On was born in the Swiss Alps. It’s where we’ve sourced our inspiration since the very beginning. And because the landscape never stands still, every adventure here tells us something new.
This unpredictability is what makes this environment as challenging as it is inspiring. Conditions change constantly. Only the scenery is dramatic as the weather. Despite the unforgiving conditions, communities have lived and worked the land in the Alps for centuries. Long before turning to technology, they looked to nature to defy the elements.
Our innovation team was captivated by this use of natural materials to defy Mother Nature herself. There is something quintessentially Swiss about this combination of resourcefulness and respect for nature. At the same time, our home country has earned a reputation for high-quality fabric manufacturing and clean, minimalist design philosophies.
The team set out to create a piece that would tell these stories and celebrate the Swiss spirit behind them – to take Swissness from the Alps to the streets of cities all over the world. The Swiss Legacy Jacket is the result.
Simultaneously a tribute to the rich Alpine heritage of fabric production and design and a showcase of the latest Swiss engineering and material innovation, it is both timeless yet truly contemporary.
An individually numbered edition made only in a small production run, each piece is designed, sourced and crafted in Switzerland. Its natural materials perform even in challenging conditions thanks to the local knowledge and expertise that’s literally woven into every strand of its carefully selected fabric.
“With this piece we really set out to tell a story that celebrates our Swiss roots”. explains Lorena Dähler, the lead designer on the project. “When we looked into some of the more traditional garments used in Alpine communities, the traditional “pelerine” used by herders in the mountains captured our imaginations. It is like a rain cape or poncho and presents such an interesting shape to play with.”
With this oversized silhouette and set-in sleeves, the Swiss Legacy Jacket fuses Alpine-inspired nature-based fabrics into an unabashed urban design. It’s a juxtaposition that reflects the nature of modern Switzerland and is made for those who wish to make their own statement with a look that is backed up by function.
Swiss Made. World Leading.
With the Swiss Legacy Jacket, the task for our fabric specialists was to make conscious use of natural and locally crafted fabrics. At the same time, there could be no compromise on the technical performance that defines On Performance Apparel.
“In line with celebrating the Swiss inspiration of the piece we wanted to work with local producers. We wanted the weaving, dyeing, sewing and manufacturing all done within a few kilometers,” Lorena said.
"There are not as many producers as there perhaps once were, but there is a history of fabric production in Switzerland and the manufacturers that remain are known for Swiss quality.”
As it turned out, the team didn’t have to look far. A leader in fabric creation in design for 75 years, Stotz and Co. produce world-leading fabrics that are developed in Zurich, and woven and finished on Zurich’s doorstep. The body of the Swiss Legacy Jacket is crafted from their EtaProof material.
An evolution of material first developed for English fighter pilots; this densely woven cotton fabric delivers a unique combination of performance properties. It is not only comfortable, durable and breathable, but also insulating and water-repellent. But while England is part of the fabric’s history, this is very much a Swiss fabric story – as point Daniel Odermatt of Stotz and Co. points out:
“Etaproof is actually a Swiss performance fabric. It came about because our company Stotz Fabrics had been called in to assist Talbot Weaving, a British based company on the outskirts of Manchester famed for making performance cotton textiles. They were experiencing challenges manufacturing the fabric on outdated machinery, and I guess we were approached because we had a reputation for innovation and quality, a consequence of our investing in and operating the most advanced manufacturing technologies.”
And it isn’t only in manufacturing quality that Switzerland has been seen as a leader, but in environmentally conscious production too.
“Switzerland has an amazing track record in textile development. Weaving mills in the North Eastern Swiss mountain areas were deliberately sited to make use of hydraulic power, and entire villages were established to house literally thousands of workers.
“Our proximity to the Alps has naturally led to weaving mills experimenting with all sorts of yarn types in order to discover fabrics with different performance characteristics and our, very Swiss, obsession with protecting the natural environment has meant we produce textiles like Etaproof Organic to the highest environmental standards in the world.”
The world-leading performance of this special fabric is possible only thanks to the use of world-leading natural fabrics. EtaProof is produced using only the highest grade, long staple cotton. The breathable yet insulating properties of the fabric help balance temperature for comfort whatever the season, whether you’re in the Alps or the city.
“All Etaproof cotton fabrics are created from the world’s highest grade, extra-long-staple cotton fibres of over 36mm in length. The length is important because it gives us strength when the yarns are spun,” Daniel Odermatt explains.
“We select from only the very best of the world’s cotton crop and, from that, just 2% makes the grade we are looking for. Of this 2% only 0.04% of this is organic, probably making Etaproof organic cotton one of the rarest, and most environmentally friendly textiles on the planet.”