X Bionic has been a topic of conversation on here the past few days, so I though I’d add this overdue quick look at a couple of new models.
Excusing the photies from my phone, above is the new Trekking Polo in the hands of Rob from Ardblair Sports, the distributors. After wearing a techno-polo recently, this really does interest me. Short sleeves and tall collar are a killer combo, how could I have been a fool all these years… The usual zoned fabrics are all in place, and it’s nice to see a fresh colour from X Bionic.
Taking fabric zones to the extreme, we have the rather neat new for 2011 jacket below. Windproof front and softshell rear, we’ve seen this a few times from other brands, and it’s a good call fro moving fast in cold weather. The fit is spot on for me, good long arms, proper drop tail and great articulation. Nice.
A good while back I ran a competion to win some X Bionic Wallaby wristbands (mine have been everywhere with me, including into the recording studio and into a steam boiler), and the premise was to ask X Bionic HQ for the info that we need. And that’s what they did. Over to (an unedited) you guys:
Questions answered by Rob Stonehouse on behalf of ASI and Lorena Boccola, Brand Manager for X-Technology.
1. Why so expensive?
ASI: When making the comparison with brands such as Arc’terx, Falke, Haglofs, Skins, 2XU, Accapi, etc., the prices for baselayers are comparable. You need to consider the time and materials in production; for example the Trekking top takes 20 minutes just to knit the torso! All X-Bionic is made in Italy to the highest standards, using special machines and the best available yarns.
2. Are you planning to use recycled/ environmentally friendly materials at some point in your production of X Bionic garments & gear?
Lorena: We have looked at using Recycled material but to date have not been satisfied with the compromise on the quality of the yarn. All off cuts and waste material is sent for recycling. The garments can be re-cycled at the end of their life.
3. Is there a product one of your competitors has made that you wish you had and what was it?
Prof. Lambert was not at our recent meeting but we put the question to Lorena to get her take on this. Lorena: The Professor does not really look at other product on the market in that way. He uses the ideas and solutions others have come up with as a starting point from which he goes back to the original problems to see how he could solve them in a more efficient way, enhancing the natural processes used in nature.
4. Do they have any plans to expand their innovative technologies into other equipment areas?
12. Could this technology be usefully applied to sports bras?
Lorena: X-Technology is always looking at new projects and how to improve our existing range. Currently we are looking at expanding the sport specific clothing lines to include Horse Riding and Triathlon. We are working on Bras incorporating X-Technology but are not yet totally satisfied with the results. It is likely to be at least another 12-18 months before these will be available. We are also looking at Personal Protective Clothing which could be used in MTB, Motor Biking and for Military uses; this is at early stages of development.
We also are in the process of launching X-Nutrino, which is a complete sports nutrition system for before, during and after activity.
On the subject of using our technology for other products, we were approached by a major German Motor Company to utilize the technology in their car seats! The possible applications for our technologies are huge but we are focused on X-Technology rather than making products for others.
5. I’m a fan of the X-range… But do question some of the marketing science used – What studies have been done to show the amount of cooling the wristbands create?
We are still waiting on receiving this info
6. & 7. Why is so much of the packaging on X-Bionic kit
Lorena: X-Technology believes in an Efficient Communication Concept – “ Our Modern communication concept, helps save around 650 tons of paper every year. Instead of distributing hundreds of thousands of catalogues, we print a single catalogue for each product we sell: our packaging. This serves both as an information area and as protection for out high-grade products.”
8. Are there plans for any other colours? & 10. How about adding a wider colour range, I know most of it is underwear but it is all pretty dull looking.
This comes down to the retail buyers and current colour trends.
9 Are you going to make a balaclava?
ASI: We have launched Accessories this summer in the UK and you can already get the Ear Flap Cap , Ear Flap Head Band and Mountain Cap Lite. In the autumn there will be an extensive range including two balaclava’s, one with a small opening and one with a larger one, no windproof one at this stage but we’ll pass the suggestion on.
11. Are there any plans to make your products more widely available on the high street?
ASI: X-Technology is a relatively young brand and it takes time to build the stockists. Our retail network is increasing on monthly basis but you can help speed this process by requesting it from retailers when you visit their stores.
13. Given that most outdoors shops are crap in terms of service and product range would you consider a direct sales / mail order / e commerce model like Alpkit, to get your products to customers more easily?
ASI: That’s a bit of a sweeping statement, as with all specialist shops there are some that are better than others and as a distributor representing a brand it is important to ensure we train staff in all stockists to be competent when it comes to our brands. We are not currently looking at direct sales.