The future is light

By AG STAFF 3 April 2019
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EXCLUSIVE: The North Face unveils FutureLight, a new material pushing the boundaries of textile technology and revolutionising the future of waterproof breathable fabrics, writes Mark Watson.

The future is light, according to The North Face, which is launching FutureLight this September; a ground-breaking, nanospinning technology delivering the most advanced waterproof, breathable outerwear on the market.

For the first time, waterproof no longer means loud, crunchy, muggy and unpackable. FutureLight is aimed at setting a new standard in the fabric creation process so T-shirts can be waterproof and denim can be comfortable. The North Face has developed nanospinning technology for its FutureLight range whereby nano-sized fibres allow superior air permeability while maintaining waterproofness. The unique lamination process is then used to attach the fibres to the fabric without sacrificing breathability, waterproofness or durability. The result is an innovative fabric that can be adapted to meet the needs of any athlete.

Expected to hit Australian stores this spring, the FutureLight range will be incorporated into Summit and Steep series outerwear at no extra cost to the consumer. “This is the biggest technical innovation in The North Face’s history!” says Paul Karis, General Manager of The North Face Australia. This is a bold call considering The North Face has been an industry leader for more than half a century, inventing iconic equipment including the dome tent and frameless backpacks.

“With our unique Australian environment, Futurelight’s breathability is going to offer a massive advantage over pre-existing fabrics,” explains Paul. “Imagine being able to regulate body temperature efficiently without having to constantly don and remove layers. By using nanospinning technology, we offer the same denier of weave and durability but at a reduced weight and superior packability. “In the future, FutureLight will wrap it’s arms around every product category in The North Face brand.”

FutureLight has been tested by top athletes around the globe including ski mountaineers Hilaree Nelson and Jim Morrison when they summited Lhotse, the fourth-highest mountain in the world, in September last year. The pair then made the 2100m vertical descent, becoming the first people in history to ski down Lhotse Couloir.

“There really is nothing like FutureLight on the market,” says Paul. “The North Face has worked with the world’s very best athletes to make sure it is fit for purpose. Our athletes need active wear that is stretchy, breathable, durable and constructed with texture to match their activity or environment.”

FutureLight has also introduced more sustainable practices in the fabric-creation process for The North Face, enabling the brand to responsibly create three-layer garments through use of recycled fabrics, and production that cuts chemical consumption, all while being produced in a cleaner, solar-powered factory.

Futurelight will be available in The North Face stores from October 2019.  

For the full story on ski mountaineers Hilaree Nelson’s and Jim Morrison’s summit and ski descent of Lhotse, grab your copy of Australian Geographic Adventure magazine, in newsagents and leading grocery stores from 22 April.