Graphene is the lightest, strongest, most conductive material ever discovered... It also comes with a Nobel Prize. While the existence of graphene as a supermaterial was first theorised in the 1940s, it wasn’t until 2004 that two maverick scientists at the University of Manchester were able to isolate and test it. In 2010 their work won them the Nobel Prize. Thanks to their pioneering work we’ve been creating our own world-firsts with graphene since 2018.
DEEP SPACE PARACHUTES
Our Titan range is tested in liquid nitrogen and built with the deep space parachutes that land probes on Mars and Titan. On 18 February 2021, the Perseverance Rover was heading towards Mars at 20,000kmph, or Mach 16, and it needed something to slow it down. Just a couple of seconds after the parachute opened the Rover had slowed to just 320kmph, reducing its speed by over 98%. Today our Titan Puffer and Titan Pants are not only built from the same extreme-strength parachute material used by NASA, but they’re tested down to -100°C in a liquid nitrogen chamber.
If you’ve never heard of aerogel before, it’s an insulator, and an astonishingly effective one. Which is exactly why NASA use it to line their spacesuits. It’s almost impossible for cold air to pass through it as its individual nanopores are 10,000 times thinner than a human hair. After 10 years of R&D, a durable aerogel insulation came into being, and that is what you will find lining our Martian Aerogel Jacket.
Sheep have been cloned. The human genome has been mapped. And now we're using DNA to make clothing. When we first started making clothing, the idea of getting to work with DNA seemed as improbable as working with single layer graphene, or kryptonite. But thanks to two Cambridge scientists Orr Yarkoni and Jim Ajioka, we’re on the edge of a small revolution. Thanks to their research, instead of using synthetic dyes, it’s now possible to genetically engineer colours, growing them from scratch in a lab. In short, we now have an entire range of clothes made from genetically engineered microorganisms and DNA.
Thrown out of supernovas billions of years ago, copper became central to the rise of civilisation, creating tools and sterilising water, before enabling modern day communication, transport, and electrical power. Now, as we look for materials that offer us resistance to disease on Earth and up in space, and a base on which to build intelligent clothing, copper is set to be at the centre of innovation again.
You’ll normally find carbon fibre in missiles, jet engines and the world’s fastest cars, thanks to its high tensile strength and low weight. But we’ve taken carbon fibre out of the world of aerospace and military engineering and brought it into clothing. Every Carbon Fibre product is woven with over 120 metres of carbon fibre which has an atomic structure that makes it stronger than steel.
Weight for weight, Dyneema is 15x stronger than steel. Which is why you’ll find it in body armour, anti-ballistic vehicle armour, and mooring systems for giant container ships. Today we also use it to build our Indestructible range which includes the world’s strongest jacket, puffer, and hoodie.
Space makes life on Earth look easy. Temperatures range from hundreds of degrees below freezing, to hundreds of degrees above – especially if a spacecraft gets too close to The Sun. Each planet comes with a different atmosphere and gravity level. And even the stuff space is made of will attack you. You also weigh less on the Moon and Mars, so you’ll inevitably end up lugging more gear. To build the outer shell of the Mars Jacket and Pants we use a material used to protect soldiers from flying debris and shrapnel caused by bullet and artillery shell impact.
The science behind the glow
The core tech that enables the jacket to glow is its membrane – an ultra-thin layer housed inside a translucent mesh that keeps rain out and lets sweat escape. Engineered with a phosphorescent compound it rapidly stores any light it comes into contact with and re-emits it slowly over time. The membrane acts as if it’s alive, absorbing sunlight like a plant. And with the phosphorescence engineered into the membrane itself, the tech sits at the very centre of the fabric, so it can’t wash out or rub off.