Growing Synthetic Fabric (you read that right!)
Wednesday we’re dropping our Follow Through Pants which sold out in 2 hours when we first launched them this spring. One the most special things about them is the fabric, so what better time than now to break it down for you?
What are they made of? Nylon, but make it cool: Bio Nylon! A renewable sustainable fabric that has some extreme advantages to its predecessor. Traditionally, nylon is made from plastic created from petroleum. It’s often chosen for high-end athletic wear because of its strength and elasticity (debuting in tights during the 1940s). Enter bio-nylon. A fabric created in a lab from biomass. Yep, plants made these pants! Through some wild chemistry that’s well beyond my scientific knowledge, an engineered organism is created through what’s basically a fermentation process similar to kombucha or sourdough. Using plant sugars, we’re growing traditionally-synthetic fabrics now, which is pretty darn awesome AND 100% renewable.
Every year, global markets produce 5 million tons of nylon, which produces 60 million tons of greenhouse gases. I don’t need to tell you that’s pretty bad. Nylon production creates nitrous oxide - 300 times more damaging than carbon dioxide - so synthetic biology is a great alternative way of producing this material, for obvious reasons.
Another cool thing? Very few brands use Bio-Nylon. A few months ago, I met with the reps from the textile company we buy it from and they were stoked. “No one uses Bio-Nylon because it’s so expensive, not even Athleta buys it from us” they said. So how cool is that, that we’re one of very few companies making things out of this fabric? If you have any doubts that nylon made from plants is sturdy and durable, just check out the reviews on our Follow Through Pants. Gals have rock climbed, hiked, chainsawed, skied, backpacked, parented and farmed in them and we have yet to hear about them sprouting holes. If they sound interesting to you, snag a pair during our next drop - they launch Wednesday 9/15 @ Noon MST.