The North45 Scarf
A beautiful crisp Tuesday morning. Sun is out but the wind is blowing and it's feeling chilly. No worries because my equipment will keep me warm, but my scarf is absorbing moisture and freezing, sliding down my face leaving my cheeks and nose exposed to frostbite. The wet cold scarf is also making it feel unnatural to breathe as if I had to force harder to get the air to circulate through the material. I sat on the chairlift thinking to myself : as a student in engineering from Montreal, Canada (where winter days can hit -40 degrees with windchill) why can't I think of a better way to keep my face warm. I hit the drawing board and set out on my journey to reinvent the scarf.
After countless discussion with fellow skiers and boarders, I settled on 3 aspects of the scarf that were most important.
The North45 scarf is made from a blend of Merino wool, giving it stretch, breathability, and comfort. Merino wool is a very fine wool and thus soft and comfortable on the skin. It wicks away sweat and moisture from the face while still isolating from the cold, even when wet! It's naturally antibacterial and stays smelling fresh, even after many intense snow outings.
As a skier myself, I know how important it is to not only feel good, but also to look good. Representing our favorite brands is a testament to the passion we have for our sport. We want to wear products from brands that understand this and make equipment that suits our needs. From the beginning, we designed a scarf that looked clean and fashionable, making it a pleasure to wear on the hill. The scarves are all hand-made in Canada and rigorously tested.
We dug deep into the basics of what a scarf needed to do. It came down to a simple task. Keep my face and neck warm, dry, and comfortable while talking to friends and breathing naturally. Typically during your run, you want your face to be perfectly covered so you don't get frostbite. When you reach the bottom, you want to lower your scarf to tell your friends about how great your switch double backflip was or how you beat them to the bottom of the mountain. When you get back to the top of the mountain to do it again, you want to quickly lift your scarf to protect your face without removing your gloves and freezing your hands. Using neodymium magnets allows you to attach your scarf to your goggles in the exact place every time without the hassle of typical face warmers. Even with mittens, it's easy to replace your North45 scarf and fully cover your face. The magnet sticks to your goggles using industrial strength 3M 2-sided tape (same stuff that holds window panes to sky scrapers) so that you can use the scarf with any set of goggles your already own. The tape (VHB) leaves no remnants behind after being removed and therefore doesn't damage your goggles. The tape is made of acrylic foam, allowing it to mold to the surface-resisting forces in the vertical direction, but it's easy to remove by peeling it upwards from the corners.
Founder and lead engineer : Dimitri Poliderakis, passionate about skiing and snowboarding, wanting to make a difference in the world by solving one problem at a time.
Operations and Production: Diana Dello Russo. Loves fashion and haute couture, 5 years experience in high end fashion apparel. Runs a tight ship allowing North45 to bootstrap its way to a final design and ready for manufacturing.
Lead designer: Antonietta De Luca. Veteran clothing and textile designer. Some say she can sew faster by hand than with a machine.
Sound engineer: Andrew Pololos. Producing and mixing tracks is more than a job for him, it's his life. Lost track of years of experience since he can't remember ever not working with music.
Risks and challenges
The design, material and packaging are nearly final and we have partnered with a local manufacturing plant in Montreal,Canada to produce our scarves and a fabric manufacturing plant in New Zealand for our material. We have been getting an enormous amount of requests for the product but don't have the resources to fulfill them all on our own. This is where Kickstarter funding comes in. The money will go to purchasing materials and supplies to manufacture (here in Canada) scarves to ship to all our backers. We have also begun on boarding brand ambassadors through our social networks (Twitter and Facebook) and industry insights. We have been receiving great feedback so far but we want to make sure we get the product out in order for backers to benefit from this season.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)