Is LIFA technology a game changer?

Is LIFA technology a game changer?

Posted by Simon Tjernström

2020-02-20 20:02

GEARCHECK. Helly Hansen's new jacket - The Elevation Infinity Shell - claims to have better and more environmentally friendly technology than other technical outerwear like FUTURELIGHT.
"A revolution within the textile industry"
Featuring the first-to-market LIFA Infinity Pro technology, the Elevation Infinity Shell Jacket might be here to set a new standard for responsible, waterproof, breathable gear.

Basically, this is jacket 100% free from chemicals, but still as efficient as it's competitiors. An issue solved with their old material - the LIFA fiber.



Video Transcript


Hello everyone. My name is Philip Tavell. I work at Helly Hansen as category managing director for our ski and outdoor categories. And I want to introduce our new highlight product for winter 20 the elevation Infinity shell jacket. It's really unique and we are launching our new technology LIFA infinity pro through this jacket.


Elevate Infinity pro is a revolution within the textile industry, the whole industry, including ourselves. We want to move away from using chemicals on top of the garment or as treatments. Uh, so we're moving from C6 to C0, but now we actually managed to remove the DWR completely but still having the same effect for the readers or viewers. DDR? DWR is durable water repellency. So when you buy a new garment and it starts raining or snowing and you see the pearling effect on the outside of the garment, that's the treatment which use chemicals to produce that effect. We managed to remove all those chemicals but still having the same effects, and we have managed to do so because of the fiber. We're using a lifa, our fiber, which is a poly propylene fiber and the knitting structure and the inherited water hating properties of the lifa of fiber.

It doesn't absorb any water. So that's why it doesn't have, it allows for the water to shed off. And then we've layered that with a lifa membrane as well. So the face fabric is hundred percent Lifa. The membrane is 100% LIFA. So we're creating a garment that still has the performance of a the best possible needs for our professionals, but with a very responsible and sustainable way. For winter 20 we see it in two garments because it was a, our innovation team, that fabric team found this solution very late in the process and so we couldn't exploit it and bring it into all categories. And also is today's pretty pricey technology. But for winter 20 we have it in this elevation infinity shell jacket. So free ride jacket sits in our older collection. And then we also have it in our back country touring our outdoor collection.

But you will see it then expanding summer 21 and winter 21 or you will have it throughout the whole, not collection but throughout the brand. Both in urban, in sailing, in outdoor and ski.

But there is also some other features like the heated pocket right?
Absolutely. So the life pockets was a feature that we developed with the Canadian ski team. They, i mean today social media, everyone knows that we like to take selfies and document where we are. So they needed a pocket so their cell phones could stay alive when they're out on the mountains. But additional benefit was that they also keep in contact with the fellow skiers on the teams or their coaches. So dual purpose one to make their partners happy with content, but also staying safe on the mountain. So it's, this version is actually three times warmer versus a regular pocket.

And then we have a more commercial alternative in there. Bigger range, which is twice as warm as a regular pocket. And the did I understand correctly the membrane was lifa as well. Exactly. So the face fabric, 100% lifa membrane, 100%, LIFA. So, and the benefit of having a hundred percent lifa membrane as well is that we're removing all the solvents from the production of the micropores membrane. So we believe we, I mean everyone is trying to solve the future of responsibilities and then sustainability. It really feels that's a game changer for the industry. And it's, we are the only brand, uh, uh, offering this to the world.

Do you still talk steam pillars and the water resistant pillars and the measurements like that to compare it to other similar products?
Absolutely. It does. So, and we do, so it belongs to our heli tech professional, which is our highest rated, uh, level.

So it sits underneath the heli tech professional but then uses zero chemicals and no solvents. So it's still, I mean, as a brand or like us, we need the performance, the performance for our professionals is a given. So how could we evolve and how could we make something truly better that was removing all the chemicals.

Can you talk about, is there a elasticity in the material, like does it move or stretch or is it stiff and stale?
It is not stretching but it's not stiff and stale because it's real soft fabric. But that is the biggest next step in our evolution, because as a fat, as a membrane, it actually today doesn't need, there is no stretchy version. It only exists in this version. So there's only, we as a brand sort of, um, launching it. So our fabric team in the innovation team is really working on how can we evolve it.

But today there's no stretch alternative and we don't want to jeopardize or minimize the function or the true value of having a chemical free membrane. We could, our fabric team has said that we can, uh, they can offer us a stretch, but then we're destroying the membrane and the performance of the membrane will be ruined.

So let's talk about fits and design.

Yes. You see it's a very clean design. The fit is very relaxed for the freerider that mainly uses the back protector. It's a little bit longer cut. Also to accommodate the Mattias Hargin. They get a lot of or they give us a lot of input or they visually will look and you will be surprised how important the design and the look is for those guides. I was surprised how, how conscious they were about how they look. So the fit is regular or relaxed and longer jackets and then build, so you can have a backpack and all using all the backpack straps, but still accessing the pockets. And then one detail on all of the free ride products are the high visual details to really to make sure that you're visible in low light conditions. So that's something, when we launched this collection in 2015 that was basically the iconic part of the products. Apart from being very user specific. What about, I see a two a really long sippers here on the side?

I see two big zippers?

No, it's actually just big dump pockets. So some of our professionals, they really want big pockets. They can put their skins. So if they're doing laps on a, I would say [inaudible] or a smaller mountains where you can actually boot pack or just quickly put on your skins, hike up, 20 minutes ski down to perfect powder run for the skins in your pockets. You don't waste time of taking off the backpack. Like packing your pack for. These can also accommodate the skins for skis. I'm a little curious about the technology to create the life pocket. Yeah, we, we are experts, experts on consumer centric development, but we have great partners to help us develop those types of things. So when we've got the challenge from the Canadian ski team, we reached out to PrimaLoft ask them what type of installation do you have? That is the highest, it's CLO value. So this is the Aero gel, which is then it used to be, or actually I don't know if it's still used in NASA for space ships because it's really good at keeping heat or the reverse keeping the cold out. So that's why we're using the arrow gel pocket totes, nano atom particles to keep the heat on the inside. So the inside of the body makes sure that the pocket stays warm and the installation makes sure that there's no cold coming from the outside. Perfect. Thanks. Thank you very much.
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