Ralph Lauren has unveiled a groundbreaking apparel and textile innovation with Intelligent Insulation – a first-to-market, sustainably-minded temperature responsive fabric that adapts to cooler temperatures by expanding and creating a layer of insulation – that will be used to outfit Team USA for the Winter Games Opening Ceremonies.
Designed with a sustainable ethos, Intelligent Insulation expands the lifespan and use of a garment that might otherwise be appropriate for only a short, seasonal time-period. For the first time, a single item of apparel can transition through three-seasons, and from indoor to outdoor environments seamlessly, eliminating the need for multiple garments.
“The development and introduction of Intelligent Insulation reimagines what is possible in the apparel landscape. For the first time, you can have a singular item that provides incredible versatility and style, for a variety of temperatures, changing the way we can holistically think about the makeup of a consumer’s closet. As a longtime partner of Team USA, Ralph Lauren is proud to continually provide innovative and purposeful apparel to the world’s best athletes,” David Lauren, Chief Branding and Innovation Officer, Ralph Lauren.
Building on the Company’s ongoing commitment to investing in, developing and progressing revolutionary innovations in apparel, Ralph Lauren partnered with textile innovation company, Skyscrape, to bring the technology to market for Team USA’s Opening Ceremony Parade Uniform.
The Intelligent Insulation technology adapts to changes in air temperature around the wearer without the use of battery-powered or ‘wired’ technology. The fabric itself is comprised of two separate materials that expand or contract at different rates in response to temperature changes. As temperatures drop, the lengths of the two materials change differently causing the textile to constrict and bend – creating channels in the fabric structure to increase the amount of insulation provided by the garment. The state-of-art technology developed by Skyscrape required years of research and development, including the creation of bespoke machines and a proprietary production process that was initially supported by ARPA-E in the United States Department of Energy.
The Team USA Opening Ceremony Parade Uniform look is a modern and fresh take on sportswear and was created with sustainability in mind. The look includes an anorak, featuring Intelligent Insulation technology, a mid-layer jacket, pant, gloves and boot all including recycled polyester fiber made with post-consumer plastic bottles. Each item in the uniform is proudly manufactured in the United States.
“Ralph Lauren has defined American style for over five decades, and we’re thrilled that Team USA will once again wear this cutting-edge, sustainable and iconic apparel at the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” said Sarah Hirshland, Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee. “America’s elite athletes have worked a lifetime for the opportunity to represent the United States on the world stage. We thank Ralph Lauren for celebrating and supporting them, and for pushing the boundaries when developing apparel that serves a purpose for Team USA.”
Additionally, Ralph Lauren will debut a virtual reality content series that spotlights six Team USA athletes. Customers will be able to explore the technology through a headset or via an immersive in-store installation in select Ralph Lauren retail store locations.
Ralph Lauren is proud to be an Official Outfitter of Team USA since 2008. Unlike most other countries’ Olympic and Paralympic Teams, American athletes are not supported by federal funding. A portion of Ralph Lauren Team USA Collection sales support the United States Olympic and Paralympic Teams. The Opening Ceremony Parade Uniform will be available for purchase online at Ralphlauren.com and in select Ralph Lauren retail stores beginning on January 20th.
Source & Image: Ralph Lauren