How Steve Lesnard and The North Face Made the FUTURELIGHT Series Environmentally Friendly

How Steve Lesnard and The North Face Made the FUTURELIGHT Series Environmentally Friendly

If you don’t think that your choice in apparel will have an impact on the way you interact with the outdoors, think again. Imagine a scenario where you’re going for a drizzle-dampened run in your trusty rain jacket. How would it affect your performance, range of motion, and enjoyment of the activity?  

Steve Lesnard, newly appointed VP of Global Product & Marketing at The North Face, has taken notice of these pain points and presented a solution – a breathable, waterproof, innovative product that changes the way the wearer experiences the outdoors. This product is called FUTURELIGHT, an environmentally friendly outdoor fabric that has created a ripple effect that may very well change the outdoor apparel industry forever. 

Pushing Human Endurance Through Quality Apparel 

The North Face was founded in 1966 to provide outdoor athletes with field-tested gear that could handle the rough and tumble nature of outdoor adventure. From the beginning, The North Face has dedicated itself to serving individuals who not only love the outdoors but also strive to preserve it. The company believes in the power of exploration and its ability to create a bond with nature. The hope is that this bond will encourage others to pass down their love for the outdoors to future generations. 

Over the decades, The North Face has become the world’s leading outdoor apparel brand, continually pushing the limits of its products through rigorous testing. Many athletes and outdoorsmen turn to The North Face as their go-to brand to help them reach higher levels of human potential.

Disrupting the Market With FUTURELIGHT 

The North Face has a long history of causing market disruptions with its innovative products. The company continually looks to the future, designing apparel that serves today’s needs just as much as it meets the needs of tomorrow. Performance has always been at the core of the company’s focus. However, designing apparel that merely compliments physical ability is viewed as somewhat of an outdated notion. FUTURELIGHT looks beyond just the physical aspects of interacting with mother nature. 

Exploration in today’s world has evolved, spanning anywhere from climbing Mount Everest to discovering a new city. In today’s world, adventure is more than just a journey; it’s a mindset that motivates people to take the plunge and make new discoveries. FUTURELIGHT embodies the spirit of adventure and innovation in a way that protects the environment for future generations to enjoy, which it accomplishes through its unique design. 

How Does FUTURELIGHT Protect the Environment? 

FUTURELIGHT is a three-layer garment that’s manufactured with recycled layers. While the reliance on recycled material is an excellent move toward preserving the environment, The North Face takes its environmentalism a step further by doing away with production practices that require chemical consumption. Instead, FUTURELIGHT is manufactured in factories powered by solar energy. 

The result is an advanced material that’s breathable, waterproof, and made with nanospinning technology that has a minimal impact on the environment. These innovations enable The North Face to make its fabric air permeable for the first time in its history. Through the innovation of nanospinning technology, it’s possible to make apparel and equipment highly absorbent and waterproof at the same time. The design naturally allows for increased air flow, which enables the material to vent more easily. Nanospinning gives designers greater customization options, which allows for adjustments that improve the material in terms of breathability, stretch, weight, construction (knit or woven), durability, and texture. 

This level of customization has never before been seen in outdoor apparel, allowing for greater possibilities when engaging in outdoor activities. For example, the combination of durability, absorbency, and waterproofing could add greater protection against harsh, wet climates. 

Consumer-Driven Innovation 

Steve Lesnard has a lengthy track record of working with iconic athletic brands. Relying on years of experience, Steve Lesnard took a multi-level approach when helping The North Face develop its next significant innovation. Many companies turn to numbers, charts, and metrics when determining the next product that they should bring to market. 

Steve Lesnard decided to cut out the math and go directly to the heart of the matter by asking consumers what they wanted. Lesnard recognized superstar athletes – the company’s power users – as The North Face’s greatest asset. As such, he asked many of these individuals for feedback on what they wanted from outdoor apparel. The feedback was clear; the athletes wanted a product that would change the way users interacted with the environment. Through this feedback, FUTURELIGHT began its multi-year development journey. 

While the feedback from The North Face’s power users was invaluable, the company still had to cater to the needs of its “regular” customers – outdoorsmen, athletes, adventurers, and weekend warriors. By collecting additional feedback, Steve Lesnard and The North Face confirmed that what their customers wanted was a product that provided an all-new experience to enhance their ability to interact with nature, no matter the climate.  

While providing a new experience was crucial, The North Face understood that delivering an environmentally friendly product would be just as important to its customer base. This realization led the company down the path of using recycled fabrics that were manufactured in solar-powered factories. The effect was immediate. The company delivered a product that met the needs and wants of the consumer, while leaving a minimal impact on the environment. 

About Steve Lesnard 

Newly appointed Vice President Global Product & Marketing at The North Face , Steve Lesnard has set the company on an upward trajectory since the day of his arrival. Steve Lesnard comes with ample experience, having served as general manager and global vice president of one of the largest athletic brands in the world. He regularly launched marketing campaigns that positioned the $5.3 billion business as a leading brand in front of millions of people. During his tenure, Steve grew the company to its current dominant position as a global leader in the sporting industry. He was also responsible for running two Olympic marketing campaigns and running the European marketing organization. 

Steve Lesnard’s passions go far beyond global marketing. His love of sports and the outdoors has led him to provide consulting services to numerous brands across various industries including tech, fashion, and athletics. It was only natural that Lesnard eventually found his way to The North Face. 

You can learn more about Steve Lesnard on his podcast, where he shares his insights on branding campaigns and global marketing. Lesnard happily lives in Denver with his wife and three children. 

Environmentally Friendly Innovation  

Steve Lesnard and The North Face are continually pushing innovation to the edge to bridge the gap between humanity and nature. That said, we can only continue innovating, exploring, and adventuring if we take measures to preserve the environment. With FUTURELIGHT apparel available for purchase, we can only hope that the businesses and industries of the world take notice of Steve Lesnard and The North Face’s efforts to preserve the planet and follow suit.  

Jason Lee is a blogger dedicated to the topic of sustainability. He provides guidance to entrepreneurs, innovators, and businesses on utilizing technology to advance sustainability, boost economic prosperity, and enhance human well-being. He features eco-friendly startups and offers advice for sustainable living with the goal of promoting positive change through technology.