Casual Tech – new horizons for Polartec
The distinction between sports and fashion brands blurs more and more every day. Fashion is becoming more functional and sports brands are launching lifestyle lines. The reason for this shift is a new generation of consumers who expect their clothes to be functional, but not necessarily look like performance apparel. The answer to this diverse requirement is called Casual Tech.
"Casual Tech is the next evolutionary stage in the development of functional fabrics," says Gary Smith, CEO of Polartec. "It's the answer to a growing demand for apparel that combines both the fashion and performance components."
Polartec stands for textile solutions and is a pioneer in high-performance textiles. In the early 1980s, the American company revolutionized the way people dress with the invention of the polar fleece, and Time magazine named the fabric one of the most important inventions of the 20th century.
60 % of the production consists of recycled PET bottles
Today, the textile specialist's portfolio includes around 300 state-of-the-art functional fabrics that are warm, cool or protect against wind and weather. Sixty percent of the production consists of recycled PET bottles and soon the first materials will be biodegradable. In short, Polartec offers a versatile range of fabrics that cover a wide range of needs within the textile industry - from extreme sports clothing, to skiing, biking, athleisure, rainwear, sports fashion and casual tech.
To young consumers entering the market today, fabrics should be made to hold-up in all types of weather conditions and temperatures - and the clothes they are used in must do the same. This is why the concept of sportswear or leisure wear (comfort + performance) have evolved into tech casual. These consumers expect their clothing to function without looking technical whilst being versatile to work perfectly in a wider range of activities (from commuting to yoga to work to coffee) and in increasingly volatile climate patterns.
Polartec's partners in Casual Tech apparel include renowned brands such as 66 North, Diadora, 8Js, Bleed, Magnethics, Bon Geulle, Moncler and Banana Republic.