C3fit technology, developed by Goldwin Inc. as its original high-performance base layer, made its debut in 2009. Compression wear was taking the sports scene by storm at that time, and sports apparel manufacturers were vying to develop their original compression wear. Individual brands under the umbrella of Goldwin Inc. also went about developing compression wear specifically for their field such as outdoor, tennis, and basketball. But at the end of the day, whatever the sport, the athletes all shared the same human body structure. Thus the company decided to establish new technologies and develop a base layer collection that caters to all sports.
The team led by Soichi Hirayama, a Product Development Manager, set its sights on functions that enhance the athlete’s performance regardless of the sport.
“Every other brand already had its own compression underwear on the market when Goldwin entered into the field. Therefore, our aim was to deliver better products than anyone else. To this end, we spent two years developing proprietary technologies and functions. We even extended the same dedication to manufacturing. To realize the functions we envisioned, the core products of the series are made in Japan from the yarn up. The signature Inspiration Long Tights and Inspiration Calf Sleeves, for instance, are handled by several factories—knitting in Toyama Prefecture, dyeing in Gunma Prefecture, and sewing in Nagasaki Prefecture. I monitored the prototypes myself through tests in road running, trail running, and trekking. After a good deal of testing and modification, we arrived at the finished product at last.”
Numerous unique technologies and functions of C3fit are incorporated in the Inspiration Long Tights and Inspiration Calf Sleeves. A standout is the graduated compression engineered using custom-made Japanese leg molds. The 3D pattern based on human factors and ergonomics realizes a natural fit on the body, and fabric elasticity and patternmaking enable the garment to closely follow the body’s motion. The nylon fabric continues to feel comfortable against the skin even after hours of wear, and to reduce rubbing, the edges and seams are finished with Goldwin Inc.’s patented smart seam technology.
In order to properly communicate the benefits of the finished product such as improved circulation and reduced swelling, the core Inspiration Long Tights and Inspiration Calf Sleeves are filed under “elastic stockings” as a general medical device (Class I). General medical device is defined as an item for which the structure, efficacy, and performance are clearly shown; that is either intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of disease, or intended to affect the bodily structure or functions; and that is specified by Cabinet Order. Filing meant that special rules would be imposed in manufacturing, management, and distribution. But the hurdle was worth overcoming and an essential step in “properly making products, and promoting their benefits appropriately.”
Hirayama paid numerous visits to the production sites, which inspired everyone at manufacturing to unite and grow the brand together. It made him happy that his efforts paid off—engaging in close communication with the factories, and both demonstrating and requiring uncompromising craftsmanship.
“As I kept repeating the brand concept, my passion for Goldwin and C3fit technology seemed to rub off. The artisans became our allies. I had nurtured a reliable team.”
The Inspiration Long Tights and Inspiration Calf Sleeves became essential items for trail runners, rugby players, and other top athletes who compete in global tournaments, and went on to win a solid spot in the high-performance base layer market. Today, Goldwin offers not only performance wear but also conditioning wear that could be worn during a sleep and rest. With this C3fit technology, Goldwin now covers everything from improving performance to expediting recovery and has grown into a comprehensive brand that supports athletes around the clock.
This does not mean that Goldwin has stopped evolving. Its research and development are under way continuously using advanced technologies at Goldwin Tech Lab, Goldwin Inc.’s development hub in Toyama Prefecture.
“One idea in the making is sportswear equipped with a heart rate measuring function, which we would develop in collaboration with the health tech field. Another is sportswear that prevents heatstroke, through which we would help resolve a social issue. Of course, we still have plenty of room for growth in the area of enhancing performance as well. We hope to continue our pursuit of craftsmanship, keeping sight of our roots and always aiming for greater heights.”