Welcome you're in
X

Language & Shipping

Please select the country where your order will be shipped to. This will give you the correct pricing, delivery times and shipping costs for your destination. All order are dispatched from Sweden.

Language
Shipping

How to make sustainable shell layers
Posted under Blog

How to make sustainable shell layers

We rely on shell layers to protect us from nature’s elements, but what about protecting nature from shell layers? When Houdini set out to make environmentally sustainable shell layers five years ago, it proved to be a big challenge.

Surrounded by drawers full of fabric samples, zippers and drawcords, Houdini designer Sanna Bodén explains the initial idea.
– There are plenty of great shell layers on the market. At least when it comes to performance. But we realized that they were lacking something that is crucial for us: a serious idea about sustainability.

Katarina Grönhaug, head of production, continues.
– Textile production is complex, especially when it comes to sustainability. It’s easy to just focus on one part of the lifecycle, but for us it’s very important to have a holistic approach. We never compromise. For example, a sustainable production process is one thing, but you also have to have an end-of-life solution. Can the fabrics be recycled or do they end up in the trash? This is something many brands forget, or choose to ignore.

When Houdini started making shell layers, the team had been making base layers and mid layers for a while. The same concept for sustainability was applied to shell layers.

Sanna Bodén continues.
– We didn’t want to lower the bar just because the product was more complex. Finding the right fabrics was a real challenge. And it still is. Most fabric manufacturers don’t think about things like recycling. We looked at hundreds of fabrics that in the end didn’t meet our high standards of perfor- mance and sustainability.

The solution to the fabric challenge was a Japanese textile manufacturer called Teijin. The company has developed a process for recycling worn-out polyester clothing and turn it into new fibers. The result is a closed loop system, where garments can be born and reborn in infinite cycles. Teijin is now Houdini’s biggest supplier of recycled polyester fabrics and an important partner in developing new fabrics.

Sanna Bodén shows her latest creation Corner, a workwear-inspired shell jacket.
– Corner is new for this season. It features a really cool waterproof and breathable fabric made from recycled polyester with a beautiful look. But what makes it really exciting is the water repellent. Most jackets on the market still use fluorocarbon based water repellents that are far from ideal from a sustainability perspective. Corner’s water repellent performs without any fluorocarbons, which is a huge step forward.

The Corner Jacket won the ISPO Gold Award, a prestigious trade award. The shell layer range started out small, but as people test and gain trust in the products and awareness about sustainability issues increases, the line is growing. For this fall and winter season, Houdini has a complete range of shell layers.

– What we’ve accomplished is really exciting, says Katarina Grönhaug. But we still feel that we’re only getting started. We’d love to develop the recycling system further. The ideal situation would be if every market had a local production and recycling facility. There’s so much to do and we’re making progress every day.”

The image show W's and M's Corner Jacket and Pants.

Fabrics
The outer fabric is 100% recycled polyester. It is a 3-layer fabric, which means that a waterproof breathable membrane and a protective inner fabric is laminated to the outer fabric. As each layer is made out of pure polyester, the entire 3-layer fabric is recyclable. Most 3-layer fabrics on the market are made from a mix of different fibers and chemicals, making them impossible to recycle.

Thread
The thread is pure polyester and can be recycled with the rest of the fabric.

Trimmings
All the small components like zippers, drawcords, cord endings, Velcro and eyelets. Durability and making them replaceable is crucial from a sustainability point of view. Badly placed or low-quality trimmings can ruin an otherwise fully functional garment.

DWR
DWR stands for Durable Water Repellent and is a finish that prevents the outer fabric from getting wet. Most shell layers on the market use fluorocarbon-based DWR (not good for the planet), but the Corner Jacket and Pants feature a brand new DWR based on hydrocarbons (much better for the planet).

Tape
To make the jacket fully waterproof all seams are taped. The tape is manufactured in the same material as the jacket to make it recyclable

Powder gaiter
This is a tricky part. An exact level of stretch and recovery is required in order for it to perform and there are no recycled and recyclable fabrics that meet our demands. Not yet, but we’re working hard on it. (Using a recycled fabric that doesn’t perform well enough or last long enough isn’t a sustainable alternative.)

End-of-life
The production of the garment is only part of the total impact. At Houdini we don’t like creating waste. Our shell layers are made out of recycled fibers and can be recycled again, at the end of their lifetime. In the recycling process, buttons, drawcords and such are removed and if possible recycled as well. In total our recycling process saves hugh amounts of energy and recudes CO2 emissions dramatically. So, hand in your worn out garments to us and we will make sure to recycle them. Recycle units can be found at your Houdini retailer.

Transports
”We buy most of our shell layer fabrics from Japan as this is where the best fabrics are made. Then we manufacture most garments in Europe,” says Katarina Grönhaug, head of production at Houdini. “Considering the shipments this involves choosing sustainable means of transportation is important. We transport everything by boat. Never by air. Right now we’re investigating if we could run shipments by train in the near future.”

News
Posted under Houdini

Microplastics - what we do and how you can help

Microplastics are damaging marine eco-systems. The need for a solution is urgent, and the textile industry is part of the problem. Therefore, Houdini see it as our responsibility to both inform end users on how to treat the situation, as well as to work hard to find a solution from a production point of view. This our take on microplastics.

>Read

News
Posted under

Houdini wins Conscious Award at the Elle gala 2017

We are very happy to be able to share with you the news that we, at the ELLE Gala January 13th, had the great honour to receive the H&M & ELLE Conscious Award 2017.

>Read

News
Posted under Houdini

Houdini Hub Oslo

We continue to break new ground as we open our first store outside of Sweden on Hegdehaugsveien 34.

>Read

News
Posted under Houdini

#paywithpowder

Trade ski photos for Houdini gear in our big Instagram contest.

>Read

News
Posted under

First ever corporate Planetary Boundaries Assessment

How can we allow us to avoid serious threats and to change the world for the better.

>Read

News
Posted under

Houdini phases out fluorocarbons

The issue of fluorocarbons is currently making the headlines, and Greenpeace, for example, is working on a large campaign surrounding this topic. We at Houdini want to be transparent in how we deal with these questions.

>Read

News
Posted under Houdini

A surfer’s suitcase

With Vera Nording, a surfer from Stockholm and 2013 Swedish longboard champion.

>Read

News
Posted under Blog

Bouldering surronded by farms and forests

Besides great rock quality, a multitude of boulders on different levels and easy access, Källbergahygget offers a tour of the Swedish countryside.

>Read

News
Posted under Blog

Among the ancients on Yakushima

In the winter, skiers and snowboarders from all over the world travel to Japan for its famous powder snow. Not many outdoor travelers come here in the summertime. They miss a world of untouched forests, a unique culture and trees that outdate most major religions.

>Read