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Community Openness

Time for some serious openness

Written by Martijn Jegerings

In this picture: Jonathan Frossard sending it
80cm snow
Switzerland

It’s been several months since we’ve delivered all The Open Ones. In the following weeks we got overwhelmed by the amount of feedback we received. We are glad to present the outcomes to you further down this article.

We are extremely glad that more than 90% of you were instantly happy with your The Open One. More so, we got blown away by the 119 of you that took the effort to fill out the extensive feedback form.

Besides these filled out forms, we got super motivated by the big amount of emails we received from enthusiastic The Open One-ers, that just came back from their first adventures on the mountain.

All this information has been of great help to us while evaluating The Open One and making decisions towards the future of Open Wear. Now let’s jump to the results.

Our main findings:

Sympatex Fabric
It’s great to see that the most important part of our jacket has been so appreciated by you. You guys seem to have been testing The Open One in all conditions possible. From extremely cold, arctic conditions to rain to sunny spring sessions. It’s great to see that you guys confirm our belief and vision. Functionality can be combined with sustainability.

Our conclusion: The combination of functionality and sustainability is the key to the development of all our future products.

Fitting
The big majority was immediately happy with the fitting, but we also noticed that some found the jacket rather long or wide.

Our conclusion: After digging deeper into it, we feel the general fitting is very suitable for mountain activities. But we can improve our communication around the fit. If you, for example, also like to use the jacket for daily commuting in the city, you might better pick a smaller size, as it was designed for the mountain: wearing multiple layers, gloves, etc.

“ We use your feedback to make our next products even better. ”

“ You prove that the outdoor industry is ready for a change! Let's bring it! ”

Features
The Open One has been a feature-packed jacket and while most features were very appreciated, we think we might have gone one step too far by including a telephone pocket and location tracker pocket. Both mainly added unnecessary weight to the jacket. The front zipper was a feature that caused some problems because it got stuck too easily.

Our conclusion: Skip unnecessary features and improve zipper construction.

Price
98.5% of you paid less than the value you would give The Open One.

Our conclusion: With an average price of €420,- you rated us exactly at the price level we imagined to be. Well above the maximum price we’ve been asking and still confirming our statement that other brands are overcharging for their products.

Mission
It’s great to see that many of you fully support our mission to make sustainable, high-quality outerwear. We’ll strive to be even more open about our decisions. The more open, the better!

Our conclusion: You prove that the outdoor industry is ready for a change! Let’s bring it on!
Improvements
We don’t want to sit back, relax and just enjoy the positive feedback. We want to use your feedback to make our next products even better.

Combined with our own experiences and that of the guides we’ve been working with, we set a few improvement goals for our next version of The Open One.

“ Since we sell directly to you, we can bring DWR innovations much faster to our products. ”

Construction
We feel we can achieve some improvements in terms of construction; reducing bulk and weight, while optimizing movement and durability. To achieve this we have teamed up with the multiple award-winning, technical experts of Sugarhouse Creative, based in Salt Lake City, USA. Having worked for Arc’teryx and Black Diamond in the past, they help us bring our next products to the top level of the industry.

DWR – Durable water repellency
We’d like to go a bit deeper into the DWRs here: the coating that keeps the water rolling of the fabric. It is repelling the water beads on the outside of the jacket. Note: This is something different than waterproofing, which is guaranteed by the membrane on the inside of the fabric.

Over the past years, the use of PFCs in DWRs has been a discussion point. Until recently, many outerwear brands used the (as we now know) highly toxic C8 DWRs. These featured long chain chemicals, being a threat to nature as well as to human health.

Therefore many brands changed to a so-called short chain, less toxic C6 DWR. However, the effects of these chemicals are still very unclear and they might potentially be equally toxic and damaging. Therefore we, as Open Wear, decided to only use a so-called C0, a PFC-free DWR that contains no toxic or harming chemicals.

In contrast to his toxic brothers C6 and C8, C0 sometimes causes the wetting out of the first, outer layer of the fabric. This doesn’t mean you’ll get wet on the inside, because a high-quality membrane, like Sympatex, will prevent the water from coming through.

But the jacket might become slightly heavier and could feel a bit colder. As many brands have the intention to use C0’s from 2020 on, we see a lot of development in this area.

We’ve spoken to several innovative DWR suppliers and hope to implement the latest DWR techniques into our next products, guaranteeing an optimal eco-friendly, sustainable functionality.

We are running tests at the moment to determine which one would bring the best results. Since we sell directly to you, we can bring DWRs to the market that would otherwise only be available to you in two years, because of the slow sell-in cycle.

Another point we want to improve here is our communication towards washing. In contrast to common belief, washing and drying your jacket will revitalize its performance.

What’s next?
We are working very, very hard to incorporate all the feedback into six new products that we will launch in a couple of weeks. More details on this in the following weeks.

Feel free to comment on this update and let us know your thoughts.

David

Would it be bad to have more than one jacket ;)?

Raphael

When did you write this article? A date at the end would make it easier. What’s the meaning of “we’ll launche six new products in a couple of weeks.”? Did ypu already launch them or will they still be launched in the near future?

Martijn

The article was written at the beginning of 2017. However, we will launch a few more products soon ;)
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