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From Buckinghamshire to Shetland – putting the Eos Jacket to the test.

Karen Williams, our Product Director, tells us about her experience testing our new Eos Jacket in the wild and unpredictable weather of Britains most northern islands.

 

 

The journey to Shetland is an adventure by itself with wild seas, strong winds, and over 24 hours of travelling. I could probably fly to New Zealand quicker than getting back home to Unst, the most northerly inhabited island in the UK.

 

The weather in Shetland is unpredictable and highly changeable, making it ideal for product testing. You don’t need to wander far or high to find out if your outdoor gear works.

 

The journey to the island provides a great opportunity to test products. Being outside on the wet and windy ferry deck feels very exposed and is a good indication of how the jacket would handle being out in the hills. When faced with the elements you’re forced to focus on the little details. Drawcords that are too long that blow about in the wind, or small fiddly adjusters that you can’t use quickly with wet and cold hands will quickly become problems. It’s in these harsh conditions that you can really get a feel for what the products strengths and weaknesses are.

 

 

I’ve been lucky enough in my career and personal life to have travelled and experienced many adventures, landscapes, environments, and weather - but my home in Shetland is where I have tested some of our most important products.

 

Creating new products is mostly about the journey. It’s a process that can take about 24 months from concept to delivery. We come up with the idea, test the fabrics and trims, design the style, and test it again before it reaches our customers. It then can take a few more months to see the response and hear the feedback that we can take into next seasons new products.

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Lighthouse in Shetland

 

 

 

When we test our fabrics in the lab, we keep them under constant conditions, so when I’m trying out new product concepts, I like to keep that approach in mind.

 

There’s a walk I like to do that follows the coastline and passes by a freshwater loch. The terrain stays fairly flat so I maintain a consistent body temperature the whole time, allowing me to feel how the products work in different weather conditions. I also test the products on a route with more ascents and descents so I can assess how the products work when your body temperature increases and decreases.

 

Thanks to how far north the island is and how little light pollution there is, you can often see the Northern Lights in Unst. On this particular trip, the lights made a spectacular appearance, and I stayed out for hours watching them dance in the night sky. It was here that I really felt the protective warmth of the Eos Jacket come into its own.

 

On that night watching the northern lights, I didn’t once consider the cold, even though in reality, it must have been nearly freezing. We aim to make products that you can put on, go out, and have your adventures without even considering the weather.

 

Northern Lights

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