When Anne Cavassa, our Saucony brand president, joined the organization, she came in with a wealth of knowledge and a passion for apparel. She wanted to help the brand set out in a new direction with apparel and gave the team the green light to pursue a decidedly more environmentally-minded line up.
With that, Saucony’s material developer and designer worked together to source an entirely new range of apparel fabrics. Everything was rethought. No stone left unturned. No fabric left untouched. The goal was to redevelop every material possible with recycled or organic content. Our material developer extraordinaire took on the task and ended up with close to 20 new materials. In each case, we asked our mill partners to use as much recycled or organic content as possible without compromising the quality or performance of the fabric.
In the case of one of our highest volume fabrics used in our Stopwatch shirts, we worked with the mill to develop three different trials – one with 100% recycled polyester, one with 70% recycled polyester (30% virgin material), and one with 50% recycled polyester (50% virgin). In a side by side comparison, there were noticeable difference between the 100% trial and the other two. The 100% did not feel good next to skin and it had an unwanted textural difference. The 70% felt great and looked great, and the 50% felt only slightly softer/more silky. The last thing we want to do is create a product that no one wants to buy or to use once they do bring it home. To that end, we decided to move forward into production with the 70% recycled polyester material and it’s been widely received as an awesome update.
The future of sustainable fabrics and materials is exciting to a bunch of product geeks like us. Our commitment to adopting environmentally conscious materials propels us forward. We are excited by new technologies and new materials entering the market every season. We know that materials are only the start, and we’re excited to continue the journey with newness and open dialogue about our wins and our challenges.