July 12, 2016 I VERTEX LONDON
STAY SAFE IN STYLE
In 2014, 21,287 cyclists were injured in reported road accidents, including 3,514 who were killed or seriously injured. About 70% of cycling injuries occur at night when there is little natural light in the sky. However, the use of reflectors has reduced the rate of injuries by 50%. As the headlights of other vehicles fall on a reflector, the wearer becomes visible from roughly 500 feet away. Even the tiniest of safety reflectors have the power to make a person who's decked up in black from head to toe more visible than someone who's wearing all white clothing. If you study data related to bicycle crashes, you will know that poor visibility is the main culprit behind most accidents. By improving the visibility of cyclists, we can lessen the number of accidents by a significant amount.
At Vertex, we care about being stylish both on and off the bike, but safety is always at the top of our list. In years past, reflective gear was often limited to neon safety vests, while garments designed for security usually miss the mark aesthetically, making people reluctant to wear it. We wanted to take a different approach to traditional reflective products and explore the possibility of combining fashion and function, making hi-visibility products that could also be stylish and trendy. By introducing reflective products that have stylish elements, we aim to encourage people to wear more reflective products, which will hopefully improve safety. However, making those old, silver reflective elements stand out and look fresh is not an easy job.
The old, reflective material has its limits about elasticity and colour, which make it difficult to design complicated patterns. After a few tests, we decided to start from searching for the right material; something with more elasticity and more colours. We soon found ourselves lost. Those tiny glass beads embedded on the surface of the reflective material shine light back to its source, but it was also the reason the material lacked elasticity and why it can only be in silver.
Our R&D team spent several months trying to solve this fundamental problem until we found a revolutionary solution. A new reflective material with enormous elasticity and colorful application is coming out! With more elasticity, it can be applied to our favorite lycra fabric and technical socks without breaking or being uncomfortable for the rider. The multi-color application makes it possible for our designers to make sophisticated designs on the garments and take reflective fashions to a whole new level.