USFIA Panel Tackles Eco-comfort in the Outdoor-Performance Category


New fabrications for the outdoor-performance-apparel market have the resilience of rugged workwear but with a more fashionable hand and drape.

During a Jan. 21 virtual presentation, “A Review of Tree Climate: A Collaborative Collection by Concept III and Tencel,” moderated by the United States Fashion Industry Association’s communications director, Shannon Brady, new fabrications for the sustainable outdoor-apparel market were introduced.

“The outdoor-performance-apparel industry constantly demands innovation that is the lifeblood of outdoor apparel today,” textile-solutions provider Concept III founder David Parkes said.

Wood-pulp fiber provider Lenzing’s business development manager for Tencel, Sharon Pérez, revealed the characteristics that make Tencel Lyocell fibers ecologically sound yet comfortable.

“The Tencel Lyocell fiber absorbs the majority of water. As it absorbs the moisture, it is quickly passed through the fiber through little channels,” Pérez explained. “The transportation of that water pulled out of the fiber into the surface happens at a much quicker rate; therefore, by default, it lends itself to a positive thermal-regulation experience.”

At Concept III, Parkes noted that the company would be introducing a Tencel Lyocell capsule that includes a flat-back rib at 47 percent Tencel Lyocell and 53 percent recycled polyester in March with a larger push in spring 2023.

Steven Lerman, executive vice president of the integrated-textiles company Brookwood Companies Inc., noted that it was revisiting its heritage fabrics. Its Redwood Performance Duck comprises 77 percent Tencel Lyocell, 20 percent cotton and 3 percent spandex.

“[It’s a] perfect fabric for a jean-type pant or heavy-cotton-duck-canvas workwear-type jacket,” Lerman said. “While it has workwear attributes, because of the Tencel it has a beautiful drape and hand, giving it a much more fashionable, comfortable look rather than what traditional harder-hand-feel workwear would be.”