By Ronni Shulman
May Portend Warmer Designs for All
That’s because their official Ralph Lauren Olympic heated parkas parkas encompassed a groundbreaking mix of cutting-edge American technology created especially for the games. The ultra-high-tech uniforms worn in the parade of nations featured an interior self-heating system designed to keep the athletes much warmer than a typical down jacket.
The parka, with engineering by DuPont and other tech companies, works almost like an electric blanket—except instead of wires or coils sewn into the fabric, the heat comes through a special type of carbon and silver ink bonded to the jacket lining. The ink conducts heat in the same way a wire would, and connects to a small battery pack sewn into the garment. When fully charged, the jacket itself stores up to 11 hours of heating time. Athletes were able to adjust the temperature up or down through a smartphone app.
Exciting news for Frosties in search of warmer winter garb?
Well, sort of. The limited edition jacket sold out despite a price of $2495-plus. But Polo Ralph Lauren is taking names for the waiting list, should they add inventory.
But if you’re not among the few willing or able to shell out that kind of money, there is some promising news. The company says the parka foreshadows designs to come from the brand in the coming year. “Our hope is that we’ll learn enough that we’ll be able to go into production with a different, limited edition jacket for this fall,” a company spokesman says. That jacket, and future designs from the brand, will use the same type of conductive ink to add extra heat.
Over the past few years, we at the Raynaud’s Association have seen a marked increase in warm clothing and accessories (many featured in our Marketplace section). And product manufacturers are starting to realize the huge market potential that Raynaud’s sufferers represent. They are reaching out not just to skiers, hunters and other outdoor sports enthusiasts, but also to the Frostie community which craves warming solutions indoors and outdoors, year-round.
We hope this new awareness means our message is getting out to a wider audience. Your donations will help us to further boost our outreach programs. Please click here to keep the momentum going.