Today a suit, tomorrow a boot or a ski binding. From the Seriana Valley comes a real one case history from circular economy, signed by DKB and RadiciGroup: the first ski suit designed at 0 km and designed to fit into a circular production process. Made with recycled fabric, it is engineered to be recycled at the end of its life.
"Our first interlocutor", says Roberto Loda, CEO of DKB, "was the RadiciGroup Ski Club, which asked us to create a garment that was beautiful, comfortable and performing at the same time. Among the many ideas that were born, that of creating a sustainable suit, made of recycled fabric, prevailed. We designed the model and perfected the style, trying to get the maximum performance ".
Comfort, design and performance are not lacking in this suit, consisting of jacket and trousers, made in RENYCLE®, a yarn produced by RadiciGroup, a world leader in the production of chemical intermediates, polyamide polymers, high performance technopolymers and advanced textile solutions. RENYCLE® derives from mechanical recycling of polyamide (nylon), which allows significant savings in terms of energy use, CO emissions2 and water consumption.
The sustainability of the suit is not limited to the fabric. Also the padding and numerous accessories of the suit, including zips, velcro straps, buttons and the thread of the seams they are made of recyclable polyamide: an achievement achieved following a great team effort between DKB and RadiciGroup for the research and development of materials that are chemically similar to each other and can be used in these specific applications, which require high technical performance. Within the project, DKB dealt in particular with the study of textiles and components, seeking the best synthesis of performance, resistance and design.
The almost mono-material composition allows you to significantly facilitate the garment recycling at the end of its life, through its transformation into a new polymeric material used to produce, for example, components for ski boots and ski bindings, or which can find application in the automotive sector, in furniture or in any sector that involves the use of high performance.
“We have done everything possible”, continues Loda, “to make this fabric as powerful as possible, both in terms of mechanical performance, such as resistance, and in terms of physical performance, such as waterproofing. We also made tests from a dyeing point of view, with the aim of optimizing light fastness, that is, the ability to keep the original color intact over the years ".
An all-round eco-design and circular economy project applied to the world of fashion and clothing, which realizes the claim "A sustainability at the height of our mountains", shown inside the jacket. The mountains are part of DKB's corporate DNA, which treasures its origins in the heart of the Bergamo valleys and promotes an intimate and spontaneous relationship with the natural environment with its garments. A 360 ° sustainable approach, also testified by the fact that the suit developed for the RadiciGroup Ski Club has been designed to have an exceptional durability for the average garments for professional athletes.
"The time is guaranteed for 3-4 years”, Loda affirms:“ an extraordinary result, considering that it is a garment that will be used almost every day for about four months a year. The duration refers to the optimal maintenance of performance, which inevitably are destined to decline, while in terms of wear resistance, therefore in terms of mechanical performance, it could be even higher ".
The nylon composition, due to the nature of this material, also allows the suit to have a significantly less weight than traditional suits it's a extremely small footprint, while ensuring impact and wear resistance far superior to the garments currently on the market. This confirms DKB's commitment to creating sports clothing with the highest technical and comfort standards, designed to last over time.
A detail was dedicated in the design phase attention to style and design details, to combine the needs of comfort with competitive ones. Although starting from a yarn obtained from waste material, it was possible to create a fabric with an opaque blue color and soft to the touch, with a very “clean” and elegant line. Another detail to underline are the inserts in black hexagonal polyamide fabric present on both the jacket and trousers, specifically designed to reinforce the outer fabric and increase resistance to abrasion, cuts and low temperatures.
“In the testing phase the suit achieved more than excellent results”, Loda reports: “one Abrasion resistance beyond100 thousand cycles, a level of impermeability suitable for professional use it's a quality witnessed by a production textile 100% made in Italy. Not to mention the resistance to washing: the garment we used for the technical tests has been washed 15 times and has not undergone the slightest deterioration ".
Design and sustainability, performance and respect for the environment. Says Angelo Radici, president of RadiciGroup: "The collaboration with a partner of excellence in the sportswear scene like DKB has been continuous and synergistic, also thanks to the possibility of comparing ourselves 'on the pitch', being a company based close to ours. I believe that the enhancement of local and traceable supply chains is another plus that this uniform brings with it ".
Athletes and coaches of the Sci Club RadiciGroup will be the first to wear the uniform in the winter season 2021-22, thus becoming not only the tester technical performance of the suit, but also the first testimonial of this concrete sustainability initiative. The RadiciGroup Ski Club has more than 100 athletes from 6 to 18 years old who compete in the various youth categories: an excellence of the territory, closely linked with the mountains and with DKB, official supplier of the Monte Pora team uniforms, on whose slopes the RadiciGroup Ski Club athletes are skiing.
The model will be further developed for technical-specialist use by professional athletes but will also become part of the new collection that DKB will offer in the best sporting goods stores starting from winter season 2022, revisited according to the company's stylistic choices for athletes and ski enthusiasts attentive to design, performance and the environment.