Photo courtesy of Lumiton.

Start-up Lumiton said it has created Light-Energized Apparel, an activewear line that the company said offers health, wellness and performance benefits through the infusion of proprietary laser technology. Lumiton is “dedicated to applying the scientific principles of light to fundamentally alter apparel,” the company said.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based firm is focused on the promotion of its Wear Healthy fabrics and yarns that are infused with laser dyes that become “energized” from absorbing sunlight and produce red and near-infrared light. The company said the light wavelengths are clinically proven to deliver a slew of health benefits for the wearer, including increased collagen, reduced pain and inflammation, muscle growth and recovery and increased cellular energy. Lumiton’s Wear Healthy fabrics also provide UV protection of SPF 50-plus and “a shade-like environment for the body,” allowing it to heat up less than the average rate, according to the firm. Its apparel is made in the U.S. and pointed toward activewear consumers.

“Lumiton is technical innovation at its best,” said Faramarz Farahi, a professor of optics and physics at UNC Charlotte and Lumiton scientific adviser. “The broader scientific community has shown the benefits of light on the human body, and Lumiton’s innovation brings this light to everyone, everywhere through an item as universal as clothing.”

The performance apparel market saw an uptick of 5 percent from 2017, reaching $26.3 billion in 2018, with outdoor specialty apparel up 2 percent this year totaling $2.5 billion, according to a report by The NPD Group. And the increased demand for performance apparel aligns with consumers’ desire for a more balanced lifestyle. Marisa Nicholson, Outdoor Retailer vice president and show director, said “Consumer spending on outdoor recreation totals $887 billion annually in the U.S. It’s a significant component in our nation’s economy, which can spur investment, and the industry is growing along with an ongoing emphasis on healthy lifestyles and healthy communities. More people are getting outside and outdoor recreation is becoming more accessible. As a result, there’s an increase in demand for the apparel associated with such pursuits.”

Marco Scipioni, Ph.D., professor of physics at Queens University of Charlotte and Lumiton cofounder, said, “Clinical study after clinical study prove body cells can use light energy to drive health and performance. Until now, the modern solution to access this healthy light has been laser and LED ‘treatments,’ which are costly and time-consuming. Lumiton offers a new approach.” And Gates Hinds, a Lumiton cofounder, said, “When you think about the importance of sunlight, it is not surprising body cells are made to use light energy. Between living indoors, wearing clothes and blocking UV, we don’t receive healthy light as nature intended. Lumiton empowers people to nurture a healthier relationship with light.”

Lumiton launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier this week and will unveil its collection of “clothing basics” in the fall, including tank tops, pants, accessories and a line of performance sleeves; its SunShift athletic T-shirt is available for purchase. The company’s technology is optimized by sunlight where outdoor light is plentiful and powerful, but can also work indoors with reduced efficiency.

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