Everyday Apparel Gets High-Tech Benefits

Innovative product benefits, such as odor-protection and temperature-regulating technology, once reserved for pricey, specialized athletic apparel, are now available to all consumers

Innovative apparel is not just for the rock climbing, trail running, sand-kiting adventurers among us anymore. HanesBrands is now offering consumers some of the most popular features from expensive, specialized athletic apparel in basic, everyday garments.

According to Mike Abbott, director of research and development for HanesBrands, there are a few (billion) reasons the company can make benefits, such as advanced odor protection and temperature-regulating technology, available at an affordable price.

“We produce nearly 2 billion pieces of everyday apparel each year,” Abbott said. “That manufacturing expertise, along with our global scale and the fact that we own the majority of our manufacturing plants, allows us to extend high-tech benefits to all consumers.”

Abbott reported that Hanes’ FreshIQ and X-Temp product lines are the result of the company’s work in this area.

Groundbreaking odor-control technology

It’s no surprise that consumers are drawn to “comfort” when choosing underwear and socks. Dig a bit deeper, however, and they will tell you that odor control is a universally important aspect of comfort, according to HanesBrands research.

Hanes acted on this feedback by launching the FreshIQ antimicrobial technology – the first advanced odor protection benefit added to everyday apparel.

Textiles, which trap sweat and skin cells in its fibers, naturally aid in the growth of bacteria. Odor is a byproduct of bacterial growth during the time period in which a garment is worn. FreshIQ inhibits bacteria growth, but cannot be absorbed by the skin, does not accumulate in the environment and is not transferred to micro-organisms.

FreshIQ is available in men’s T-shirts, underwear and socks, and will be introduced in additional products through fall 2017.

A thermostat for apparel

If temperature-control technology, which responds to body temperature changes by promoting or inhibiting evaporation, works while mountain biking, then why not in a meeting at the office?

The X-Temp line, which offers that same comfort in affordable, everyday apparel, was Hanes’ answer to that question.Xtemp_ATS

“X-Temp products utilize a high-tech polymer that enables the apparel to act like a ‘second skin’ to assist in regulating temperature,” Abbott said. “That means when the temperature is high, the fabric will release moisture to keep the wearer cool and dry, and the opposite when the temperature is cool to help retain warmth.”

The X-Temp feature is currently offered on about 8 percent of Hanes’ products in the basics category.

“Comfort is an important factor when choosing clothing, so it’s little surprise that people want X-temp technology in T-shirts, underwear and socks,” Abbott said. “And consumers are responding in a big way. As we have incorporated this technology across our product lines, X-Temp products have outperformed in their categories.”

Date: Winter/Spring 2017