Christian, do you think that each Sports & Lifestyle brand will have their own proprietary solution or do you see new platform players entering the market?
Smart, digital ecosystem-based ingredient brands will emerge, ingredient brands that will enable Sports & Lifestyle brands to cater to their customers in new ways: to be more transparent, have less environmental impact, and offer new and better consumer experiences. And by doing so deliberately act purpose driven. I’m convinced that these smart players will shape the digitally enabled transformation of the industry.
They will bring scalable software and hardware solutions, talent with digital skills, talent that is scarce and eventually not available to smaller Sports & Lifestyle brands. So, there will be ingredient branded eco-system solutions like clim8 that will be leveraged across multiple Sports & Lifestyle players and brands. I do not believe in proprietary solutions from individual apparel brands. What role existing ingredient brands like GORE-TEX or Primaloft will play in this new world remains to be seen.
Florian, what do you tell brands to convince them to work with clim8 and not to rely on their own proprietary solution?
There’s no doubt that, although complementary, making a garment and integrating intelligent thermal technology are two very distinct professions. clim8 relies on the hard work of many e-textile engineers, PhD in thermophysiology and developers. Hundreds of prototypes and tests have been carried out by a team of experts in their field to reach the level of expertise of clim8 but the most important is the real market test and we have tens of thousands of daily users in the wintertime. We have a duty of quality, support and success, simply because providing cutting-edge thermal technology is the goal of clim8.
Christian, wwill this be a trend or will this last?
In my 25 years in the industry, I’ve seen many trends come and go. This one is here to stay. In the last 2 years the consumers have evolved so much. The pandemic and all the other crises have served as an accelerating burning glass. Consumers want brands that represent their values, that act sustainably and transparently – and that have a compelling purpose they can identify with. The definition of “quality” has shifted – from a pure product-focus to a multi-dimensional perspective regarding the brand behind the product: Does the brand live its purpose? Does it walk the talk? Social and ecological aspects are assessed on an equal footing with economic and performance aspects. We want brands to reflect our values, our mindset – and to be able to share these values by wearing and engaging with a specific brand. If I wear a Patagonia hoodie made out of recycled materials, I’m sending a certain message. The brand is helping me to project my values to my peers and the community. As a brand, I need to be therefore absolutely clear about the social impact I want to achieve with my business activities. And this is where digital technologies will play a major, game-changing role in the not so far away future.