Step 1: The idea 💡
Before rushing headlong into the development of yet another t-shirt, we wanted to make sure that our community of experienced runners would be interested in the product. To do this, nothing could be easier! We simply asked you the question on our co-creation group.
Co-creation of the product brief
We've been asking you for a while for a t-shirt for your daily (and not-so-daily) adventures to wear without moderation at work, after the race or on the weekend. So we were able to collect over 300 responses! In short, here's what we came up with:
- Over 80% of you wear t-shirts all year round, almost every day (an average of 6 days a week).
- For the washing habits, you are half to send it directly to the washing machine once worn. For the others, it is olfactory control and airing to postpone it a 2nd time.
- THE favorite T-shirt is kept for 5 to 8 years for 40% of the Internet users. For 30%, it's over 8 years! 😱
- We also wanted to get your opinion on the overall volume of the ideal t-shirt. This one will have a regular fit: neither too wide nor too narrow, the best balance for increased comfort without looking like a potato sack 😅
Identification of key points
There are 3 categories of criteria:
- ecoresponsibility: how to do the right thing?
- sustainability: how to make things more sustainable over time?
- the design: what are the details that make us love a product for a long time?
These are the most important levers we have been able to identify and on which we have put all our efforts.
Step 2: solution finding and development ⚙
➡ The physical envelope
The physical envelope is what we can see and touch.
The constraints of this shirt are different from those of a trail shirt. Usually, we put our outfits to the test, facing extreme constraints (those of our sport ⚡) in terms of weather, perspiration, rubbing with a bag or improvised clearing, using synthetic technical textiles... Here, we have directed our research on a natural material with suitable properties and maximum comfort ☁.
To be pleasant to wear on a daily basis, the material of the t-shirt must be soft, flexible, stretchy enough, protective, absorb moisture and limit odors. It must also be durable over time and keep its properties: remain soft over the washings, not deform, not tear or pilling.
We looked for materials from our current suppliers and contacted new ones, focusing on the European area. Our brief? A biodegradable, durable, comfortable and organic material, with a weight between 180 to 220g/m² (by comparison a light fast fashion "disposable" t-shirt can have a weight of about 140g/m²).
After having collected more than 100 different references in terms of composition, weight or type of weaving/knitting, 7 have been pre-selected according to their composition (and raw material origin), softness, comfort, density (opacity) . To verify the notion of durability, we have set up a protocol of aging in the wash.
After having collected more than 100 references with different weights or type of weaving/knitting, 7 have been pre-selected according to their composition (and raw material origin), softness, comfort, density (opacity). To check the notion of durability, we have set up a protocol of aging in the wash.
A total of 10 samples: 7 supplier references and 3 samples of t-shirts on the market with an eco-responsible dimension.
The testing process:
- Standard sample size 10*10 to compare shrinkage and stability after several washes
- Machine wash at maximum temperature 90°C (4h cycle) maximum spinning at 1200rpm
- Tumble dry at max temperature
- Repeat the cycle 3 times
Observation: some fabrics have rolled, frayed on the sides or deformed. We can therefore deduce that they are not very stable over time.
This fabric is knitted by FEINJERSEY in Austria with a 100% organic cotton yarn certified Oeko-Tex and GOTS (level 1). Grown in Turkey, this premium cotton species has long filaments that make the fiber stronger and more durable.
You and us, we love the trail. So we wanted to instill the trail spirit by creating a garment that we can wear every day, all the time, outside of our outings. A durable garment is a garment that you never get tired of and that you like to wear no matter what the months or years go by.
The cut and color should be as timeless as possible. For example, a very specific color that stands out will tend to please us a lot for a very short time. A more neutral color will also have the advantage of matching easily with everything. But be careful, neutral does not mean hollow! It would be a pity to develop a lambda t-shirt that we would find in anyone, without personality.
Once the overall fit of the product was determined, Petratex began the prototyping phase. After some back and forth to adjust the armhole for more comfort and various tests to rework the neckline so that it sits well on the neck and avoids that it yawns or buckles, here we are with a great t-shirt!
➡ The spiritual heart
The spiritual heart corresponds to our interpretation, our emotions, our memories and our memory.
A pure t-shirt with a soul, that's what we want. We wanted it to carry our convictions (in terms of transparency and eco-responsibility), without forgetting the human aspect. Who better than an artist to give life through his creativity, at a time when artificial intelligence is making its mark in all areas?
Arthur Rimbaud, March 1870
Prickled by the wheat, I will tread the soft grass:
Dreamer, I will feel its freshness at my feet.
I will let the wind bathe my naked head.
But infinite love will rise in my soul,
And I'll go far, far away, like a gypsy,
By Nature, - happy as with a woman.
These verses touch us a lot as runners. It refers to our senses, to our feelings and to what reconnects us to nature. With the help of this poem, we have switched to a poetic trail universe, connected to our senses and to the nature that surrounds us, in an intimate and positive way.
To make memories, emotions and sensations resound thanks to the work of the artist while leaving him his share of creativity in the composition, the graphic style and the universe, it is really exciting.
Working with an artist who shares our values and ideals was an obvious choice. We fell in love with the universe of the illustrator Mona Leu-Leu to whom we entrusted this project.
To guide the graphic research, we looked at who we were as a brand and as individualsto draw up a graphic brief.
In her graphic research, Mona wanted to express the sensation of speed (which differentiates hiking from trail running), of lightness and movement, in nature. The tones are warm with ochres and recall the colors of the end of the day. They are contrasted with blue tones that bring dynamics and energy.
After several exchanges and proposals, here is our final interpretation of a beautiful summer evening, enjoying the outdoors.
The composition is dynamic and draws us into this colorful universe, like an invitation to go outside and join the character in his frantic race. The use of traditional techniques with gouache and brushes, offers us a vibrant and spontaneous rendering.
Once the illustration was finished, we were able to carry out printing tests in order to choose the most suitable technique for a rendering most faithful to the original and durable 😉
Tech for eco-responsibility 🖥
With a view to transparency and awareness of the value of fair things, we have thought of a solution that highlights our convictions and actions: the Wise labels.
So we asked our community: How do we bring more transparency and traceability into our products?
When we summarize the feedback we have had, our community has shown a particular interest in knowing more about each stage of development and the tests carried out (prototypes, etc.). The creation of a space gathering all the traceability information of the product, where it would be possible to compare the products between them (environmental footprint, CO2 emission, water consumption...) was also mentioned several times, in the form of a QR code directly on the product.
On our side, we also had a challenge to solve, on the traceability of our products from the production to the final customer(s), in order to be able to associate a unique product to a production line and to be able to ensure an "after-sales service" over a 10-year period. The key idea of Wise Labels is to consider the product as a service, rather than a consumable good. We redefine the way we consume: a simple t-shirt is no longer considered as a consumable good, but as a sustainable product accompanied by services.
Why is this? Because the eco-responsibility of a product manifests itself as much in its production as in its lifespan. This is why today it is necessary, even essential, to offer a service that accompanies the product.
This innovative label allows us to push transparency to its paroxysm: the information contained is precise and detailed (place of production of the raw material, place of manufacture, production number, product history). By identifying each product in a unique way, Wise Labels act as real logbooks.
Behind each Wise Label is an NFC chip, associated with aunique digital object(NFT). All product information is guaranteed and secured by the Blockchain. For only 8g of CO2eq, the traceability information specific to each product is engraved in marble for the whole world to see. The information of each product is thus accessible at any time and by everyone by scanning the Wise Label with his cell phone.
Once acquired by its owner, the product is guaranteed for 10years through a repair service. A classic t-shirt would lose this warranty if it was sold second hand. This is not the case thanks to Wise Labels. The products that are equipped with them are thought of as a form of heritage and not as a consumer good.
To join the movement, go here!