Archive for December, 2008

Garment Spotlight – natureVsfuture

December 22, 2008

naturevsfutureFor most people, the name Polartec conjures up images of warm fleece jackets from Patagonia, The North Face, Mountain Hardwear and other major outdoor clothing brands.

Brooklyn fashion designer Nina Vallenti had other ideas for Polartec when she launched her company, naturevsfuture six years ago: high fashion that is functional and sustainable.

Case in point: the naturevsfuture Fleece Zip Up Jacket.

As the Tastemaker Diaries points out, the jacket is, “made from recycled Polartec® fleece, a combination of yarn crafted from PCP post-consumer plastic (soda bottles) and PIR post-industrial materials (scraps of fabric and yarn leftovers). This jacket is perfect for art openings, job interviews, and getting wined and dined by someone who’s really worth it.”

Check out the full line of naturevsfuture garments. They’ve got a really beautiful little black dress made from recycled Polartec fabric, some cool sweaters and yoga tops too.

Not all fleece is created equal

December 11, 2008

msnbc_logoYesterday, MSNBC.com posted an interesting story entitled “7 Tips to Stay Warm and Save Dough” by their gadget guy, Paul Hochman.

In the story, Hochman says:

Fleece is a commodity. Fleece is fleece!
Nobody makes fleece that’s better than anybody else’s. In fact, Polartec in Lawrence, Mass., makes most of it for most brands. On their Web site, they list 45 different companies who use their fleece. If you have old fleece, it’s as good as new fleece. And fleece is great because it “wicks” moisture away from your skin, quickly. A very light, thin layer of fleece is great next to your skin.

Hochman is correct about the terrific wicking properties of fleece, but we know that not all fleece is created equal. Polartec invented modern synthetic fleece 20 years ago and today hundreds of clothing manufacturers use Polartec fabric in thousands of different garments. Yet, there are also many cheap fleece knock-off fabrics out there. A $20 fleece vest or sweater from Old Navy or the Gap will pill easily and the fabric will degrade dramatically, reducing the insulation benefits. Polartec fleece is designed with the latest technology to be durable, warm, lightweight, breathable and long-lasting.

Polartec also produces much more than just fleece. Over ten years ago, Polartec teamed up with Arc’teryx to help usher in the ‘softshell revolution.’ Today Polartec makes fabrics that range from breathable baselayers to cableknit sweaters. Polartec also offers natural and synthetic fiber combinations – really cool polyester and wool blends, for example.

Mr. Hochman’s story about staying warm in winter has lots of great tips, but it’s critical to check the label on the garments to ensure you’re getting the quality and performance of Polartec!

Polartec in the NY Times

December 4, 2008

new-york-times-logo2Polartec was recently featured in the New York Times. The regular Physical Culture section in last Thursday’s paper included a gear test of “eco-friendly fabrics.” Our own Nate Simmons is quoted in the intro, talking about Polartec’s 15-year history making recycled fabrics.stretchvelocity The gear test included a review of the Patagonia Stretch Velocity Zip, a terrific mid-layer with 65% recycled polyester fabric, made from plastic bottles and industrial yarn scraps. The tester loved the Patagonia pullover, describing it as, “the perfect garment for me.”

Check out the NY Times review in this cool slideshow.