#3 Operation Toa - Deep In The Details

Welcome back warriors!

I have taken a tactical pause on reporting on OP TOA whilst we waited for the first set of prototypes to be made.

The good news is, they have been completed, our designer has conducted a detailed inspection, and has now sent them off to WA HQ for testing and evaluation.

From the photos I can already tell the gear is extremely high quality, but we will be ruthless in the testing and evaluation of each prototype.

I am impatiently awaiting their arrival, more on testing and evaluation of the initial prototypes later.

HIGH PERFORMANCE MATERIALS

For many years I have known not all gear is made equal, during my military career I have been issued wet weather jackets that leak and uniforms that are made from cotton...what's the number 1 rule when going into the outdoors?

Ahhhhh yes wet cotton! Nothing sucks the heat out of the human body like wet cotton! Just ask a soldier and they will tell you!

It is safe to say I know how bad it can get when you're in extreme environments with the wrong gear, it sucks.

For Operation Toa my focus has been high performance quality fabrics, because world class gear starts with world class materials.

They are the foundations, it doesn't matter how cool your gear looks if for example it's a wet weather jacket that leaks...again, been there and have seen people go down, it isn't pretty.

I instructed our designer that any materials we look at using, must have a strong reason as to why we picked it, we couldn't just pick a material because it will do.

One thing I found interesting that I think you will to, is that he warned against using all of the big material brands that no doubt many of you are aware of.

In his professional opinion, there are materials that perform extremely well without the inflated price (up to 3x the price).

What does that mean for you guys? High quality gear that doesn't require you to sell an organ on the black market! I know from speaking to many of you that this is a factor, I am listening!

*For those of you not aware of our designers background, pick a massive athletic brand and he has probably worked for them.

So what are we picking fabrics for? It is probably worth me telling you guys at this point exactly what we are developing.

Operation Toa is the design and development of a high performance capsule collection that creates a Warrior Athlete Clothing System consisting of:

1. High Performance Wet Weather Jacket.

2. High Performance Pants

3. High Performance Short Sleeve & Long Sleeve Base Layers

4. High Performance Hybrid Base Layer

Now you know what we are working on, feel free to put your favorite materials and design features in the comments below!

Let's get into the fabrics, features and capabilities.

One thing I am extremely passionate about as part of this project is unparalleled transparency. There is nothing we won't share.

After a lot of pulling, touching, wetting and researching of materials and their capabilities, our current fabrics, features and capabilities are as follows:

1. High Performance Wet Weather Jacket:

  • 184GSM
  • For the outer shell we are still choosing between nylon or polyester with a spandex blend for 4-way stretch capabilities (this collection is for those who are actively getting after it). We have two prototypes coming, one using nylon and the other using polyester, after testing we will commit to one.
  • DWR- Durable Water Repellent Coating
  • 20k / 20k Waterproof Breathable Membrane
  • 4-Way Stretch
  • Waterproof Zippers
  • Recco Search & Rescue Technology
  • Fully Adjustable Hood

2. High Performance Pants

  • 194 GSM
  • Nylon/Spandex
  • Double Weave
  • 4-Way Stretch
  • DWR- Durable Water Repellent Coating
  • Waterproof Zippers
  • Reinforced High Abrasion Areas
  • Thinking of hunters (a lot of our NZ community are hunting enthusiasts) who spend a lot of time sitting down glassing, we reinforced the backside to increase longevity and comfort.

3. High Performance Short Sleeve & Long Sleeve Base Layers

  • We are still choosing between a unique synthetic blend made of recycled plastic bottles and recycled oyster shells (this technology is said to function like merino) and a polyester/merino blend. After testing we will commit to one.
  • Quick Dry
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Thermoregulation
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Anti odor properties
  • UV Protection

4. High Performance Hybrid Base Layer

  • We are still choosing between a unique synthetic blend made of recycled plastic bottles and recycled oyster shells (this technology is said to function like merino) and a polyester/merino blend. After testing we will commit to one.
  • Quick Dry
  • Moisture Wicking
  • Thermoregulation
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Anti Odor Properties
  • UV Protection
  • Reinforcement material used to provide weather and abrasion protection to areas affected the most using a super lightweight 10K/20K waterproof breathable fabric.
  • Hood + Built In Face Mask

On top of everything mentioned above, I believe it is irresponsible to manufacture anything without thinking about and considering sustainability.

Our first protocol for sustainability is to make apparel that is long lasting, this is why we are choosing high quality materials, hardware, and trims.

We are also using manufacturing facilities that are reputable and used by the biggest brands in the world, both you and I can trust our gear will last a lifetime.

The next protocol is in the materials we select and how the factories that make them operate.

The most exciting fabric we have to test is made from a combination of recycled PET bottles and recycled oyster shells out of an oyster farm in Taiwan!

The process of combining them both and turning them into a single yarn creates unique high performance fabric that operates like wool! This means life long antibacterial properties (most treatments wash out), thermoregulation, quick drying, and moisture wicking properties. Pretty cool right?!

There is still a lot of testing and evaluation to go. After prototype one there are many more to come as we push to make truly unique high performance apparel for those who are out there getting after it in what ever active pursuit they choose.

I am looking forward to sharing this journey with you.

PURSUE EXCELLENCE

Fitzy

Founder & Director

P.S Leave your thoughts, feelings and opinions below!


1 comment


  • Brad Ward Able

    Hi Fitzy

    Love the challenge and direction you’re taking. I have a South African army, police and surf rescue background, so very interested in the gear you’re developing. I’m wondering about cross application of the hybrid base and waterproof outer shell to Surf Lifesaving here in NZ. The salt water aspects and demands for our search and rescue environments can be quite a challenge. I’ll be following Op Toa closely and would love to assist if you do branch out into this area. Once they’re ready, I intend buying a jacket and base layer and will provide SAR environment feedback for you if you think it will be of value.

    Cheers
    Brad


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