(Feature article written by Columbia).
Industry conversations are resonant with talk of integrating smart technology into production, supply chains and the product itself alongside new processes such as 3D printing, but at the end of the day, consumers buy clothing to fulfill a requisite usability criterion, balancing form and function.
Technology as a concept has not classically associated with the clothing business, but at Columbia, we use technology to determine fabrics and fit, in order to deliver our legendary quality and comfort that has become synonymous with weatherproof apparel that also makes a style statement wherever you may be. This is especially true of our latest Titanium range that has been tested tough and is inspired by the words of our chairman Ma Boyle: “It’s perfect. Now make it better.”
As an industry leader in outdoor apparel and products, the technology we employ is based on our passion to build an understanding of the communities that love the outdoors as much as we do. The world is a smaller place with travelers flying across the globe for business, pleasure…and in many instances, in search of adventure. The average Emirati takes about four leisure holidays a year.
Our clothes are having to become increasingly multifunctional and at the same time lighter to carry and easier to clean. This new paradigm of international travel across time zones, geographies, and climatic conditions, has challenged clothing designers to focus on how to add more value or use to a piece of clothing, regardless of where the consumer calls home.
The sports industry has always spearheaded such adaptive technology, but everyday clothing is catching up. Clothing technology is evolving today to consider aerodynamics, buoyancy, sustainability, etc. like never before, bringing together experts from various disciplines.
But the basic essentials of clothing goes back to where it all began, through innovation in fabric technology consumers are able to stay comfortable in some of the harshest weather conditions. Technology is helping people to stay cool, warm, clean and healthy.
- When you are traveling to colder climates or going up in elevation, our TurboDown Wave construction technique that pairs two layers of 900-fill down separated by a 100-gram layer of synthetic Omni-Heat Thermal Insulation works actively to minimize heat losses. Its ‘wave’ construction eliminates cold spots and features industry-leading warmth-to-weight ratio. Breathable warming technology helps regulate your temperature with little silver dots that reflect and retain the warmth your body generates. The innovation reduces your need for bulky layers and wicks moisture to keep you dry and comfortable. Heat Seal technology improves heat retention, eliminates stitches greatly reducing water penetration and heat loss. Thermal Coil uses patented reflective technology to further prevent heat loss.
- In the hottest summers, Omni -Shade can block Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B rays (UVA and UVB), helping prevent sunburn and long-term skin damage. It reduces the need for repeated reapplication of sunscreen and comes with the Skin Cancer Foundation’s Seal of Recommendation.
- Omni-Freeze ZERO’s blue rings react with your sweat to lower the temperature of the material, so you feel cooler. Industry-leading cooling technology lowers material temperature, with its accelerated wicking process keeping you dry, offering you next-to-skin comfort. Omni-Freeze consists of specially shaped flat yarns that facilitate the release of heat and feels cooler to the touch. Such fabric feels cool to the touch and is ideal for aerobic activities in the heat, offering next-to-skin comfort accompanied by an accelerated wicking process to keep you dry.
- Regardless of the hot or cold weather, in Omni-Wick Evap, the wicks pull moisture away from the body so sweat can evaporate quickly. Omni-Wick EVAP moisture management technology keeps you dry and comfortable thanks to a special compound that disperses sweat quickly across a broad surface area for accelerated evaporation.
- In rainy weather or whether you are navigating through wet terrain, our water, and stain repellent technology, Omni-Shield helps stay clean and dry by resisting the absorption of liquids into the yarns to prevent staining the garment or footwear.
- OutDry, our first ever waterproof and breathable rainwear with a tough waterproof membrane outside and soft, wicking fabric inside has external seam taping seals water out while internal wicking absorbs moisture. Its seamless Light Rail Zippers resist water. OutDry uses a one-piece patented construction process that creates a waterproof breathable barrier that is heat-bonded directly to the outer fabric, leaving no seams, no gaps, and no way for water to get in.
- Omni-Tech provides guaranteed, windproof, waterproof yet breathable wearability. Its air permeability allows perspiration to escape. Omni-Wind technology features a technically advanced membrane that provides breathable wind protection – the wind chill is kept from coming in but perspiration is allowed to escape
- For shoes, we use technology such as Techlite with lightweight midsoles that deliver immediate and long-lasting superior cushioning and higher energy return. Its durable cushioning lasts throughout the life of the shoe. FluidFoam technology features compression-molded cushioning technology with deep flex grooves for increased flexibility that is suitable for a hybrid mix of surfaces, providing multi-directional support and impact absorbing cushioning.