News & Announcements
As of this week, Toren’s initial products are in bulk production at our factory in China. To date, the fabric we developed with Toray has been manufactured in the colors we selected, and all of our trim components (zippers, elastic, velcro, etc) have been sourced. Our graphic design team has completed all of our logoing, which has been printed onto heat transfer labels and will seamlessly adhere to the finished product. The next step is actual assembly by the factory, which requires laser cutting of the fabric then construction, done by hand. The jackets are finished off with seam sealing and quality control. Once all of our pieces have been produced, they’ll be shipped to the states, where they’ll clear customs. One step closer to getting the Fundamental Shell into your hands!
Big day for us here at Toren. We’ve gotten Proto 3 back from the factory and are so excited to announce that we have finalized the prototype of our debut piece, the Fundamental Shell!
As you know, we’ve been working hard over the past months to finalize the Fundamental Shell, and we haven’t cut any corners. The final design is made with 3-layer fabric we developed with Toray, one of the world’s leading technical textile manufacturers. We’ve incorporated waterproof zippers for protection and vents for breathability, as well as our revolutionary hood design and internal polyurethane pocket, which you can use a touch-screen phone through. Now that the design is completed and all components have been sourced, we’re proud to report that we’ll be offering the Fundamental Shell for $195! This is the first shell of its kind on the market for less than $200, and we think that’s an unbelievable value for a top-of-the-line shell which our competitors would sell for double or more.
If you can’t already tell, we’re really psyched about the final design. We’ve put up a few teaser pics today, including the first pictures of the woman’s Fundamental Shell, but stay tuned for full product photography and our pre-order sale in the coming weeks.
This is a huge milestone for the Toren - we feel like proud parents. We know you’ll love the Fundamental Shell as much as we do and can’t wait to hear what you have to say about it!
Christmas and New Years are just around the corner and for many people, that means ski vacations. Over the years, we've had many friends and family ask us for advice on the best way to dress, especially for those super cold December and January days. Since so many people will be heading onto the slopes in the next few weeks, we thought we’d share a little advice, based on our personal experience over the years and our intimate knowledge of technical fabrics and technology.
There are tons of options, but no matter your preferences, it’s all about the layers. Regardless of whether there’s a frigid biting wind or you luck out with a balmy 30 degree bluebird day, layers allow for heat regulation and adaptation to quickly changing conditions. For winter pursuits, you’re looking at three basic layers: a base layer, a mid layer and an outer layer.
The base layer’s primary purpose is to keep moisture off your skin, so any non-cotton, wicking top you like (t-shirt or long sleeve, tight or loose) will get the job done.
The mid layer is designed for warmth and protection, so depending on the conditions of the day, we’d opt for a fleece, softshell or puffy. If you’re opting for an insulated hardshell as your outer layer, the puffy is baked into your outer layer, so you can choose between fleece, which provides warmth and breathability, or softshell, which provides wind and weather protection. If you are more of a non-insulated hard shell type, a puffy with synthetic insulation is a great choice - it’s thinner than down and provides warmth even when wet.
The outer layer is there to keep you dry, so the most important factor is choosing a fully waterproof garment that will provide maximum protection from the elements. If you’re prone to getting cold, an insulated shell is also a good option, allowing you to get four layers into our three layer system.
Then, the last key is not to feel (and look) like a linebacker with all your gear on! You still want to keep mobility for your active pursuits, which is why we prefer garments that fit closer to the body, and why Toren will feature a tailored athletic cut.
We've tweaked and perfected our layering system over many years, and we think it works great. If you've got another system you like, let us know in the comments below - we’re always happy to hear new ideas.
Safe travels and happy holidays to all - we’ll see you in the new year!
Now that the design of the Fundamental Shell is nearly complete, we’ve shifted our focus to a few last details -- branding and labels. We’ve been working hard designing these elements and are excited to share some of the finished graphics below.
The inside of the Fundamental Shell will have two labels, one for size and one for care and content. Rather than looking at these elements as purely informational, as most of our competitors do, we’ve approached them as unique design features. We’ve taken this opportunity to incorporate crisp, modern visual elements that enhance the look and feel of the garment and echo our spirit.
In addition to the two internal labels, the Fundamental Shell will feature our circular graphic logo on the left forearm and our name on the back of the collar, under the hood. We’re pretty pumped about the placement of our logos - it’s distinct but also discreet enough to not make you a walking billboard.
You’ll notice illustrations of topographical maps running throughout our design, both on the translucent pocket fabric and on the edges of our labels. This detail stems directly from our name, which means “craggy mountain range” in Gaelic (for more info about our name and logo, click here). Apart from our love for topo maps, we think these graphics are a sweet way to represent the mountains we love so much.
Let us know what you think of the results!
Toren is going overseas! But not in that plane...
Based on how the second prototype looked (if you missed it, read about it here), we’re getting very close to moving into full production on the Fundamental Shell, so it’s time for Ethan to head to China. Ethan is just now beginning preparations for his trip, where he’ll be visiting Toray’s facilities just outside of Shanghai, as well as the factory where our jackets are being constructed.
The primary purposes of Ethan’s visit are to meet the employees on the ground who will be building the garments, as well as observe the production line and working conditions. He’ll also be working with representatives of Toray and the factory to determine capacity and continue negotiations on final pricing.
The trip is scheduled for January 3-7 and we’ll be sure to report back on how everything goes!
We’ve gotten our second prototype back from the factory and are pumped with the results! While Proto 1 was proof-of-concept of our design, Proto 2 is much closer to the final iteration of the Fundamental Shell. There is still some work to be done - extending a zipper here, tweaking our logo placement there - but we’ve refined many of our features and details in this prototype. Proto 2 is made with the exact three-layer waterproof rip-stop fabric we developed with Toray, and despite the minor alterations we still need to make, we can tell the Fundamental Shell is going to hit just the right balance between lightweight but still durable. This prototype was made in a vibrant orange, and it looks great with the contrasting black trim.
We’re also excited to let you in on one of the details we had been keeping up our sleeve - the Fundamental Shell will feature a clear polyurethane inner chest pocket, which allows you to use your smartphone through the pocket! Not only is this a super awesome way to access your phone, but this innovation will go a long way in protecting your phone from getting wet or damaged in nasty weather conditions.
Check out the teaser pics of the second prototype below!
Development of the Fundamental Shell is nearing the final stages, but as you know, we’re already working on the next Toren pieces. There’s a whole universe of outerwear styles that we’re chomping at the bit to produce! Ethan recently met with Toren’s fabric suppliers, Toray, to discuss future plans for Toren and new fabric and insulation technology Toray is developing.
We’ll be introducing a number of new pieces in Fall 2014, including at least one insulated jacket, and we’re psyched about the exciting new synthetic and down insulations from Toray. For our first insulated piece, we’re leaning towards synthetic insulation, which performs under all conditions, unlike down, which loses its heating capabilities when wet. We were impressed with Toray’s new four-way stretch synthetic insulation, which is a brand new technology and provides the same warmth as Primaloft One insulation, Primaloft’s premier product.
In addition to an insulated jacket, Fall 2014 will bring the debut of Toren’s mid-weight pullovers, perfect for layering. Toray is creating new knit fabrics which feature four way stretch for comfort and durability, which we think is a perfect combination.
We hope you’re as excited as we are about what Toray is up to - their R&D will help bring new technologies to Toren and you at revolutionary new prices.
A few weeks ago, we showed you our first set of Spring 2014 color samples from the factory. Now that you’ve had a flavor for our colors, we hope you’re as excited as we are for the final color line! We’re sticking with the indigo and red/orange we showed you previously, but we’ve replaced the medium blue color with the fresh turquoise pictured above, perfect for those bright spring days. Our dark blue color will be offered for both men and women, and we think it’ll be the perfect neutral piece. We’ll also offer the vibrant red/orange for men and the cool turquoise for women.
The colors are truly beautiful in person. After the first run of the Fundamental Shell in Spring 2014, we’re going to expand the line and continue to add new colors each season. We hope you like the line as much as we do -- you helped shape what it looks like today!
Our color samples are back! After we integrated your feedback to the color palette we posted a couple of weeks ago, we sent our colors to the factory in China to create textile samples. These samples, called lab dips, are created using the specific fabric we developed with Toray. The lap dips are really exciting because it’s the first time we get to see what our color choices look like on our actual fabric.
We think they look great - even better in person than on a computer screen. The dark blue is inky and rich, but neutral enough to fit into every wardrobe. Our red-orange is a vibrant pop of color, perfect for those of us who like bright pieces in our lineup. The light blue came back darker than expected, and while it's a beautiful blue, we’re leaning towards a fresh, brighter green-blue to round out the collection, perfect for spring.
What do you think of our color samples??
Everyone wants to look good. And without completely indulging our collective vanity, we think that’s pretty reasonable. While there are a handful of technical products out there now that have a flattering fit, we think they are few and far between. On principle, we don’t think you should have to hunt through stores for a jacket that makes you look and feel great - that should be baseline.
Fit has been and will continue to be one of our most frequent topics of conversation here at Toren. It was one of the principal reasons we started Toren and it's something we've spent a lot of time figuring out. Our products are designed to fit with a slim athletic cut, tailored to highlight the best parts of your body, unlike many of the boxy cuts on the market now. We think you’re going to love how you look in our products, and you’ll be pumped to put them on.
With that said, we recognize that our fit will be different than many of the brands out there and you won’t be able to try our products on in a store, so you might be a little nervous about how to choose the size that’s perfect for you. To make sure you get it right, we’ll be offering free shipping on all purchases of $95 or more and we’ll give you the option of receiving two sizes, so you can try on both and see what works best. As long as you send the size you don’t want back to us within seven days via the pre-paid return shipping label we’ll include in your package, the home try-on will be completely free to you. To make it even easier, we plan on integrating technology into our website that compares our sizing to the sizing of brands you’re already familiar with. Most importantly, we’ll be available online to chat or skype and via email or telephone to discuss the products and fit. And if you happen to find yourself in New York City, come on down to the studio to try on our products in person!