Polartec has announced its support of the launch of Houdini Sportswear in North America. Both Houdini and Polartec will support sell-through with key retail accounts and leverage these relationships to share their brand stories. The brands will tell their stories via special events at these locations, targeted product seeding, and other promotions.

Polartec is a global leader in sustainable manufacturing and pioneered the development of recycled (and recyclable) fabrics. 99 per cent of Houdini’s products are either recycled, biodegradable or Bluesign certified, and all are designed with respect to versatility via technical functionality and timeless aesthetics.

“Houdini shares our commitment to taking meaningful actions that improve the sustainability of our products, supply chain and business practices,” said Gary Smith, Polartec CEO. “As longtime partners in Europe, we’re thrilled to support their introduction to the North American market. Their quality and versatility will be embraced by a new base of customers, while their business transparency sets a standard the entire industry should strive for.”

The leadership of both Houdini and Polartec has helped to foster this deep collaboration. Led by CEO Eva Karlsson, Houdini is predominantly led by women in an industry traditionally dominated by men, and the company recently published the Planetary Boundaries Assessment report, the first-ever corporate sustainability report based on the planetary boundaries framework. Meanwhile, Smith has reconfigured the Polartec global manufacturing footprint with respect to environmental responsibility, while continuing to lead breakthrough product innovations such as new fabric constructions that enable greater versatility. This work has helped turn over one billion plastic bottles into premium performance fabric innovations.

Events currently planned include a fall pop-up and launch party at Westerlind New York City, a winter shop-in-shop and launch party at the new Westerlind Denver store during the OR+SIA trade show, and a spring 2019 shop-in-shop at The Athletic Community in Portland, Ore.

“Polartec is our longest running partner and one synonymous with uncompromising quality and craftsmanship,” said Karlsson. “In the early days when Houdini was a peer-to-peer business among climbers and mountaineers, they were kind enough to let us into the samples room to buy fabric by the meter. Today, 25 years later, they’re still a key partner and to have their support in launching Houdini to the North American market is invaluable. I’m very proud of the strong bond we’ve forged as companies.”

“My sales agency has been involved with many non-domestic brand launches including Fjällräven and Vuarnet, and this Houdini launch is by far the most successful,” said Andrea Westerlind, Houdini North American sales agent. “I attribute this to multiple factors: the timing of an all-sustainable brand, and the clean lines and beautiful colours which feel both fresh and timeless. Houdini truly brings something to the North American market that consumers have not seen already. It’s a very exciting project to be a part of.”