In the world of outdoor sports, performance is everything.
With every new product launch, the goal is to keep weekend warriors, serious athletes and everyone in between moving, comfortable and fashionable. For 90 years, the Italian brand Colmar has been a go-to for stylish outerwear designed to withstand the rigors of normal everyday activities as well as high-octane adventures.
Colmar solidified its place in the outdoor industry by developing an aerodynamic suit for the 1952 Winter Games, and it continues to push product development forward, answering consumers’ increasingly rigorous demands. This attentiveness to the market has prompted the company to focus on sustainability in a new way.
“The consumer is telling us that the future is sustainable,” said Colmar marketing manager Stefano Colombo. “We’ve been an early mover in sustainable fabrics because this is where the market is going and because it’s the right thing to do.”
With this mindset, the company went in search of an eco-conscious water repellent. Ultimately, it became one of the first to adopt Teflon EcoElite™. The non-fluorinated durable water repellent was developed by Chemours in response to a growing demand for environmentally responsible products—and the willingness among 66 percent of consumers to pay more for them.
The treatment is made from the Zelan™ R3 finish, which is an eco-conscious product that’s manufactured from 60 percent renewably sourced content. Teflon EcoElite™ chemistry is bluesign® approved and is an input finishing chemical for application in the processing of GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified textile products. It also has earned the USDA Certified Biobased Product label, ensuring it meets the agency’s standards for renewable biobased ingredients.
Additionally, the Teflon EcoElite™ water and stain-repellency can last up to 30 washes.
“Our first non-fluorinated product Zelan™ R3 has been globally adopted due to the durable water repellence. In 2017 more than 16 million products are promoting the Teflon EcoElite™ hangtag,” said Lisa Hardy, North America marketing manager for Teflon™ textile finishes.
Zelan™ R3 works on a host of fabrics, including cotton, synthetics and blends, without impeding breathability. It’s also compatible with the most common wetting agents and extenders.
Colmar products using Teflon EcoElite™ have proven so successful that the company now uses it on 90 percent of all of its ski apparel and 70 percent of the balance of its line. “The products treated with Teflon EcoElite™ have been the most successful in our collection,” says Colombo. “They are more popular because of the added value the natural finish gives us. And customers are getting the same, or even better, performance than the normal treatment.”
What’s more, the finish is a proven value add for consumers looking for an eco solution. Through market research, Chemours found that shoppers throughout the United States, Europe and China are willing to pay up to 7 percent more for products carrying the Teflon EcoElite™ label over other branded nonfluorinated products and as much as 17 percent above and beyond what they’d spend on generic solutions.
“The result of this work we have done together is an increasing market share because the customer appreciates that our garments have something they are looking for, something special,” said Colmar managing director Giulio Colombo.
To read the full Colmar case study or see how the Teflon™ brand of textile finishes can give your products a lift visit HERE.
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