Good morning, everyone.
There are times along this journey I like to share things from a personal viewpoint. Today, I’m going to run through our approach to sportswear innovation.
My experience and love of training is what drove me to start Torsa. The idea started back in 2017, and it took three years to get it to a place that I was happy enough to launch. Three years, five products. I know what you’re thinking, “that’s slow.” You’d be right, but bear in mind, this was the first time I had experienced actually making garments, and it was a huge learning curve of discovery and understanding.
Fortunately, during these first three years, I was able to call on a wealth of experience to show me the ropes when it came to the process of actually making product. Through this experience, I can genuinely say it’s now the coolest part of the job. Product design is relentlessly challenging and calls on a problem-solving mindset that maybe isn’t my primary strength. On the other hand, it also allows you to be completely inventive, creative and essentially work from a blank canvas.
I’m always looking out for new innovations in the market, whether it’s fabric technology, trims, construction techniques, biodegradable packaging, you name it. What’s so exciting about the apparel industry, especially sportswear, is the constant progression and innovations in the market, which in turn lead to increased performance, sustainability and comfort. But with such a fast-moving industry, it’s important to focus in on the future and the keep an eye on what’s coming down the line.
There’s no secret we love Merino wool. The wool that comes from the Merino sheep, a particular breed native to Australia and New Zealand, produces fibres which are usually less than 24 microns in diameter. The lower the diameter, the finer, and therefore softer the wool is. We’ve found through wear testing just how good this fibre is for performance as well. For our next collection, I am searching for the softest Merino wool in the world. That’s some task, but our research has once again led me to Japan in search of a very specific type of Merino wool. This family-owned mill in based in Wakyama, Japan is one of the few mills in the world that produces this type of wool. Early stages, but we’ll be exploring traditional dyeing methods and construction techniques to bring one of the softest natural materials to the market optimised for performance. Keep an eye on our Journal for further updates on this in the coming months.
A Sustainable Solution
It’s no secret that the apparel industry is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions. Activewear, with its reliance on synthetic materials like polyester and nylon, is one of the biggest culprits. As a small brand, we are fortunate enough that we can be pretty flexible when it comes our sustainability practices. From a personal standpoint, there is so much I need to learn when it comes to making the right choices, but we have already started to introduce small changes. For example, as we head back into production early this year, the polyester in our Colt Performance Short will be replaced completely with recycled polyester. Nothing ground-breaking, but a small shift that helps put us on a path to a more sustainable future.
Looking into the future, we are keeping tabs on the innovations coming from a current partner of ours, HeiQ. The Swiss textile developer has recently launched AeoniQ, a yarn which they have stated could feasibly take the place of polyester and nylon. A truly ground-breaking claim. The new yarn can come from a wide range of renewable resources, including wood pulp and algae. The yarn is recyclable, biodegradable and will add nothing to the microplastics problem in the rivers, lakes and oceans of the world. We will work closely with HeiQ to see whether we can introduce the yarn as part of future collections when it becomes availability to the wider market later this year.
Built In-house Fabrics
As we grow, we look to explore textile innovations designed and developed in-house. At this stage, we can’t commit the resources or number of metres needed to build our own textile innovations. We currently work with a handful of the leading mills worldwide who have decades of experience and expertise developing technical fabrics. Our hope in the near future is to work with one of these mills to start producing unique blends and innovations that we believe have a place in the market. Also, as our outerwear edit increases, my mission is to partner with the leaders in the industry for 3-layer fabrics and membranes. Brands like GORE-TEX, Pertex and Polartec have decades of combined experience bringing the very best technologies and working with mills to integrate it throughout different fabrics.
Current textile innovation Rapt™ utilised in our Otis T-Shirt.
Sportswear innovation is at the forefront of my design thinking. It’s one way we can add real value to a product. It’s exciting to see the growth in the industry. Even since I started a few years back, it’s been incredible to see how many innovations are coming through year after year. The opportunity to bring new things to the market is what really excites me, and I am always searching for something unique and better that what’s currently available. Of course, there are constraints due to resources, but through continued growth, I hope to bring new and exciting things to you guys, inspiring you to never give up in the pursuit of greatness.
That’s all from me. Thanks for reading,