In the sometimes quixotic quest to make outdoor gear more sustainable (a.k.a. less dependent on fossil fuels), brands have gotten really creative with materials. In the past few years, everything from plastic bottles to algae to GU packets to Nespresso pods have been incorporated into various items, with mixed results. Always at the forefront of this movement, France’s Picture Organic Clothing has upped the ante with a feature-laden technical ski jacket made primarily out of… sugarcane.
We were a bit skeptical ourselves till we saw the thing at the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show last week. It’s a beauty and, not surprisingly, it’s garnering a ton of awards. The jacket’s chief material is Picture’s new eco-friendly fabric, BIO, which is made from sugarcane waste and will be popping up in the brand’s Expedition Line, which makes up 30 percent of its overall collection. The jacket also features XPORE, a new membrane from BenQ that emerges from a stretching process to create nano pores. The result is a 20k/25k chemical-free membrane that’s as durable, breathable and permeable as they come, two times lighter than competing laminates and just slightly less waterproof than the industry-leading Gore-Tex Pro.
The garment also boasts all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a high-end ski jacket, including fully taped seams, YKK zippers, pit zips, a powder skirt, adjustable hood, hem and cuffs and a PFC-free DWR treatment. In other words, even if you don’t care much for the planet, the Demain demands your attention. The jacket will retail for $500, and you can look for it online and on the slopes next fall.
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