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Most upcycled gear trades substance for sustainability. A cut here, a patch there, and as long as it forms a garment, it’s functional.
Icelandic brand 66North does things differently.
The line’s “Kria” collection, launched earlier this year, is a novel take on the intersecting worlds of fashion and the outdoors. While Kria (translation: “cry,” like “bird cry”) consists of t-shirts, beanies, and other logowear, the centerpiece is an eco-conscious performance shell that’s turned heads over at Field Mag HQ.
Dubbed the Kria Neoshell Jacket, 66North’s patchwork raincoat is a design-driven rain slicker worth a look for more than its looks.
First and foremost, there’s the material.
As the name suggests, the Kria jacket is made from Neoshell, the air-permeable membrane fabric introduced by materials innovator Polartec. Unveiled in 2010, Neoshell is the OG of the electronically-spun membranes. Compared to their conventional ePTFE cousins (i.e. GORE-TEX), electronically-spun membrane fabrics are both more breathable and more stretchable, merging the versatility of a softshell with the protection of a hardshell. 66North has used NeoShell in its multi-sport Snaefell line for years.
How they use it here is what makes the Kria so interesting.
The Kria Neoshell jacket is made of off-cuts and leftovers from fabric used to make last season’s products. That retro colorblocking? A mosaic of made-new, reducing the need for new fabric and therefore lowering each jacket’s footprint (compared to making an identical unit from new orders).
66North is not the first brand to do this—The North Face and Patagonia boast robust upcycling programs. They are, however, perhaps the only outdoors brand to certify the performance of their remade garments. Every Kria Neoshell jacket is waterproof to 10,000mm—a meaningful benchmark for any shell, let alone one born of the cutting room floor.
Styling-wise, the Kria makes for quite a sharp cut. Based on the design of the original 1991 Kria jacket (think: Iceland’s own TNF Mountain Light), the Kria Neoshell merges anachronistic charm with a modern materials palette to make something borrowed feel largely new. Highlights include the snap-button front, embroidered logo hits, and gorpcore palettes.
In a nod to the changing nature of apparel more broadly, the Kria Neoshell is also unisex in sizing, making liberal use of drawstrings to customize fit. Guys and gals with color envy, rejoice!
Overall, the Kria is a stylish sustainable garment with real performance chops. It certainly isn’t cheap (sticker price: $600), but it—and 66North in general—are certainly worth a spot on your radar, even if you won’t find appropriate weather to wear it for another few months.