Press information

14-Jan-2013 | 2098-EN

Pure passion for sport  -

ODLO International AG has nearly all its products certified according to OEKO-TEX® Standard 100

As a leading manufacturer of all types of functional sportswear, the Swiss company ODLO International AG has for many years been synonymous with high-quality clothing and accessories which are optimally attuned to their respective sports activities. The company is the European market leader in the functional sports underwear segment. With its outdoor, running, bike, x-country, tec-shirts and kids collections, ODLO has repeatedly and successfully set the trends. From the very outset in addition to innovative functionality and high wearing comfort, the product development of the technology leader has always viewed the best possible skin-friendly properties of the textiles as extremely important. Nearly all ODLO products have complied with the human/ecology requirements of the OEKO-TEX®® Standard 100 since 1993.

Optimum body climate - optimum performance
For over 60 years ODLO has consistently focused on the bodies of sportsmen and women and has conducted large amounts of pioneering work on optimally designed functional clothing. The company's benchmark in the development of its sportswear is the feeling of well-being and comfort of the wearer at skin level. The result of this approach is the three-layering principle developed by ODLO and which is used today in all types of functional textiles for sport and outdoor use. “Sportswear has to be just right from the skin outwards” explains company spokeswoman Sabine Klapper, “and that is why we develop our clothing from the inside to the outside”. ODLO offers layer upon layer of specific functionality. The first and lowest layer regulates the moisture content, the second optimises the body climate and the third protects against weather influences of wind, rain and snow." All ODLO collections are based on this three-layering principle in order to create an optimum body temperature.

Collections with a system
ODLO's' most important product segment is sports and functional underwear. The company has also specialised in a comprehensive all-year range for the outdoor, running, bike and cross-country skiing sectors with products for both women and men. The company rounds off its product offerings with a special product range for children and an accessories range to match the skin collections. All the collections and products are based on three concepts: The ODLO three-layering principle, the “Zoned Function”, i.e. the use of functional materials where the athletes need them and the “Free-move” cutting technology for unlimited freedom of movement. According to Sabine Klapper the needs of the athletes are always centre-stage: “Our products ensure that the sportsmen and women can concentrate fully on their sports performance.” We are there to support all those active people who are inspired to move around in nature with our high-quality collections which have been fine-tuned for their functionality and wearing comfort." In its new product and technology development ODLO only uses synthetic fibres which have functional properties that are outstandingly well-suited for regulating moisture and heat and which at the same time are pleasant and comfortable to wear. Through the combination of innovative fibres and material developments - for example, the “effect by ODLO” in which an anti-odour effect is achieved through the use of silver ions in the fibre - as well as through its state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies, such as the “cubic” method, a special knitted design with a cubic structure for an improved climate regulation, the company reinforces its high standards and aspirations for modern functional clothing. Sabine Klapper goes even further: “Our uncompromising quality standard is 100% function, 100% performance and 100% comfort. But multi-functional use alone is not a guarantor of promised success. This is why we also make create collections with attractive designs, fresh styles and sophisticated colour highlights.”

Safe and sustainable products
In the sportswear and functional underwear segments, ODLO has market shares of between 30% and 50% depending on the country. According to Sabine Klapper this is because the company concentrates on customer needs: “As the inventor of functional underwear we know how crucial an optimum body climate is during sport. Therefore we have developed appropriate sports underwear for each temperature and activity.” With the four heat qualities of cool, light, warm and x-warm, the ODLO functional underwear collections cover the entire temperature and activity spectrum. Depending on the requirement, the focus of the functional properties is on breathability, moisture transportation or heat insulation. In addition, all items in the underwear collections and the tec-Shirts in the ODLO mid-layer sector comply with the human/ecology requirements of the OEKO-TEX® Standard 100 and signal to consumers through the “Confidence in textiles” label that the textile products are harmless to health in relation to possible pollution through harmful substances.

The company has also implemented the concept of sustainability into its work processes and decisions. Sabine Klapper explains: “Sustainability is also becoming more important in the sports sector. The consumer expects high-quality products yet also wants to be confident that these have been produced in an ecological and socially-responsible way.” ODLO has for many years placed particular emphasis on acting with ecological and social responsibility. For instance over 10 years ago producers were required to sign a code of conduct which even at that time contained the very important points such as a ban on child labour and a ban on unpaid and excessive overtime. In 2009 all ODLO suppliers signed the Fair Wear Foundation Code of Conduct. ODLO works with fewer than 20 producers and on a long-term and partnership basis. Furthermore in 2011 the company produced about 75% of the 6.6 million parts primarily in its own production facilities and mainly in Europe (Portugal and Romania). Sabine Klapper: “This situation enables ODLO to have a direct influence on the production conditions and it also makes transport routes shorter and easier to control. In addition ODLO produces quality products with a long lifespan, not ”throw-away products." The latest product innovation is a sportswear range called “evolution greentec” which is designated as a raw material through the use of pure polyester spinning waste and at the same time is 100% dedicated to function. Through the use of these recycled polyester fibres 29% less water is used in the production of greentec; the CO2 emissions equivalent of polyester is significantly lower than it is for cotton and wool.”

Norwegian roots - Swiss homeland
In 1946 sports-enthusiast Odd Roar Lofterød senior founded the ODLO company in Norway and started producing women's underwear. Additionally the company's founder developed special training tights made of Helanca fibre for his son Odd Roar junior who was a member of the youth speed skating team in order to protect him from the cold. In 1963 Odd Roar introduced the further development of this prototype to the market in the form of the first elasticised and functional outfit for cross-country skiers and speed-skaters made of the revolutionary, synthetic Helanca fibre. In 1973 ODLO TERMIC, the first fully-synthetic sports underwear, was launched on the market. In 1979 Odd Roar junior, the son of the founder, took over the running of ODLO. In 1987, together with Swiss partners, Lofterød founded ODLO International AG in Hünenberg near Zug in Switzerland as the new headquarters of the ODLO brand. In the same year, the ODLO launched the revolutionary ATHLETIC CLOTHING SYSTEM based on the three-layer principle for the first time. Today the company has a global presence in 20 countries and has subsidiaries in Switzerland, Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Austria and Norway.

ODLO International AG
Bösch 47
6331 Hünenberg

Phone: +41 (0)41 785 70 70
Fax: +41 (0)41 785 70 77

Back to overview