How we create our sportswear

Iron Roots factory close up

We would like to give you more insights into the process behind creating products as a startup, and so we have written this blog for you. If we were to include all the details and problems we run into, we’d be writing five books, so this is meant to be more of a broad overview and an introduction for future blogs.

1. Materials

We always start with the material. Nature offers a wide variety of resources that, when applied correctly, can enhance your workout experience tremendously. All of the materials we work with have their own natural properties, which means that they all have their place in different products. Hemp, for example, keeps your body temperature up, which makes it great for hoodies, but not for sports t-shirts (believe us, we’ve tried it and it doesn’t work). Wood fibers generally keep your body temperature down, so they are more suited for t-shirts or shorts.

While the materials all have their own unique properties, what they have in common is that they are plant-based. This also means that we are currently limited by not using elastane/lycra (which is plastic), so we can’t make leggings or sports tights at this stage. 

Variety of natural materials

2. Drawing/Designing

After we know what the materials can be applied to, we look for inspiration around us. This can come from a walk in nature, vintage products we find at a thrift store or past drawings we’ve made. We now have an idea of what we can make with the material and we start creating the drawings. Usually, this happens by making digital technical drawings like the ones below.

Sometimes we have already thought of creating a product in the past, but we weren’t able to find a suitable material yet for it. Then a suitable material comes along, and all of a sudden we are able to create a new construction of fabric and the product we had in mind fits right in.

Iron Roots designing phase

3. Sampling and Testing

After we draw the products, we jump on a call with our factory and discuss the possibilities for production. All of the products that we make are completely custom, which means that we first try multiple fabric variations before we even sample the products themselves. 

In that sampling phase, we always work with athletes, in order to test out the fit, material feel, and performance. As pioneering can be quite a challenge, we always need this input in order to tweak the products where needed. Besides athletes, we also apply strength and abrasion tests to the materials, in order to create the best outcome possible. More than not we run into a few walls during this process, after which we have to go back to the drawing table again and again until we have something that we are willing to show to you.

Iron Roots production steps

4. Launching the product

After all those steps, it is time to show the products to the world. We always hope that products are perfect, but as we are pioneering, with each product launched, iterations will always occur. The fit might change, materials perfected or we implement a new fabric.

We're always looking to improve wherever we can and we have a deep understanding that this process is never finished. This mindset of always striving to make better things is also part of our sustainability philosophy. We see this as a continuous process of incremental improvements, rather than a set checklist, and this might even be part of life itself ;).

Iron Roots finished product

If you want to know more about our production process or anything else about the brand; feel free to let us know below, or send us a message!

1 comment

  • Remco

    Leuk artikel, beetje kort. Zeker geïnteresseerd in het productieproces

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