Northface introduced FutureLight at CES this month, the company’s new breathable and waterproof material. The company developed the material with Nanospinning technology, using sustainable practices, and creating a material that is waterproof but not stifling to wear.
The possibilities for the material are seemingly endless. Clothing that feels just as regular as before, but waterproof, could have many uses. The technology could lead to advancements in humanitarian aid in colder climates, or where they are heavy rain seasons. Commercially it could keep hikers and mountaineers safer, or simply make customer’s expeditions a little easier.
“Right now, the expectation from a waterproof product is something loud, crunchy, muggy and unpackable. With FutureLight we can theoretically use the technology to make anything breathable, waterproof and for the first time, comfortable,” Global General Manager of Mountain Sports at The North Face Scott Mellin said. “Imagine a waterproof t-shirt, sweater or even denim that you actually want to wear. Today we start with jackets, tents and gloves, but the possibilities could be endless.”
As we mentioned before, Northface also focused on sustainability, creating new practices in the fabric creation process. These advances have allowed the brand to create three-layer garments with recycled fabrics, and production that cuts chemical consumption. The fabric is also created in a solar-powered factory, one of Northface’s best environmental achievements.
According to the company, the Nanospinning process used to create FutureLight fabric has allowed the brand’s designers to add unprecedented air permeability into the membrane of a fabric for the first time. The process creates Nano-level holes, allowing for incredible porosity while still maintaining total waterproofness, letting air move through the material and provide more venting than ever before.
Additionally, Nanospinning gives designers the ability to adjust weight, stretch, breathability, durability, construction (knit or woven), and texture to match athletes’ and consumers’ activity or environment.
Designers can customize the fabric for specific usage, for example, by increasing breathability in garments for aerobic pursuits or increasing protection for harsh, wet climates. The ability to adjust these factors in fabric construction is unprecedented in apparel, equipment, and accessories.
“Disruption is one of the key elements in the DNA of The North Face brand. It is what our company was founded on and, to this day, we still believe that disruption is the key to future growth,” Mellin said. “Our teams are constantly thinking about the future of our product technology portfolio and how we can push the limits to create the next best innovation for our athletes and consumers, which is how FUTURELIGHT came to life and why it will forever change what consumers expect from their product.”
“During the past two years, our world class team of climbers, skiers, alpinists, snowboarders and trail runners has been rigorously testing FUTURELIGHT across every discipline to prove this technology in varying weather conditions and climates all over the world,” Nelson, The North Face athlete team captain, said. “In all my years in the mountains, I’ve never experienced a product that moved and performed as well as FUTURELIGHT. It is creating a new paradigm for what I expect out of a waterproof material.”
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