This fall, after years of development and dozens of design iterations, we decided to take the Bamboo game to the next level with our newest, softest, and most innovative fabric: the Bamboo Polar Fleece. We recently sat down with two of our co-owners, Austin Elliot, lead on Product Design/Development, and Tanner Sutton, head of Sales and Brand, to discuss our new favorite fabric in our Fall 2018 collection.
Why did you start thinking about making this fabric?
AE: We were looking for a signature Bamboo fabric that is focused around the Fall and Winter seasonality and that could also develop into a timeless and heritage staple for our growing Fall line.
When did you start thinking about developing the Bamboo Polar Fleece Fabric?
AE: It’s been a work in process for well over the past two years. We’ve always been known as a warm weather brand, but since Tanner and I both come from the Rockies and the Pacific Northwest, we’ve always had aspirations to appeal and provide to our cooler weather customers. We’ve done a few fleeces in the past. But this Fall, we were looking to do something different and more dynamic. We looked at our product assortment and we wanted to gravitate towards a heritage and vintage piece that started with a signature new Fall fabric: the Bamboo Polar Fleece. So, we started sampling it and trying different fabric blends and believe that we’ve truly found the sweet spot between softness and durability.
What’s the biggest innovation around the Bamboo Polar Fleece Fabric?
AE: All the benefits that carry through in our Bamboo products like being anti-odor, thermal regulating, breathability, but without a doubt the softness is the biggest innovation here. Anyone that has felt our current fleece fabric, which is just on the inside of the other styles, fell in love with it, so we wanted to take that to the next level and convert it to both an inside-and-out comfortable fabric. While the Polar Fleece is an already out there product, we haven’t seen a Bamboo version in the market yet, which is really exciting. We also both grew up loving the The North Face’s and Patagonia’s Polar Fleeces and we wanted to create our own Free Fly Bamboo version of that.
What new Fall Free Fly products can I find this fabric in?
AE: Two new Fall 2018 pieces: the Men’s Bamboo Polar Fleece Snap Pullover and the Women’s Bamboo Polar Fleece Hoody. The new fabric is the real story when wearing these pieces. You’re not getting caught up in bells and whistles, but rather our key product philosophy, which is all about keeping things simple and functional.
How does this fabric compliment the other fabrics Free Fly is using in their collection?
TS: The Bamboo Polar Fleece Fabric opens up the door to have more interaction with our key customers in the cooler months. Unlike our lighter weight fabrics, this gives us a little bit more versatility and we can outfit our customers for cooler mornings and crisper evenings in the outdoors.
What activities is this fabric and these new products designed for?
TS: Bear Hugging… but seriously… this is the piece you layer on when you’re taking the boat out first thing during those cool Fall mornings and throw on for an after dinner walk when it’s chilly. It’s a great layering piece. It can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion and speaks to the cooler month adventures that are so important to us and our core customers.
What are customers and retailers already saying about this fabric?
TS: When we first started showing the line, our retail partners couldn’t get their hands off the product. It’s taken our comfort and softness to the next level, because it’s brushed on both the inside and the outside. One of our favorite customer quotes thus far, really sums it up, “A piece that you’ll live in all fall.”