The UK Outdoor Industry is a relatively small, close-knit group, with a reputation for being good with new ideas, albeit not always getting those ideas successfully onto the world stage. The conference highlighted the fact that we are on the edge of very interesting technical times with new themes and technology running through.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2006
Hard facts on softshells
Ten years ago nobody knew what softshells were: there weren’t any. Today they are there, but most consumers still don’t know what they really are – mind you, many within the outdoor industry actually don’t know or don’t bother either. The question of how waterproof a softshell may be is now changing the whole concept.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2006
Kicking up a stink
Talk to any cyclist, runner, walker, climber, football player, or cross-country skier about the smell of his or her thermals and you will always hear the response, “It can be awful.” If you went into more detail, you’d most likely hear that some athletes consider certain brands to be ‘smellier’, while others seem to be more ‘socially acceptable’. In the last issue of WSA, we looked at different substances that are used to prevent, mask, or absorb unpleasant odours in performance fabrics. Yet where do these smells come from? How do we sense them? And how can they be measured?
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2006
More demand for less
Ever since sportsmen and women began challenging one another for world records, weight has been an important issue. Less weight means less of a burden, more flexibility and quicker reactions. It also means less pressure on joints, ligaments and muscles and a decreased risk of injury. This is not only true for elite athletes competing for records, but equally for outdoor activities and lightweight is becoming increasingly important in the outdoor business.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2006
Blazing a trail through outdoor
The faster and more hardcore the sport, the more technical and brighter the product’, that was the clear message at the recent OutDoor Fair in Friedrichshafen, Germany, reports Penny Leese. While traditional hiking and walking have received a massive amount of support and still attract new members, thanks to the current crazes—trail walking and running—there are some truly exciting new footwear developments on the scene.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2006
Cotton keeps growing... and improving
Cotton has been fighting polyester for fibre leadership for half a century. Perhaps the future lies in a merger.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2006
Bodymapping develops inside and out
New technologies give product developers the opportunity to build garments with variable geography. Having started with base layers this concept has now reached performance outerwear.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2006
Supreme sock takes to the hills
Veteran runner Dr. Ron Hill has helped develop a high-tech multi-component sock which was introduced at this year's London Marathon.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2006
Covering all the bases (and layers) for summer
The sports apparel business is being turned inside out, or outside in, depending on your perspective as brands known for outer layers move into base layer apparel and vece versa. Christian Eschler has focused on a three-layer system for its new collection for summer 2007.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2006
Preview for pedal pushers
Cycling shoes - one of the most technical sports shoe categories in the vast athletic catologue - have undergone a quiet revolution.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2006
Protecting those armpits
Active people will no longer accept apparel that smells bad and the demand for clothing equipped with antibacterial effects continues to grow. Manufacturers have launched a fresh attack on the microbes that cause odour.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2006
Staying upright on the mountains
Measuring grip has always been a problem for manufacturers, but research centre CTC has now developed a new slippage test.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2006
Amphibious landing
There are many types of 'waterproof' footwear on the market designed to keep water out and a dry and comfortable environment within, but in certain activities it is nigh on impossible to keep water out. Some manufacturers have realised this and have shifted their focus to concentrate on removing the water as quickly as possible.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2006
Downfall in thermal insulation
The outdoor industry has developed several means to protect to protect against the cold. Thermal insulation by natural or synthetic fibres is one of the most efficient of these, however, it seems that the ranking within this method is changing.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2006
Steam engines in orange
Red stands for danger, green stands for eco-friendly, and one company would like to see orange represent breathability. Orange is the design colour of eVent's waterproof breathable membrane that is giving the established names a run for their money.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2006
BrandNew winter awards
As one of the judges on the panel of the BrandNew awards, WSA's editor Mike Redwood offers the insider's view on this year's competition and explains how the winners were chosen from the 171 entries.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2006
Changing the concept of changing clothes
Consumers' demands when it comes to apparel are changing. Rather than changing their outfits for different climates, they now expect the clothes themselves to alter in order to keep them comfortable and safe.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2005
'Tell them we're sold out'
Founded in 2003, Keen Footwear has seen spectacular growth thanks to an innovative product offering which has captured the imagination of a wide range of consumers. WSA looks at the story so far in an attempt to see why everyone is so keen on this new brand.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2005
Backpacking tents - an Overview
Backpacking tents are designed for those seeking a more real experience offering them the opportunity to travel spontaneously and at low cost. Therefore, although it is not a huge market, products must be able to withstand the elements off the beaten track. Founder of lightweight tent brand, lightwave, Carol McDermott offers his expert opinion on what's available.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2005
Taking functionality to the extreme
Whilst for many people 'travelling' conjures up the idea of packing a bikini and heading off to a warm beach, for certain travellers, who journey to the remotest parts of the world, their clothing can literally mean the difference between life and death.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2005
The difference lies in the trousers
Whilst in most outdoor activities we pay great attention to what we wear in order to be comfortable, trousers are often left out of the equation. But they are more important than we often think as they too play an important role in maintaining a comfortable body temperature.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2005
Climb every mountain (well almost)
The old English saying "up hill and down dale" took on a fresh meaning when WSA contributing editor Till Gottbrath decided to participate in the gruelling Gore-Tex Transalpine Run, covering 203 kilometres and four countries.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2005
Seams - some time ago
Just as those involved in technical apparel once looked to sleeping bags for new ideas for coping with moisture, it appears that it is now the turn of product managers in the sleeping bag industry to turn to developments in apparel for inspiration. The result is the development of seamless and stitchless production to improve performance.
WSA - Issue6 - Nov/Dec 2005
Durability of outdoor clothing - built to last?
When it comes to getting the maximum out of a garment, opinions can vary as to what is acceptable in terms of durability and longevity, as this feature based on the views of experts in the field illustrates.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2005
Arc'Teryx - managing the potential for innovation
In times when product development often means meeting given proce points and introducing some new colours or product refinement, Arc'Teryx, probably best known for its back packs, has proved to be one of the major innovators in the outdoor industry
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2005
Sports shoes for summer 2006
Comfort, light weight and increasing breathability are the key words for technical sports shoes for summer 2006. Covering the latest technologies, this feature looks at what's on offer for all climates for the next summer season.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2005
Getting switched on to wearable electronics
There is a whole new generation of apparel and accessories appearing on the marketknown as wearable electronics. Developments are moving fast and a number of companies have succeeded in producing reliable merchandise merchandise to ulfil market demand.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2005
More than a craze
Everyone is talking about Nordic sports and the less snow there is the more people seem to be enthusiastic about it. But it's not only the sports business that is interested. Health insurance agents, physiotherapists, tourist boards, travel agencies and the press just seem to have turned crazy. And so have a couple of hundred thousand people trailing along poles while they're walking their dogs.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2005
Fun in the sun?
Skin ageing, cancers and irritations are increasing. And so is the need for protecting the human skin from harmful ultraviolet radiation. Our intrepid explorer, Till Gottbrath, considers the technologies of textile-provided UV-protection as well as test and certification standards.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2005
A walk in the Antipodes
Guided walks are by no means a new thing, but their importance in the arena of outdoor activities has grown rapidly over the last ten years. Perhaps once seen as an exercise only for ‘wimps’, the guided walk has now joined the mainstream, enjoyed by young and old, rich and poor. New Zealand offers an added outdoor advantage - merino.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2005
Adapting a product to fit the specific
News items don’t always provide a full picture: for instance, what was the thinking behind the Sensitive Wearing Concept or B3 SWC collection launched earlier this year, bringing Eurojersey and Lanificio Becagli together?
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2005
Going undercover
The old saying that it is what’s on the inside that counts has never been truer, especially in the world of functional apparel. Layering has long been recognised as vital in functional clothing with regard to thermoregulation, moisture management, and comfort and this has to begin with a high performance base layer.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2005
Light as a feather
Whilst many may choose their jacket based on the latest brand to be 'a la mode,' the correct level of insulation can avoid the loss of life for some, such as soldiers at war, rather than a loss of street credibility. There is a lot more to insulation than fashion.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2005
The heat is on... (or off)
Many people get involved in extreme activities these days, pushing their bodies to the limit whether it be as part of their professional life or just for the pure thrill of it. But although these activities all involve sweat and tears, straining muscle and sinew, it is often temperature rather than tiredness that forces people to call it a day. But this could all be about to change thanks to the latest innovation from a Scottish inventor.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2005
How realistic are temperature test standards?
At the 2003 Survival Conference, hosted by Leeds University in the UK, Dave Brook gave an enlightening talk on the mechanics of insulation evaluation in regard to sleeping bags, which was reported in World Sports Activewear. He was particularly concerned with the implications of the new EN13537 test standard proposed for 2005. This is now with us and at this year’s conference he returned to the subject.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2005
Women's winters - warmer and more stylish
More women’s products were on show at ispo than ever before -including better fitting lasts, and boots that are warmer. The day before the fair started the Volvo design conference concentrated on women’s specific design as a growing part of the sports shoe and equipment market. Penny Leese reports.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2005
Seen and (hopefully) not hurt
For more than 60 years retroreflective materials have been making conditions safer for those who work in poorly-lit, hazardous situations. More recently, those who pursue outdoor sports have been wearing luminescent clothing in greater numbers as high-visibility materials technology advances.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2005
Back-to-back - where fashion, leisure and sport meet
Backpacks are becoming more fashion conscious every season and this report provides pointers as to where these accessories are heading.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2005
Waterproof barriers for footwear
Moisture control in footwear has seen tremendous improvements in recent years. It wasn’t all that long ago when keeping feet dry meant compromising comfort. New materials and construction methods have changed to ensure that the properties of staying dry and comfortable are compatible.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2005
Obliged to improve and differentiate
Looking at sleeping bags, one might be forgiven for thinking that they have been unchanged for the last ten or twenty years. Not quite as this article explores recent developments within this competitive market and how the big boys are coping with waterproof technologies.
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2005
What about that comfort feeling?
When designers skimp on the materials used at the interface between foot and shoe, that’s when the trouble begin. We examine a wide range of modern footwear for its comfort values – and it’s not all a question of linings and EVA.
WSA - Issue5 - Sept/Oct 2004
Brenig – fitting the outdoors
A direct sales company marketing its own production; almost an anachronism in 2004! Yet this small unit has managed to secure a secure place in posterity by equipping Polar explorers and Round-the-World yachtsmen with clothing that was deemed too successful by one user.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2004
Trekking – then and now
Development in backpacking might just have taken a quantum leap. To apply both comfort and waterproofing to rucksacks might seem to be going to extremes, but the benefits are just going to walk off the shelves – or so we are told by the manufacturers.
WSA - Issue4 - Jul/Aug 2004
Clever feet on the climbing circuits
As the sport of rock climbing moves up a notch n difficulty, the technology involved in the footwear development has had to take a giant step. Nowadays, if your shoes don’t grip on the rock with the soles, uppers , heels and toes – then you are going nowhere but down.
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2004
Packer brings K-leather to life and to sports
It might be a symbol of Australia, but the essential culling the kangaroo generates an important raw material for tanners. One tanning company has taken kangaroo skin and applied high technology to produce a variety of benefits
WSA - Issue3 - May/Jun 2004
Electro interest rekindled
A select few companies have been driven to marry electronics and textiles. Progress has been slow over the past few years, but things are looking up once again.
WSA - Issue2 - Mar/Apr 2004
Equipping the void
The equipment story behind the making of a new mountaineering film. If manufacturers think they have travelled a long way since 1985, then visually it might be wise to reconsider. If brand owners think they have travelled a long way since 1985, then it might be sobering to consider how far an injured man can travel in six days
WSA - Issue1 - Jan/Feb 2004
From scribble to standard
An outdoor icon product of the 60s gains more than just a new lease of life – it becomes a series and a brand in one fell swoop. A positive move from one of Scotland’s finest.
WSA - Issue3 - Autumn 2003
A funny thing happened on the way to opera
As you take a stroll through one of London’s best-known localities, it’s possible that you find yourself grabbing at an E5 hold before attending a performance from Verdi, as an international brand owner meets the retail element head-on.
WSA - Issue3 - Autumn 2003
Twisting the trails away
The North Face take a fresh look at backpack suspension system design as hips, pack and weight get in tune.
WSA - Issue3 - Autumn 2003
Cool and lighter
ISPO Summer 2003 revealed a plethora of styles and innovations in performance footwear. Everything from golf to lifestyle; from athletics to skating comes under the author’s analysis of trends and specifications. Weights, colours and materials are examined in detail.
WSA - Issue3 - Autumn 2003
Everest: The 50th Anniversary feature
From the long list of suppliers that contributed to Hilary and Tenzing’s success, how many are still out there? Not as many as might be supposed, although a few brand names continue with a 21st century spin.
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2003
Stepping out
IspoWinter is as good a place as any to investigate the type of footwear that is required for the growth in Nordic walking. The latest and probably most pleasurable exercise regime requires nothing more than putting one foot in front of the other – and of course the attentions of the experts.
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2003
Take a Nordic walk
Continuing the Nordic theme as we examine the type of clothing designed to enhance walking as an exercise activity. The review covers high-tech poles, gloves, soft shell body wear and, once again, raises the question of what we used before elastane fibres were invented.
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2003
Blurring the line between function and fashion
As city life relaxes the social mores, the rules for footwear are far less rigidly applied than they were 40 years ago. Trail boots are more or less acceptable anywhere and the athletic shoe in all its forms and guises has become ubiquitous. The requirements of fashionistas are beginning to dictate what appears on the shelves of the specialist shoe stores. The technology is beginning to be hidden by the baubles and bows.
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2003
Everest: The 50th Anniversary feature
Our special feature explores the equipment used by Hunt’s 1953 expedition.
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2003
Everest: The 50th Anniversary feature
High altitude footwear designed and developed by SATRA merits the reader’s contemporary comparison.
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2003
Cold comfort
A sleeping bag is two textile tubes sewn together and stuffed with insulation. Of course it is, but how naïve can you get? Temperature rise as textile academics and technologists face up (literally in one instance) to the implications of the new European standard for measuring the performance of our favourite piece of outdoor kit. And you thought it was just a case of buying the one that worked for you?
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2003
Totally spaced out
Conferences come and go, often with little to justify the expense and opportunity cost of the time involved in attendance. But a small gathering in England in April 2002 received a presentation of significance. Assembling performance textiles into an order that maximises their potential is a serious matter, and few would dare to challenge accepted thinking. Andrew Spink did so by adding another factor to an established equation – and improving performance overall.
WSA - Issue1 - Spring 2003
Applied Technology: flexible friends – pole to pole
Historically tent poles were simple technology, but now it looks as though we are moving towards an era of dual-purpose poles.
WSA - Issue4 - Winter 2002
Applied technology: It’s the hands that suffer more than the ears
In the beginning we folded over the top of the sack and looped a piece of cord to hold it in place. Since then we’ve added straps, buckles, zips and studs in an effort to keep personal equipment clean and dry inside a rucksack. Recent moves include ‘stealth’ technology and laser-controlled identification – with some interesting results.
WSA - Issue4 - Winter 2002
To insulate or encapsulate? Is that the question?
Insulated footwear, using the latest in synthetic fibres, has a vital part to play in solving the problems inherent in low temperature operations. Phase change materials, such as Outlast and ComforTemp, offer another set of solutions. And there are always the extra possibilities in bringing the two technologies together. Hot foot from the test bed, we examine the options available to specialist footwear manufacturers. Did they suffer with cold feet in Elsinore?
WSA - Issue3 - Autumn 2002
New solution to waterproofing footwear
A lamination process for leather, developed by Italian company Nextec, provides a new solution to waterproofing. Called OutDry, the product is bonded to the back of leather and can offer important cost advantages to manufactures. What makes this innovation of importance, especially to the footwear industry, is that the waterproofing can be applied to shoe uppers after cutting.
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2002
… a phoenix rising from the ashes
When the UK foot and mouth disease crisis truck early last year, it prompted a whole range of responses from the UK outdoor sector. While some businesses simply hoped for the best, others were more aggressive in their response to the outbreak. An example of the latter was the tent and accessory manufacturer Terra Nova, whose strategy for survival involved a completely realigned product range and a keen focus on customer support. Combined with prudent financial management, the plan not only helped the company come through the crises intact, but also had unanticipated longer-term advantages.
WSA - Issue1 - Spring 2002
Design and ecology: mismatch or challenge?
When it comes to design priorities, the issue of footpath erosion has never been high on the agenda of the outsole manufacturers who choose to focus on achieving an optimum balance between durability, grip, traction and comfort. But are the performance attributes of the outsole and its impact on the environment forever destined to be mutually exclusive?
WSA - Issue1 - Spring 2002
Rubber for river rafting
When it comes to satisfying the conflicting performance requirement of whitewater sports, no other material lends itself better to footwear than good old fashioned rubber. Grippy in both wet and dry conditions, hardwearing and quick to dry, rubber continues to deliver the best all-round solution for the spectacular watersport as exemplified by the front cover of this issue. The history of rubber-based river rafting footwear is reviewed, from the earliest ‘waterdogs’ to the latest feature-packed ‘spider rubber’-based water shoes. A snapshot of the latest developments taking place in lining and upper materials technology is also provided.
WSA - Issue1 - Spring 2002
Climbing helmets
The University of Leeds School of Textile and Design has a history of involvement with research in active leisure apparel and equipment. This research paper highlights the difficulties in persuading climbers in the UK to use helmets, the international test criteria and the effectiveness of traditional and lightweight models.
WSA - Issue4 - Winter 2001
Cover up
Thanks to advance in shell fabric technology sleeping bags have come a long way in the last two decades – to the extent that some models are now claimed to offer similar levels of weather protection as does a tent. This report deals with the latest innovations in this highly competitive outdoor market and canvasses thoughts of fabric suppliers and bag brand holders on levels of usage and trends.
WSA - Issue4 - Winter 2001
You want a pocket for your what?
The article examines the historical precedents and finds value in long-term development as well as short-term opportunism. It surveys accessories on offer to rucksack users and assesses their value to travellers and the industry.
WSA - Issue4 - Winter 2001
A pound on your feet (is worth five on your back)
This analysis delivers an authoritative overview of the main types of hiking boots currently available. It reviews the materials and accessories used, their functionality and the design features that make the hiking boot desirable.
WSA - Issue4 - Winter 2001
The story of ‘0’
As an esoteric sport, but with a surprising number of devotees, can the orienteering apparel market support the textile technology it deserves?
WSA - Issue3 - Autumn 2001
Slowly, safely, slowly
Climbing rope developments – a story where safety takes precedence above design.
WSA - Issue1 - Spring 2001
Swanky bags
Sleeping bag development has been concentrated on fillings and space.
WSA - Issue4 - Winter 2000
Take a hike
Footwear on the trail as we take a look at origins and options.
WSA - Issue4 - Winter 2000
“That stuff doesn’t change much”
Tent engineering highlights some surprising aspects of an apparently mundane subject.
WSA - Issue3 - Autumn 2000
Super Show – ready to retire?
Focus on footwear: All is change as the Super Show prepares to move from Atlanta to Las Vegas. But the final footwear performance in the Georgia State capital might just have been a show too far…
WSA - Issue2 - Summer 2000
Downhill all the way
One of the toughest forms of foot racing and the footwear that supports it.
WSA - Issue1 - Spring 2000