Kathryn McClemens, product manager for AUR apparel at the Fletcher Leisure Group, says the underrated aspect of the recent trend towards environmentally-friendly fabrics is the performance of products such as the AUR Aware collection.
“We’re launching a whole line of cotton bamboo polo shirts, along with some recycled polyesters as well, so it’s getting on that environmental bandwagon,” said McClemens. “The fabrics are so much nicer than they used to be. Everybody has this pre-notion that if you go organic, it’s going to be really tough and almost woody and doesn’t have that luxurious feel that we would want out of a golf polo,” she added.
“The fabrics are beautiful. They have a nice lustre to them, especially in the recycled polyesters. They really capture the colours,” she said, adding that natural materials have other benefits, as well. “Just from its natural attributes, the bamboo has moisture-wicking. It’s naturally absorbent. It’s anti-microbial. Also, the natural recycled polyester has the natural moisture-wicking properties.
“There’s the whole environmental side to it, but there are also key benefits, which is really important to us. We do want to have the performance aspects in the polos, as well.”
AUR has also gone beyond fabrics with the introduction of its Active Tech Collection, which focuses on innovation as well, according to McClemens.
“It’s a beautiful polyester — anti-microbial, moisture-wicking,” she said. “We had already captured that aspect of it in that category, so we wanted to improve that category and we were trying to figure out the best say to do that, so we looked at some innovative technologies in manufacturing and construction.
“What we came up with was laser-cutting the fabric and welding in mesh inserts to give you the ultimate superior moisture management system in your polo shirt,” said McClemens, adding that women will take an interest in the AUR Essence and Elemental Collections for ’09.
“They just exemplify the female golfer, taking all aspects from fashion and bringing it to the golfer’s level,” said McClemens. “There are a lot of brands out there that, unfortunately, are very strong in the fashion, but once you try and apply it to a golf shirt, they lose the perspective of the golfer, in my opinion.”
McClemens says the women’s line will appeal to all age groups, adding that a small, tightly collection of men’s and women’s outerwear is being introduced as part of the Aware collection.
For more information, see the websites, www.fletcherlg.com, or www.aurgolf.com.