Fabric Technology for Elite Athletes with Jamie Hunt of 2XU – EP80

 In Podcast

Imagine being able to develop sportswear specific to the weather conditions you are likely to face at a race. What if you could create a triathlon suit ideal for the IRONMAN World Championship, a suit specifically designed for the climate in Kona? 2XU is working on just that, developing products based on conditions and testing fabrics at 88° and 95% humidity, for example, for the elite athletes competing in Hawaii.

 

 

 

Jamie Hunt was a professional triathlete for 12 years, winning multiple international races and ranking as high as #3 with the ITU. He is also the co-founder and product development lead for high-end exercise garment company 2XU. Founded in 2005, 2XU had become the world’s largest triathlon brand by 2007, and within just eight years, the business was earning $30M in profit. In 2013, Louis Vuitton purchased 2XU, but Jamie continues to oversee product development and own a large stake in the global sportswear brand.

Today, Jamie explains how he came to build 2XU, discussing his background as a professional triathlete and the opportunity that sparked his love of fabrics and innovation. He addresses 2XU’s dominance of the compression garment space, sharing the science behind compression technology, the value of wearing compression clothing AFTER a workout, and how consumers can test for the power of compression fabric. Jamie offers his insight on the latest developments in the activewear space, from moisture management research to wearable technology to infrared pajamas. Listen in to understand Jamie’s vision for 2XU moving forward and learn how the company is applying its research to develop sportswear specific to a particular climate!

Topics Covered

[0:47] How Jamie came to build 2XU

  • Professional triathlete for 12 years
  • Opportunity at Orca when Head of Product left
  • Developed love of fabrics and innovation
  • Approached to start own line in 2004
  • $30M profit within eight years
[4:36] 2XU’s leadership in compression garments

  • Investment of $1M in compression technology
  • Full-time scientists to test and conduct research
[6:06] The science behind compression technology

  • Less oscillation = less fatigue
  • Peak power increase of 5-8%
  • Injury prevention
  • Less muscle damage, soreness
[8:28] How compression technology benefits weight lifters

  • Navy Seal on staff claims up to 10% higher weights
  • Use both arm sleeves and tights
  • Reduce risk of overuse injury
[9:57] The value of compression clothing AFTER a workout

  • Concept comes from hospital environment
  • Recommends 4-6 hours after intense training
[11:01] Jamie’s advice for consumers

  • Test for power of fabric (rebound to original shape)
  • 2XU fabric extremely light yet powerful, flexible
[13:10] Jamie’s insight on understanding moisture management

  • Three-year University of Melbourne study
  • Research how fabric works with human body
  • Develop products specific to climate (i.e.: Hawaii)
[18:00] Jamie’s take on wearable technology

  • Time and place for wearables in future
  • Other devices (e.g.: watches, ear pods) monitor better
[20:15] The disadvantages of self-heating jackets

  • Issues with washing, durability
  • Unable to sell at commercial price point
[21:08] Jamie’s view of infrared pajamas for recovery

  • Very small benefit at high cost
  • Not as beneficial as compression
[22:26] The future of 2XU

  • Testing, educate consumer on what works
  • Tangible measurements on moisture management
  • Develop products based on understanding of fabrics
  • Dominate fabric technology space, serve elite athletes
[25:19] The durability of 2XU clothing

  • Last 2-4X longer than other brands
  • Good value for money
[26:08] 2XU’s latest products

  • New triathlon suit (February 2019)
  • Award-winning wetsuit collection
[28:13] Jamie’s hectic travel schedule

  • Education, speaking at seminars
  • Sales with large accounts
  • Trade shows and fabric mills

Learn More About Jamie Hunt

2XU

Jamie on ITU World Triathlon Series

Resources

2XU Research + Development

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