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11 months ago

Land Rover Magazine Issue 40

  • Text
  • Wade
  • Global
  • Programme
  • Podcast
  • Vista
  • Yoonie
  • Dwayne
  • Dubai
  • Defender
  • Rover
In this issue, new Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.

MATERIALS TECHNOLOGY

MATERIALS TECHNOLOGY NICK & STEVE TIDBALL FOUNDERS, VOLLEBAK W hile other companies think about creating clothing that can withstand the extreme conditions on Earth, London-based clothing innovator Vollebak is creating items built for the first missions to Mars. Vollebak is Flemish for ‘all out’ and that attitude is brought to life in every aspect of the company’s clothes. In the five years since it was founded it has produced a world-first jacket using the Nobel Prize-winning super-material graphene; created clothes designed to last a century; developed a T-shirt made with eucalyptus and plant algae that will break down into worm food once it’s discarded; made a Black Squid Jacket that mimics the animal’s adaptive camouflage; and designed a puffer jacket using the strongest fibre ever created. Each item is radical in its construction, using some of the most advanced materials on the planet, and available in small numbers at premium prices. Founded by twin brothers Nick and Steve Tidball, Vollebak has legions of fans impressed by its desire to discover and develop futuristic materials. “Making our clothes often requires new production methods and materials that have never been seen before,” explains Steve. The inspiration for Vollebak came from the brothers’ own history of pushing boundaries. “We have always been into extreme activities,” says Steve. “And when we turned 30 we started running ultra-marathons. We were lucky enough to visit some of the craziest places on the planet and meet some of the most adventurous, forward-looking people. But we both felt that the clothing they were using didn’t marry with their needs.” After years of working in advertising for the world’s leading sport and fashion brands, Nick and Steve felt that apparel companies should be far more radical when it came to the future. “We decided to become that company,” says Steve. “Unlike a typical brand which looks for a trend and offer products to suit, we convince ourselves that a version of the future exists to such a degree that we are compelled to go and invent that version of the future.” And how do they come up with something as left field as their jacket that becomes stronger the colder the weather gets? “We’re always trawling the world for interesting ideas,” says Steve. When they read about a rope used in the Arctic, typically on oil tankers and ice-breaking ships, that gets stronger the colder the conditions, they went looking for a supplier who was willing to make a fabric version for them. “When you combine that research with the fact that damaged clothing in extreme conditions could be lifethreatening, we’ve got the ingredients for our Indestructible Puffer jacket,” says Steve. With products selling out as soon as they’re made available, Vollebak is in an enviable position now, but how does Steve see clothing evolving in the future? “For the past 50,000 years, clothes have kept us warm, cool, dry and alive, but over the next few decades they’re going to do so much more, whether they enhance strength using exoskeletons, or become your doctor,” he explains. “Your body is constantly emitting signals. The question is, if your jacket knows you’re about to have a heart attack, what can it do with that data?” PHOTOGRAPHY: BEN QUINTON “WE WANT TO MAKE CLOTHES FROM THE FUTURE” 46

 

Land Rover Magazine

 

Land Rover Magazine showcases stories from around the world that celebrate inner strength and the drive to go Above and Beyond.

In this issue, New Defender is put through its paces by two inspirational young adventurers as they prepare for an expedition to the South Pole. We also celebrate 50 years of Range Rover by taking a journey of discovery to Dubai. As well as looking back, we look to future as a group of visionaries explain the technologies that could change the future for all of us.

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