It is in the design stage of our products that we can really make a difference. One of the most important factors is that we develop high quality products that have a long service life.
Testing of materials and products
No fabric will be incorporated in a Bergans product until it has satisfied our strict quality requirements. We expect our materials to be solid enough to withstand a long product lifetime. And the longer a product is in use, the lower its environmental footprint. Therefore it's so important to set high quality standards and monitor them constantly, what we do amongst others in our own laboratory.
At our test laboratory, all materials are subject to extensive testing. Our test instruments measure performance factors such as tear resistance, wind penetration, water column, wear and tear and pilling. Spray testing is used to assess water repellence, and wicking ability is measured for all materials. We also commission tests from third-party independent labs.
It takes more than state-of-the art materials and technologies to make good products. Bergans is renowned for its fine cut and high quality. To live up to reputation, we have to test our products in practice. We do this ourselves, although we also have a wide range of product testers and partners for field testing, including members of Team Bergans. These are discerning and extreme users who know what they want and what is required of a product.
Team Bergans members are often involved in the product development process within their discipline, and provide inputs and criteria regarding product performance. The product testers take the products on trips and provide us with valuable feedback regarding what works and what should be modified. We make the necessary adjustments and re-test the product until all the details are in place and the product can be adorned with the Bergans logo!
Design to repair
The longer a product is in use, the lower its environmental footprint. Long live the product, as we call it. Many garments, backpacks or other equipment can easily be repaired if they have small faults. This enables them to be used further on and thus extends their lifetime. Bergans puts a lot of efforts into promoting repairs (link) But it’s already in the design stage of a product where we can lay the foundation for these products being easier to repair once the day arrives when it’s necessary.
Technical and functional outerwear is often very complex in its set-up and how it’s manufactured. By considering potential repairs at a later stage, e.g. the shift of a zipper, already in the design phase of a product, these repairs can be more easily executed when necessary, as less work is needed. This saves labour work and costs as well as material and contributes to more products being repaired instead of replaced by new ones. Long live the product! Another example is the use of removable parts at places which most often wear out first, as the chewed collar of a kids jacket or the inner parts at the ankle of your ski pants.
Last not least also the visual design can help to increase a products life length: By cutting out short-term trends and rather using classical and timeless colours as well as the possibility to combine different products, colours and styles, universal and timeless products arise, which are easy to use and combine without getting outdated. Of course, it is our task to always find the best, most sustainable and most solid fabrics for each of these products and according to its features and intended use, to enable a longest possible product life.
Long live the product!
Microfibres are fibres that shed from clothing during production, use, or end of life, and end up as pollution in the environment.