Houdini Sportswear amplified its sustainability commitment at ISPO, previewing its 2023 Planetary Boundaries Assessment (PBA), due in Q1 2024.

Houdini CEO Eva Karlsson said the 2023 findings of the PBA are abysmal. She said the assessment was the first time all nine planetary boundaries – Climate Change, Novel Entities, Stratospheric Ozone Depletion, Atmospheric Aerosol Loading, Ocean Acidification, Biochemical Flows, Fresh Water Use, Land System Change and Biosphere Integrity -could be analyzed and the results were reportedly not good.

“The research [performed by Stockholm Resilience Center/Alba Eco] concluded that an alarming six out of nine boundaries have been breached,” said Karlsson. “Except for the Stratospheric Ozone Boundary, we are moving in the wrong direction. Novel Entities, the boundary that assesses levels of chemical pollution, including microplastics and hazardous chemicals like PFAS, is the boundary breached the furthest. Chemical pollution, from hazardous chemicals like PFCs and PFAS used in certain waterproof/breathable membranes and conventional DWR treatments, causes large-scale disturbances in ecosystems and species, including humans.”

She noted that Houdini is using world-leading science to evaluate all aspects of the impact its business has on the planet’s ecosystems.

“It’s a very tangible way for us to improve and show our love and respect for nature. Outdoor companies have the power to change their ways, to phase out toxic chemicals such as PFAS, in favor of planet-compatible alternatives. We can and should all do better,” Karlsson added.

The company also debuted a collaboration with long-term partner Polartec on a garment series using Polartec Power Shield, “a 3-layer shell fabric made with Biolon, a renewable, non-GMO plant-based nylon, with a 50 percent lower carbon footprint than virgin Nylon 6.6 and a reduced reliance on fossil resources. Measuring at 20.000 mm H2O and 20.000 g/m²/24h, the weather protection and breathability place the garments head-to-head with other high-performance shell layers on the market,” said Houdini.

“What makes the difference, though, is how it feels to wear it,” said Jesper Danielsson, Houdini’s chief product officer. “The light, smooth, and incredibly strong garments follow the wearer’s every move and take shell layer comfort to a new level. This shell layer series is currently in the prototype field testing phase and will be perfected in 2024.”

“We believe that leaving the world a better place than we found it is a responsibility for everyone,” said Ramesh Kesh, senior vice president and business manager of the Polartec/government defense business unit at Milliken and Company.” The launch of Biolon Nylon-based fabrics marks an important step in that journey. For a long time, many thought that more sustainable options meant a loss in performance, like durability; Polartec has proved that this is not the case.”

Photos courtesy Houdini