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The Garment that Breathes
Sports textiles

The Garment that Breathes

Written by: Geox Spa

Geox clothing project was born as a result of the company's research into the human body's transpiration and movement of its heat, in collaboration with Italian and European universities. The human body produces an average of 1/2 a litre of sweat per day and up to 600 litres per year: this Geox new patent was developed to ease body transpiration.

The body temperature naturally increases due to factors such as physical activity, stress or climate, and as a result our body perspires: the sweat evaporates, thus decreasing the temperature of the skin and cooling it down. The heat produced by the human torso moves upwards and is trapped in the area around the shoulders, therefore condensing in tight-fitting areas, where humidity reaches 100%. This results in individual discomfort, as well as an un-hygienic environment.

The structural solution patented by Geox exploits the physics principle of convection: in Geox apparel, the damp air created by the evaporation of sweat is allowed to rise upwards in a special 3D cavity, the spacer, placed underneath the apparel's padding and it is finally expelled through the upper part of the garment, exiting through a breathing tape: a band of air-holes extended from one shoulder to the other. Thanks to a breathable and waterproof membrane inserted below this band, the sweat is let out while water is not allowed in. The effectiveness of this patented system has been certified by the Geox Garment Breathability Test, which is carried out using a machine especially devised by Geox.

How does the Geox Garment Breathability Test work?

In Geox laboratories, two test models have been created to represent the human torso, and feature sensors to record the relative temperature and humidity. These are kept in a standard air-conditioned place, at a constant temperature of +20°C and with a humidity level of 65%, so that results are valid worldwide.

Water is put inside the models and is heated up to +36°C, the temperature of human skin, and to a relative humidity of 100%, in order to simulate perspiration. Thus, the conditions of a body when exercising are artificially created, like those of a person taking a brisk walk at about 6, 5 km/h. Two identical cotton t-shirts and sports jackets are then weighed: one of the jackets is a standard product, while the other features the Geox system. The t-shirts and sports jackets are put on the models and perspiration is simulated for about an hour. These same items are then weighed again to test the quantity of water vapour which has condensed on the garment. The test shows that the Geox jacket weighs approximately 40% less which means that the breathability of the item increased by 40% compared to the standard jacket.

In an hour, this amount of perspiration is equal to about 10 grams of water, which is found on the t-shirt of an average person who is sweating. Thanks to the Geox patent, this amount of perspiration is let out and body is kept cool and dry.

Starting from this patent, in 2001 Geox started production and commercial distribution in Italy of a first clothing range: technology, quality, and style are the key elements of the three collections for men, women, and children - interpreted and created by the Geox Style Centre.

In 2004 clothing exceeded sales expectations and, now, as done for footwear, the successful commercial model has been replicated in the global market. The introduction of the new segment in the international commercial strategy has also led to a change in the concept of Geox Shops, which has rapidly changed to move closer to the megastore model.


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