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Houdini’s Product Innovation Agenda

“We can share this precious planet of ours. All life could prosper. It would be humanity’s greatest achievement.” – biologist E.O. Wilson, author of Half-Earth.

Wool shell layers, non-shedding fleece and an R&D project for biodegradable synthetics are among key initiatives from Swedish outdoor brand Houdini Sportswear in its Fall Winter 2019 collection.

With a wool version of the classic Power Houdi and progressive styles such as The Square – a unisex shell skirt – sustainability pioneers Houdini have been busy. Houdini’s entire collection is recycled, recyclable, renewable, biodegradable or bluesign® certified.

Regarding the brand’s commitment to the Regenerative Lifestyle Initiative announced early this summer, Josef Nyström Baksaas, from Houdini Business Development, noted, “To explore how far Houdini’s proposed shift in lifestyle could take us towards Half-Earth is truly intriguing and essential for our work and development.

I believe it is equally important to visualize how this lifestyle shift is not about making sacrifices but about allowing ourselves to actually live more fulfilling lives, by being smarter about how we spend our time, harvest technologies, design systems, create solutions, collaborate and care.”

Based on brand-new technology, the density of the weave in the all-wool Lana Shell Jacket and Pants makes the garment highly wind-resistant but still very breathable. Thanks to lanolin, the natural fat in wool, they are also water-resistant without adding any chemicals.

Houdini design director Jesper Danielsson commented, “When receiving the prototype of the Lana Pants, I wore them for a 24-hour train ride to the mountains only to ride powder in them the next day. It made me realize just how special this fabric is. Ultra-breathable but with the protection of a shell garment. Plus, it can be consumed by micro-organisms in a compost when it is worn-out which is really cool.”

Creating multi-purpose garments is a Houdini specialty and The Square, a unisex shell skirt, fits that description. Together with new minimalistic anorak The Shelter, they both offer insulation/protection and cut pack weight. Like all Houdini shells, they’re fully circular and fluorocarbon-free.

Houdini has also made it a priority to work on extending sustainability regarding the issue of fibre release. The new Power Air Houdi, built around Power Air™ fleece from Polartec, sheds five times less fibres than other high-quality fleece while also providing improved airflow due to the pillow-like structure of the fabric.

Second, the new Alto Houdi, made from ultra-fine merino wool, provides the perfect option for wool-loving Power Houdi fans and offers a biodegradable alternative to the Power Houdi.

On the R&D side of things, The Alchemist project is in full swing. This collaboration between Houdini and insulation experts Primaloft has resulted in one of the first ever garments to use Primaloft Bio™, a synthetic padding that biodegrades in an ocean or landfill environment. It is a true game-changer in the fight against microfibre pollution according to Houdini CEO Eva Karlsson.

She noted, “Recycled polyester is a great example of how innovation and technology enable us to achieve great things. Micro fiber contamination is an example of the opposite. In the Alchemist Project we are seeking ways for nature and technology to form a strong partnership rather than simply function at the expense of one another.”

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