Toray, Patagonia Reunite on 3-Layer Outerwear

Patagonia’s revamped Torrentshell 3L line of waterproof/breathable jackets, set to debuts at retail in Spring 2020, represents the resumption of its long-standing partnership between Toray.

Throughout the 1990s, Patagonia was one of the largest volume customers for Toray’s waterproof/breathable Entrant technology, marketed and sold by Patagonia under their H2No Performance Standard. According to the companies, market demand for lighter-weight, 2.5-layer fabrics led to a decline in the Entrant/Patagonia business in the early 2000s, although Toray continued to supply fabric for i products such as Patagonia’s Nano-Air, establishing “Active Insulation” as a product category in the industry.

The 2020 Torrentshell 3L line has returned to its more comfortable and durable 3-layer roots, with a new hydrophobic membrane, custom-designed for Patagonia by Toray to be more durably long-lasting than most rainwear membranes on the market. The new fabric has 100% recycled face fabric – derived from both post-industrial and post-consumer sources – and according to Patagonia’s own testing, is more durably waterproof than its predecessor. In keeping with another Patagonia priority, the new Torrentshell line is Fair Trade Certified sewn.

“Never Gets Old” is Patagonia’s tag line for the new generation of Torrentshell, which addresses the sustainability issue on two fronts: by using 100% recycled face fabrics and by a design commitment from both Toray and Patagonia to build durable rainwear that can last customers a lifetime or longer.

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“Toray takes a great deal of pride in our ability to develop custom fabrics to meet our customer’s needs,” said Kentaro Hara, Toray International America’s executive vice president and GM of the fiber and textile division. “Unlike many textile companies, we manufacture and test our fabrics in our own global network of factories. This enables us to make improvements and modifications more quickly. Toray’s goal is always to be a partner instead of just a vendor.”

“Toray and Patagonia have worked together on many successful projects over the years,” said Kristo Torgersen, Patagonia’s global product director, “and the new Torrentshell 3L program is another benchmark of how aligning our partnership and focus on innovations that reduce our environmental footprint while improving performance can grow our brands and businesses together.”

The new Torrentshell 3L is the first of several expected Patagonia product initiatives to be designed and built with custom Toray fabrics.