When you are striving to develop a surprisingly complex technical solution to a deceptively steep challenge... then it is often best to focus your resources. Musto plus 11th Hour Racing Team have been doing just that
Musto’s OSM range has been designed in collaboration with 11th Hour Racing Team to deliver stylish technical clothing for conscientious adventurers who care about protecting the environment as much as they do themselves. Recently launched into the market, the garments in this ground-breaking range are constructed from One Single Material (OSM) which makes them much easier to recycle at the end of their useful life. This is especially important for the environment, as recycling fibres helps to reduce the overuse of raw virgin materials.
Head of marketing Nick Houchin comments: ‘Engineering sustainable technical clothing, with waterproof performance to keep our wearers dry and protected, has traditionally been difficult.. Our partners, 11th Hour Racing, set us the challenge of creating onshore clothing that they could wear in any environment in their everyday lives that would look contemporary and still be technical. More importantly, the garments had to be environmentally conscious, and produced using the most sustainable processes. We are often presented with challenges from our ambassadors, normally finding new innovations in our technical sailing collections, so we jumped at this new opportunity to find a sustainable solution for our off-the-water collections.’ The base product, the one single material, is CFC-free recycled polyester.
OSM collection designer at Musto, Shane Rhone, has enjoyed the challenge of producing trendy, functional garments to such a tight environmental brief. ‘The aim of the OSM range is to produce best-in-class performance outerwear with minimum impact on our environment. Performance plus sustainability, but without compromise.’
Rhone worked closely with 11th Hour Racing Team. ‘11th Hour Racing Team knows Musto delivers when it comes to premium performance sailing apparel, that’s one of the reasons why they partnered with us. We’re pretty pleased with how the OSM collection has turned out.’
So why the drive for one single material? ‘Products made from one single material are much easier, and require less energy, to recycle at the end of their life, because the garment’s materials, fibres and features don’t need to be separated first. The lines are simple and contemporary, creating a sharp and stylish aesthetic for Autumn Winter 2021. The colour of each garment has been achieved with e.dye – a sustainable dyeing process that uses 90 per cent less water and 85 per cent less chemicals than traditional methods.
Although polyester hardly sounds like the most hi-tech of materials, Rhone says it’s ideal for purpose in this range and can see it becoming increasingly used as the technical garment industry continues to take greater heed of environmental impact. ‘We decided to use polyester as it’s readily available plus it still delivers on technical performance. The most sustainable products are those that last a long time. But the OSM collection has prompted us to re-evaluate everything about our design processes from the start. What can we do before we even begin designing a garment, to ensure it’s sustainable? Everything we do now is a lot more considered, stripped back and holistic.’
Damian Foxall is sustainability manager for 11th Hour Racing Team. Six-time veteran of the The Ocean Race (formerly Volvo Ocean Race), which he won in 2011-12 with Groupama Racing Team, Foxall is a long-time advocate for the oceans, having worked as an education manager for the Canadian Wildlife Federation for five years before serving as the sustainability manager for Vestas 11th Hour Racing in the 2017-18 edition of the Volvo Ocean Race.
Above: 11th Hour Racing Team’s new Imoca 60 Malama has been designed and built with a strong focus on sustainability and circularity of materials and resources. The same principles inform and guide its partnership with Musto
Below: Made entirely from one single material, the OSM range is designed to be much easier to recycle
Foxall explains his long-term goal: ‘Our task is to foster a team of leaders, explore innovative solutions within the marine industry as we design and build a boat for The Ocean Race, collaborate with our partners and the marine supply chain to reduce our environmental footprints, and leave a lasting legacy by inspiring others to make changes. We are promoting a shift to a sustainable marine industry.
‘One topic that has gained awareness worldwide are the impacts and issues around singleuse plastics. Solutions and alternatives appear on the market practically every week, local and national governments are setting strong policies with varying degrees of success, we need companies and consumers to continue to build strong demand for alternatives to single use plastics and to implement these solutions at scale.’
For Foxall, the OSM range is a good example of the kind of shift that needs to take place within the industry. ‘Circularity of materials and resources is a key consideration when designing a new product. At 11th Hour Racing Team we are really encouraged by Musto’s consideration of “end of life” of this garment range. This ultimately sets the pathway for resource recovery, and for extended manufacturer responsibility such as take-back, refurbish and recycle systems.’
Charlie Enright and Mark Towill — co-founders of 1 Degree, the company the pair formed earlier this year to manage 11th Hour Racing Team — have made sustainability and ocean health key pillars of their campaign in The Ocean Race and the other competitive projects on their schedule.
‘As life-long sailors, the members of 11th Hour Racing Team are committed to being advocates for the ocean and lead by example in all aspects of our campaign, keeping the health of our oceans at the forefront of our decision-making process while promoting positive systemic change,’ says Enright. ‘We want people to be passionate about the ocean, to understand the benefits that it brings to all of us and the enjoyment that can be had from it and how together we need to look after it for this and future generations.’
‘Individually we can only do so much, however; working collectively is the way that we can really drive forward change. At 11th Hour Racing Team we are looking to drive forward and inspire change within the marine industry and beyond, and to get people passionate and inspired about ocean health. We enjoy working with industry-leading partners like Musto who are changing the way they approach design and manufacturing to create products that are more sustainable.’
‘I really like the fact that the OSM range is made with end of life in mind. It’s cool to see that as a sailing team we have inspired change in one of our partners.’
The OSM range is very comprehensive, with T-shirts and sweatshirts through to weatherresistant outerwear such as the Evolution Newport OSM PrimaLoft Parka. ‘Engineered to be functional enough to protect you from the elements,’ says Houchin. ‘It’s designed to look at home on the shore for day-to-day living, walking the dog and embracing the outdoors; even leisure cruising, although you're not going to wear it across the Southern Ocean! That leisure market is a really big growth area for Musto. We’re really excited that Harrods in London is stocking the OSM range. OSM is an extension of our sailing range, learning from the expertise we constantly develop to protect our sailors on and off the water and we're very excited about how this will be received in the sailing community and in the wider leisure market as well.’
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