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Skiwear 2020 trends dominated by cruelty-free clothing

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Jan 16, 2020

This year’s skiwear will be cruelty-free and made of soybean and hemp, incorporate wearable tech for performances including ice-repellent snow boots, as well as including Ultra HD cameras that will help snow lovers capture Insta-worthy action shots, according to new research from winter holiday provider Club Med.

Estelle Giraudeau, managing director UK and Northern Europe at Club Med said in a statement: “This is an exciting time for ski fashion. Over the decades we have seen clothing brands develop exciting new products and with technology advancing at such a fast rate, we expect even more advancements to come.”

Out with synthetics and in with sustainable fabrics

Cruelty-free ski wear is in vogue this season, with vegan and sustainable clothing and accessories designed to keep you warm on the slopes while minimising harm to animals and the environment, as 75 percent of consumers admitted that they want to make more eco-friendly efforts to prevent climate change while more than a third of online shoppers making stricter purchases.

According to the ski trends report, companies are “rapidly investing in new materials to meet customer demands and help protect the planet,” with snow wear increasingly be made from synthetic and plant-based fabrics which are made from soybeans and hemp. These natural products help to protect the environment, without compromising on comfort and style.

Key sustainable ski essentials will be plant-based down ski jackets, swapping out ski wear that uses real down, while hat and gloves will be made from 100 percent global organic textile standard and certified organic wool, and everyone will be wearing vegan non-leather boa boots, designed for the après ski scene.

One of the best eco-friendly skiwear brands is Picture Organic, a B Corp certified skiwear brand with a firm focus on sustainable practice and fabrics, who have rejected the traditional way of making snow jackets which requires petroleum extraction, by ensuring that all of its product use 100 percent organic, recycled and bio-sourced materials.

Jonathan Chippindale, chief executive of Holition, a digital retail agency that specialises in humanising technology in the fashion and beauty industries, added: "When I look at the future generations, they’re not just talking about sustainability ‐ they’re already doing it. I can’t see any Gen Z coming through who would buy non‐sustainable ski products.”

Incorporating wearable tech for performance

Wearable tech is a huge upcoming trend in ski fashion, as winter sports enthusiasts look to enhance performance, safety and experience, from life-saving rescue systems to smart helmets and Bluetooth gloves.

Key wearable tech ski gear includes sweatproof ski jackets that use electrical textiles. These smart jackets keep skiers dry and warm but also sweat-free, enabling wearers to perform at their best for longer, while Bluetooth gloves, mean that you’ll never lose your skiing buddies again as they allow you to make and receive calls without even touching your phone, and there are even wearable tech socks that are battery-powered heated to keep your feet extra toasty on the slopes.

There are also life-saving wearable tech, from the Recco rescue system jacket, a lifesaving gadget sown in the jacket and help rescue teams detect skiers if they’re in danger, and ice-repellent snow boots designed for optimal performance in the harshest of weather, the dial, laces, and lace guides repel ice and help skiers have more balance on the snow.

An example of wearable tech creating a storm is Helly Hansen Life Pocket, which is three times warmer than a standard ski jacket. The Life Pocket will prevent smartphones from suffering from temporary shut down and premature battery drain caused by cold mountain temperatures.

Ultra-HD smart ski cameras to enhance experiences

If you’ve not captured your winter holiday in crystal-clear HD in the 21st century, did it even happen? The next generation of sports cameras steps things up a few notches, utilising everything from machine learning and AI to 8K live streaming, with social media sharing at the heart of it.

Forget those shaky images that look like VHS from the 1980s, 8K live streaming will make your audience feel like they’re right there with you, perfect for those Instagram-loving winter sport fans, while machine learning and AI ski cameras means you won’t lose members of your party on the slopes, as the AI camera uses machine learning to identify individuals from distance.

Other ski-enhanced wear includes smart helmets that have built-in mics and speakers, so you can play your favourite playlist while skiing, and even voice control ski cameras that means you will never miss a picture-perfect view again.

Illustrations: courtesy of Club Med