With every brand racing toward whatever they perceive to be the next frontier in technology, The North Face has unveiled its breathable, waterproof material FutureLight.
Developed using nano-spinning technology, FutureLight has “peak porosity while still maintaining total waterproofness,” according to the brand. To put the fabric to the test, The North Face tapped skiers, snowboarders, climbers, trail runners and other members of its team of athletes to wear-test FutureLight at high altitudes and under challenging weather conditions. Select alpinists did their part a few months ago at the Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland. Jim Morrison, for example, climbed and skied three 8,000-meter peaks last year — including Mt. Everest, Cho Oyu and the world’s first descent of Lhotse Coulior — with his partner, Hilaree Nelson.
In line with the brand’s commitment to sustainability. FutureLight production calls for recycled fabrics, reducing chemical consumption and relying on a solar-powered factory. The company aims to eliminate the “crunchy, muggy and unpackable” features of waterproof fabrics so that it is more breathable, according to press material.
In addition to its in-house facilities, the brand worked with such third-parties as Underwriters Laboratories, a safety certification testing organization that predominantly works with the National Fire Protection Association, an organization that certifies gear for first responders. The North Face claims the test methods developed for FutureLight were 50 percent more stringent than the current standard for the Outdoor Industry. The North Face’s global general manager of Mountain Sports Scott Mellin said the company will debut the fabric in jackets, tents and gloves, “but the possibilities could be endless.”
For today’s launch at the Consumer Technology Association’s CES show in Las Vegas, The North Face partnered with Designworks, a BMW Group Company, to create physical and virtual reality experiences to demonstrate the new fabric’s technical capabilities, and its potential to change how humans weather the elements. FutureLight fabric will be offered to consumers in The North Face’s fall 2019 product line across the brand’s pinnacle performance collections.