When apparel brings “enlightenment”

Especially in the dark season these products are highly topical: garments made of reflective materials or in neon colours – live saving for those out in the dark.

Not particularly attractive but useful has been the motto here for a long time. Now, however, the days where safety and protective clothing was functional rather than nice to look at seem to be over. The range of shirts, jackets, trousers and waistcoats has grown and become more versatile in both the workwear and sports segments. New suppliers and collections show that reflective apparel can also be stylish.

Sarah Canner is a textile designer and passionate cyclist. In Paris she got to know the dangers of city traffic and appreciate high-vis clothing. Offering garments that combine utility and style was her motivation for founding Vespertine. In her “Haute Réflecture® – Reflective Wear Collection” functional aspects fuse with fashion looks. An offer that is perfectly tailored to the needs of fashion-conscious city dwellers with an active lifestyle.

Vespertine uses 3M Scotchlite™, a highly reflective material, and combines it with sustainable, industrial fabrics. This combination results in bright, high-fashion designs made of water-repellent, breathable, 100% recyclable ECO polyamide or merino wool. The New York-based company supports the Slow Fashion movement and creates styles that are designed for durability and produced locally.

Neonon from Mühlau in Saxony has a similar background. The young design atelier was established in 2012 by a textile designer and a fashion designer. When riding their bikes in London they were wearing the neon-coloured “uniforms” that almost every cyclist or motorcyclist had. Reason enough for them to create their own collection. Neonon specializes in neon-coloured apparel and accessories. In the atelier many designs are handmade individually using traditional screen printing. Printing is done with fluorescent inks that absorb daylight and convert it into long-wave – and thus – visible light. In darkness these materials achieve a high luminosity because tiny glass spheres are embedded in the reflective layer of the fabric and they reflect any rays of light emitted by a light source. “Illuminated” like this, you won’t be overlooked in the dark.

Neonon also focuses on sustainability, local production and a transparent supply chain. No controversial chemicals such as perfluorinated and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFC) are used in the manufacture of the textiles. All materials are made of 100% recyclable polyester and can easily be returned to the technical cycle at the end of their product life.

Photo: Andrew Gook on Unsplash