Fabric of the Future

More and more people want to know and understand the materials that make up the clothing they wear every day. This proved true at the 4th annual Future Fabrics Expo held in London this past September. A record-breaking number of students, environmentalists, and fashion and textile professionals poured in with the goal of further educating themselves about the industry.

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By showcasing sustainable textiles and industry-changing research projects, this year’s Expo provided attendees with the tools and resources to achieve an industry that has less of an impact on our environment.

This event also focused on supply chain traceability by presenting projects with mapping and connecting tools, as well as components of the textile and fashion value chain. The various companies that made appearances at The Future Fabrics Expo were able to offer a multitude of opinions and solutions to increase sustainability along the supply chain.

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Expo-goers were able to gather more information at seminars held throughout the event, such as the seminar on “building sustainability into your textile buying”. Tips on how to avoid complications when sourcing sustainability, as well as how to successfully develop a sustainable textile market were just some of the topics covered.

As one of the products featured at this year’s Future Fabrics Expo, Ariaprene helped to educate attendees about the complete sustainable process we use to create our product. Creating and manufacturing a product that is solvent and toxin-free, hypo-allergenic, rubber and latex-free, decomposable and still attractive and useful can be a challenge in many ways but the outcome is a highly versatile material that is truly a fabric of the future.

To see the more of the fabric featured and to learn more about the Fabric Expo check out the Future Fabrics Virtual Expo.

Future-Fabrics-Expo-2014-PhotographybyJessicaAlexander_4088

 

 

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Crowning a Sneaker Champion

Portland is a city known for many things including crazy donuts, bridges, bicycles, and – would you believe it – sneakers! With industry giants like Nike, Adidas, Columbia Sportswear and more headquartered in the Portland area, it is a sneaker heaven for many, including D’Wayne Edwards.

An experienced former shoe designer for Nike, Edwards saw the opportunity to take his vast knowledge of sneaker design and pass it along to a younger generation of innovative designers interested in getting into the field. Edwards founded the Pensole Footwear Design Academy in 2010 to provide education in a field not heavily explored by other fashion design programs.

This summer, 30 young, aspiring shoe designers from 16 countries descended on Portland with hopes of revolutionizing the footwear game at the PENSOLE World Sneaker Championships. With the chance to have their final design sold at retail on the line, the students attended classes covering footwear design, color/material/finishes, and 3D modeling. The students created designs for the WSC sponsors including Nike (woman’s sportswear), Under Armor (men’s basketball), JORDAN (running), Adidas (running), PONY (heritage), New Brand (value), Android Homme (designer) and UNDFTD (collector).

During the competition professional Color, Material, Finishes (CMF) Designers worked with and mentored the students. (A CMF’s job is to take a design and find fabrics in the right color, texture, style, weight and durability to make the design come to life.)

We were lucky to also meet with contestants to educate them on how Ariaprene is different from other synthetic rubbers the industry uses. We discussed the ecological, performance, and design benefits of Ariaprene. We also helped them understand how to build a custom Ariaprene package and tailor it to the exact construction needed. It was important to us that these young designers recognized that the industry doesn’t have to keep making things the same way thanks to material innovations that continue to opening up new doors for improved products.

After the designs were presented to a panel of judges, eight finalists were chosen and voting was opened to the public on the Sports Illustrated website. When the final votes were tallied, Stefan Cristobal of the Philippians and Lindsey Johnson (his materials designer) stood victorious with a sneaker designed for the Android Homme brand.

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The World Sneaker Championships showcased the depth of creative ideas in the industry. It was important that we were involved in this year’s competition because we believe that students hold the future to innovation and development in the product design world. Helping make their intricate and demanding designs become a reality also inspires Ariaprene to continue spreading the word about our products and practices. To see more products that contain Ariaprene please visit our product gallery. For more information about the Pensole Footwear Academy visit their website.

Winning design photo: nicekicks.com 

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Nike Hits a Home Run

Some would say that the best way to spend a warm summer night is at the local baseball stadium. Most show up as fans, cheering on the home team, but for those athletes who participate in the game, having the proper footwear is crucial to success.

The Nike Huarache Pro Low Metal Men’s Baseball Cleats are designed for stability and traction, perfect for when a player is chasing down a fly in left field or stealing second base. The upper part of the shoe is constructed with a combination of mesh and synthetic leather, which provides lightweight breathability. Perforations in the toe box also help keep feet cool and dry.

Nike Air Huarache Pro Low Metal

The Huarache Pros are also built for comfort. A Phylon midsole gives the player a responsive cushioning they need to go nine innings, while a full-length Nike Air unit provides impact protection.

When it comes to performance, a lightweight comfortable shoe just isn’t enough for Nike, which is why they added a TPU plate with nine strategically placed cleats for excellent traction and durability. All these features make The Huarache Pro a true home run.

For more athletic shoes for a variety of sports, visit the Nike website or take a look at some of our previous product posts to ensure you’re purchasing green products that are sure to perform.

 

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Let Your Feet Breath this Summer in the Sockwa X8

The sun is out and it’s time to enjoy all the outdoor activities you’ve been waiting for. Whether you’re planning on backpacking through the Rockies, doing yoga in the park, or hitting the beach, the Sockwa X8 is one shoe you can wear all summer long.

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The X8 is both durable and stylish, giving the wearer a high-end look, and superior abrasion resistance. These lightweight shoes aren’t nicknamed “socks with attitude” for nothing – they are designed to feel as though you’re wearing socks while still being able to navigate tricky terrain. The outsole provides an extreme barefoot-feel with great traction.

Sockwa X8 is constructed with an Ariaprene foam layer that is both breathable and anti-odor. This Ariaprene layer, along with the moisture wicking lining help keep your feet cool and dry, even on the hot summer sand.  These materials are also washable. So after a long day in the sun, just rinse out the shoes, roll them up and stick them in your bag for your next outing.

Sockwa is committed to innovative design and sustainable manufacturing. By using recyclable and toxic-free materials, like Ariaprene, they have created a shoe that is good for both you and the environment.  The X8 was even recognized as the one of 2014’s “Best Vegan Health and Fitness Products” by Vegan Health & Fitness magazine.

Make your summer a little greener by choosing products like the Sockwa X8 and check out our online gallery to see more products made with Ariaprene.

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Hitting The Hiking Trails in Comfort and Style with Ariaprene

Photo By Mike - https://www.flickr.com/photos/dierken/4936927360/in/photolist-8wd3sp-8wg3Z7-8wd3bt-8wd35H-8wg3vf-8wd2Gg-8wd2B6-8wd2g4-8wd2av-7smnJq-ayLc1r-b6cbtF-bmvWHm-g6hs2H-fHCemS-b6ccWH-99T8qw-d6s51f-9ijfgz-dYR8bT-b6cbNR-fGdEjb-3KDqCS-eiTkyH-js8tRd-hKBRg4-cHKcMA-4xqz2G-9WGFJ-8tnoGX-hYCBYF-8EPaNQ-hYy7rq-eiW1gR-hiRiEA-9z838p-7BuURh-7BuUJU-7BuUEd-7Br6xc-7Br6pz-7BuUmC-6cL1Gf-5bLwEz-5bQMtw-hYBjKf-4pKQwZ-awvkAp-ivSGmz-9jRWr1

Memorial Day is the un-official kickoff for summer and with the weather improving, outdoor plans are furiously being penned into calendars and outdoor stores are buzzing with people looking for the best equipment for their summer adventures. With so many options out there, finding the perfect pair of lightweight shoes for hiking, camping or trail running can be a challenge.

New Balance Minimus 10v2 TrailThe New Balance Minimus 10v2 Trail shoes are a lightweight trail shoes for navigating smoothly through all types of terrain. They are designed to feel as though the walker or runner is virtually barefoot and have multi-directional traction and a flexible overlay. These features allow you to feel every contour of the trail beneath your feet as you move. These stylish shoes can be worn comfortably with or without socks and are odor resistant.

The flexible, lightweight upper portion of the shoe is made with Ariaprene. The closed cell structure of the Ariaprene foam means that it won’t get water logged if you happen to splash through a puddle. This means that at least for the upper portion, it will remain around the same weight at the end of the run as it did at the beginning.

No matter where your next adventure takes you, choosing products featuring Ariaprene ensures your time outdoors is enjoyable and good for Mother Nature. See more products featuring Ariaprene in our gallery.

Photo by: Mike

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Satisfy your inner adventurer by winning “The Hauser” Acre Weatherproof Hydration Pack – made with Ariaprene!

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Exploring the great outdoors requires the best weatherproof products. Whether you are a biker, hiker, or simply an all-around outdoor junkie the “The Hauser” Acre bag is perfect for all activities. This all purpose bag is waterproof, ensuring that your gear stays dry even in the rainy Pacific Northwest.

A perforated back panel made with Ariaprene ensures complete ventilation and moisture management while being extremely lightweight. While you are out exploring new terrain with this stylish bag, you can rest easy knowing that you have a bag that is made with non-toxic, solvent-free and hypoallergenic Ariaprene! Enjoy nature while wearing a product manufactured by businesses that care about the environment as much as you do!

Enter to win this Acre bag and start planning your next adventure!

How to enter: Post a comment on our Facebook announcement sharing where in the world you would take this bag and we’ll send one randomly chosen winner their own Acre pack. Yes, it’s that easy!

When a winner is chosen on May 2nd (5/2/14) we’ll notify the lucky recipient through a comment at the end of the post. The winner will be asked to message the Ariaprene Facebook for further instructions on how to receive their prize.

Not Endorsed By Facebook: By participating in this contest, you acknowledge that this contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook and release Facebook from any and all liability arising from or related to this contest.

Full Rules and Regulations

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Ariaprene has you Covered for April Showers

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Ariaprene can help keep you and your valuables dry under any circumstances. The close cell foam used to make Ariaprene provides you with both a water resistant and lightweight option. Products made with Ariaprene are also hypoallergenic and toxic-free so you can be dry and safe.

Ensuring that your electronics stay dry is a major concern of most owners. Keeping this in mind, companies like Targus chose to create their laptop cases with Ariaprene, ensuring that they are not only attractive, durable and functional, but water resistant as well! Their 12” A7™ Netbook Sleeve is all of these things and affordable which makes protecting your laptop a cinch.

For those looking for adventure this time of the year it’s important to be prepared for both rain and shine. ACRE Mission Workshop Backpacks, which feature an Ariaprene constructed back, are completely waterproof. Our closed cell foam also allows for full breathability and prevents this bag from soaking up sweat or rain, making it perfect for hikes in the mountains or bike rides through town. It even has a hydration reservoir of up to 3 liters compatible with most name brands. This is an all around perfect choice for the outdoor adventurer in everyone.

Choosing items that feature Ariaprene can help equip you with waterproof and water resistant products that are lightweight, durable and above all safe.

Photo by: Audrey

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Keeping Runners Light On Their Feet

Ariaprene is helping lead the revolution in lightweight running shoes. Our green alternative to synthetic rubber is ideally suited to give shoe uppers better fit and less bulk.

It turns out your foot is a wonderfully engineered running platform.

In recent years, the running community has shifted more towards a focus on barefoot running, citing it as more natural and better for your feet. Even though it seems counter-intuitive, sports scientists are saying that the extra cushioning present in many shoe brands weakens the muscles of the foot’s arch, contributing to bad running posture and possible injury.

In response to this movement, many major athletic shoe companies, such as Nike and New Balance, have debuted lines of “lightweight footwear”. The shoes are intended to combine the protection and comfort of traditional running shoes with the flexibility and natural running stride of barefoot running.

Ariaprene is used as a major material in the production process of these shoes. It’s used to form a single molded piece in shoes such as the New Balance Minimus–the upper offering flexible comfort with minimal restricting seams in the design. The Ariaprene foam also allows for a natural range of motion, not interfering with the natural flex and stride of the foot.

Non-toxic, high performance, and so comfortable on your feet, Ariaprene will help you get more out of running.

New Balance Minimus 10v2 Trail

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Why You Should Care About The Color of the Year

In early December 2013 the Pantone Company announced that Radiant Orchid would be their Color of the Year.

The Pantone company of Carlstadt, NJ is the global authority on color and provider of professional color standards for the design industries.

Each year they choose one color they believe will be significant in fashion, technology, decorating, and all areas of design. This year’s choice? Radiant Orchid.

Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute®, explains that Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination. She says,

“An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

Every year since its inception, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced designs across multiple markets, being incorporated into many works of fashion, beauty products and interior design set pieces. This year is no different; Radiant Orchid has already been featured in many fashion shows of Spring 2014.

For designers color is a necessary component for aesthetic pleasure, setting the mood for the design. Specific colors invoke certain emotions in the viewer, and a good designer selects color with that in mind.

More and more designers have been choosing Ariaprene because, unlike traditional rubber, it can be manufactured in any color they want, all the way through.

And our truly green material looks terrific in Radiant Orchid.

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Photo credit: babykrul

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New Materials And New Directions In Fashion: My Interview With Design Student Nica Rabinowitz

Nica is a design student in her junior year at Parsons School of Design in New York. She recently incorporated Ariaprene into one of her creations.

Founded in 1896, Parsons School of Fashion is committed to new approaches to art and design education, and strongly encourages the use of critical thinking skills in its students to solve the world’s complex problems, including environmental issues.

Parson’s Fashion student Nica Rabinowitz recently used Ariaprene material to make a jacket, skirt and top outfit for one of her projects. I asked Nica to share her thoughts about her project inspiration and new directions for the future of fashion design.

Dacie:
What led you to study fashion design at Parsons, and where do you hope to go after that?

Nica:
I see fashion as an amazing way to express my point of view. However, the fashion industry is in desperate need of change. Through my course work and various internships I have become disillusioned with the current fashion system. I aim to change the way consumers think about clothing. I want to make clothing that is the opposite of disposable. Textiles are also at the root of my process, and I can see myself one day directing a textiles department, or creating my own textile-driven collections, that focus on sustainability and innovative solutions.

Dacie:
Can you talk about your creative process and how you find inspiration for your designs?

Nica:
I love to travel and explore the world around me. I try to interpret my experiences and thoughts through fashion. For this collection, a village in the mountains of Guatemala inspired me. When traveling I noticed a brightly colored graveyard. People were gathered around selling candy and laughing while standing on top of the graves that were painted boldly in blue, yellow, and pinks hues. At first I assumed a parade or party was going to start, but I quickly realized it was in fact a funerary gathering. This got my thinking about how we perceive death. I wanted to focus on an uplifting perspective on life’s passing.

Dacie:
What made you choose Ariaprene for your current project and how did it add/change/effect your final project?

Nica:
With this idea of uplift in mind, I wanted to have fun with the human form and play with sculpting shapes. I thought of using Neoprene, but did not want to use a fabric that was so bad for the environment. Ariaprene was the perfect solution. I was able to create shapes that held and were easy to manipulate. I wanted to hand sew all of my garments, in response to Guatemalan craft, and Ariaprene was great because it did not need to be finished beyond my hand stitch. More importantly, I was exploring the idea of building a lasting connection with my clothing as a designer. I hope this emotional connection can resonate with the wearer.

Dacie:
What future trends or directions do you see the fashion world moving into?

Nica:
I see the fashion world is becoming more aware of their actions and how they affect the environment. Eco-fashion is slowly becoming a major consideration in the industry, and not just a tacked-on buzzword. Fashion companies are beginning to think about “going green”, and I believe it can be a permanent shift in thinking–it needs to be more than a trend.


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