Category Archives: Menswear

Bionic Yarn

Beautiful, sustainable and durable. That’s the motto for Bionic Yarn and hopefully part of the fashion industry’s New Years resolution. 

Return Textiles Corp, a two-year-old New York based company, engineers and manufactures sustainable yarn and fabric made from recycled plastic bottles. The construct is made of a polyester core wrapped in recycled plastic and then depending on what the fabric will be used for, a combination of nylon, polyester or cotton will be wrapped around the recycled plastic in two different directions creating a tension similar to a Chinese finger trap. The durable fabric is used to make backpacks, luggage, handbags, active apparel, work wear, denim, footwear, home and outdoor furnishings.

Bionic Yarn Construction

 

According to Bionic Yarn it takes eighteen 1 liter recycled water bottles to make an average piece of luggage and seven recycled plastic bottles to make a pair of jeans. With 60 million plastic bottles from consumers being put into landfills daily, there is more than enough supply to continue developing these types of sustainable fabrics.

 Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams the Grammy winning musician and a new investor and owner of Bionic Yarn has incorporated the new material into his own clothing lines Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream.  Pharrell was quoted as having said he was fascinated with the technology and pleased with the softness of the denim as well. With growing concern for the environment Williams will be an ambassador to the company. As Pharrell says, “Our goal is to be the go-to fabric supplier. We want to provide quality fabrics that also happen to be sustainable. We want to do everything from high end luggage to high end denim, to university caps and gowns to Parks Department uniforms. It’s a plus that the fabric brings environmentalism to a whole new level.”

Let’s hope so Pharrell, let’s hope so.

Bionic Yarn

Billionaire Boys Club & Ice Cream

Advertisements

Recycled Fashion

Believe it or not, the fashion industry is responsible for a large part of the world’s pollution. From manufacturing to shipping, tons of toxic chemicals, CO2 and greenhouse gasses are discharged, and huge amounts of oil and energy are consumed.  That said, where can one go for stylish, yet eco-friendly clothing?  Enter Goodone, a British label that creates hip and trendy clothes made from recycled garments. 

Founded by two Brighton University graduates, Nin Castle and Phoebe Emerson, Goodone takes second-hand or throwaway clothing and repurposes them into new garments that don’t look obviously recycled.  Their style has an urban and edgy vibe, with each garment being unique since all textiles and prints come from used clothing.  All products are locally hand-made from individually chosen recycled garments or sourced from textile recycling factories.  What is innovative about Goodone is that they are providing a creative and sustainable solution to counteract the damage that the fashion industry has been wreaking upon the environment.  By using materials that already exist, they don’t need to consume more energy or expend more toxic waste in order to manufacture new products.  And unlike some other companies that have hopped on the recycling bandwagon, Goodone’s garments are not only eco-friendly and fashionable, but also completely realistic and wearable.  Now that’s fashion with a conscience.  WU

Eddie Bauer’s Mountain

Eddie Bauer is going back to its original roots by hiring mountaineer legend Jim Whittaker for insight on its expedition outerwear. The goal is to revive the brands sense of adventure and produce better performing products. Also to move away from its focus on indoor casual apparel in hopes of a big comeback.

When conservative companies hire athletes as design consultants they take a pronounced risk. In my opinion it is a great way to get the inside scoop on athletic apparel. Athletes know best what works and what does not. Brands that hire designers who live and breathe the brand are more successful.

Eddie Bauer’s new line of apparel will be put to the test when their new collection is launched in 2009. Their goal is to sell $450 per square foot, which is far from their $260 per square foot from last year. If sales increase for Eddie Bauer, these types of partnerships may become a more common occurrence. HANNA

MacGregor Golf: Interview with Innovator

Greg Norman

MacGregor Golf is a 100 year old golf company, one with a new CEO. Michael J. Setola shares with us his vision and strategy for keeping the innovative brand strong.

NATALIA: Please give folks a bit of insight as to what your role entails.
Michael: As CEO of MacGregor, my primary role is to manage the investments and direction of the company. As it relates to product, inventory is our largest investment, so I keep a keen eye on product and product development.

NATALIA: How did you first become interested in fashion?

Michael: Funny story, but my first job was with Hanes Underwear. I was selling boxers and white briefs. Suddenly for the first time, colored underwear came on the scene and I saw the effect of fashion on something as simple as underwear. I was hooked on the excitement of newness and the effect great product has on business.

NATALIA: How would you define good innovation?

Michael: Good innovation is the combo of design, merchandising and sell through to the consumer. It needs to be relevant as truly new, but have meaning to the consumer.

NATALIA: Is innovation important to you? MacGregor?

Michael: At both the Greg Norman collection and in our MacGregor Golf Club companies, innovation is what separates us from the field.

NATALIA: How is innovation realized in your business?

Michael: Design, product development, technical services and production all must work together to bring innovation to the market in sync.

NATALIA: Any challenges or successes you have had bringing innovative design to market?

Michael: There are always challenges in getting all these components firing at the same time. Often, one area is ahead or behind in the ability to deliver innovation, so a project may be delayed.

NATALIA: What are some of the current innovation projects you are working on?

Michael: In apparel, climate controlled fabrics are becoming more important for the active golfer. Body temperature regulating developments are in our market and improvements are in the works. In golf clubs, we have a new metal that we are introducing to the clubface for game improvement.

NATALIA: Do you feel technology in fashion is just a trend?

Michael: Everything is a trend. It’s just about how long it stays with us. Technology will be with us for a long time, the consumer likes it.


NATALIA: In a few words please share with us your vision for the future.

Michael: Companies that innovate and develop consumer centric products will excel even more in the future. The combination of economic challenges and modern expectations will raise the bar for products to succeed.

Michael J Setola

No to Nano-silver

Nanosilver 05-02-08

Freshness during the day is more than just applying deodorant in the morning. Due to many consumers longer workday’s, consumers are in search of apparel fabrics that, not only feel fresh but also smell
fresh for longer periods. Many of these fabrics require certain finishes in order to maintain its freshness.

According to a survey conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres Inc, 51% of male consumers would pay the extra dime to purchase clothing with specialized freshness treatments.

Silver has a natural antimicrobial ingredient that seems to inhibit the growth of bacteria and it has been used for years as bandages to cover up wounds and irritations. Because silver particles are measured using the nano scale it does not modify any fiber characteristics or performances. There are even
washing machines that spray out the particles that place the nanosilver straight into the clothes while they are being washed. The hope is that we not only have clean and fresh clothes but we can also be cleaner and bacteria free.

So what’s the catch? Silver run-off found in the concentrations has been linked to systemic disorders including retardation, cancer and blood disease. Yikes.

HANNA

Organic, Eco and Affordable

Organic, Eco and Affordable

Increasingly, mass-market fashion designers are creating eco-friendly products. The rising demand for GREEN has encouraged brands such as: Levi Strauss, Quiksilver and The Gap to provide organically grown and eco-friendly products at a competitive price point.

GREEN garments are being made from exotic materials such as: corn, wood pulp, recycled plastic, byproducts of soybean oil, seaweed, organically grown bamboo and cotton.

Sportswear brand, Patagonia produced the popular “Synchilla Marsupial”, a polyester fleece made from 85% recycled soda bottles and unusable second-quality fabrics.

Wellman Inc, a U.S. company, produces these fibers from recycled products (FRPG) and packaging products (PPG). Their efforts keep 3 billion plastic (PET – polyethylene terephthalate) bottles out of landfills each year (bottled water will become a trend of the past).

Kate O’Connor, a designer known for her fluid lines enjoys the soft hand of silk and other luxurious fabrics. She found a less expensive alternative to silk in bamboo.Bamboo fiber is completely biodegradable and is the fastest growing wood plant farmed. Bamboo fabrics absorb moisture well and help keep you cool. Bamboo is also anti-bacterial, making it useful for producing next-to-skin garments. With all its benefits bamboo is controversial because many bamboo fabrics do not last as long as cotton fabrics.

The fashion and textile industries are in the early stages of exploring and innovating GREEN materials, that said, the future is a go. NATALIA

The Wonder Block

designfuturist-blog-031703-wunderbloc1.jpg designfuturist-blog-031703-wunderbloc6.jpg

After being homesick for New York’s small-scale boutiques among San Francisco’s downtown skyscrapers, Scott Lee conceptualized Wunderbloc.com, a website that allows viewers to discover, browse, and review the myriad of New York boutiques by neighborhood. With this website, Lee gives boutiques a uniform platform to represent themselves—to announce store news, display products, and receive consumer feedback. Furthermore, Wunderbloc offers an opportunity for the privately owned boutiques to collectivize and organize community events with one another and others within their area, creating a personal feel and space. Lee gives the boutiques an opportunity to counter the Internet marketing campaigns of chain stores. Because the website organizes by neighborhood, the boutiques have a community feel, resonating with the indie ideals of localism. More than just a list of individual stores, each boutique is a personality, an attribute to the distinct areas of New York. With pictures of storefronts and neighborhood landmarks, the website catalogues the different areas of the city through fashion. Moreover, the snapshots of random streetwalkers (examples featured above) of each neighborhood, labeled fashionistas, give a distinctly human picture of NoLita, SoHo, UWS, etc. The website showcases fashion in a unique way, as an exhibition of authentic lifestyles and communities defined by creatively dressed pedestrians, famed neighborhood blocks, and most importantly small-scale, local boutiques. All in all, Wunderbloc is a counter to the pre-packaged, singular and generic fashion chains across the country. YAO