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Reflective clothing turns safety into a fashion statement

February 5, 2020

3M’s patented reflective material has always helped people stay safe at night. Now it’s bringing new possibilities for style to the worlds of footwear, clothing and fashion.

Man and woman running under city lights wearing running gear illuminated by 3M Scotchlite Black Stretch Reflective.

It’s not often that “safe” and “cool” get used in the same sentence, but footwear and apparel designers left us no choice after releasing their latest creations with 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material. The most recent collaboration with sneaker giant Adidas features a fresh take on the iconic Nite Jogger sneaker.

3M and Adidas broke new ground in the 1970s when they released the first-ever reflective shoe for nighttime running. The classic kicks were laced with 3M Scotchlite™ Reflective Material to bounce light back at drivers.

The 2019 reincarnation introduces six new colorways to the mix, showcasing the ever-expanding design possibilities of the reflective technology.

Six versions of the 2019 Adidas Nite Jogger featuring 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material.

“It allows wearers to match reflective performance with their personal style,” said Ryan Gallagher, Global Market Development Manager at 3M.

While Adidas pushed boundaries in the sneaker game, 3M’s proprietary C790 Carbon Black Stretch Transfer Film has become a staple in athletic clothing. The dark color creates a sleek, fashionable look by day. But under bright lights–before dawn or after dusk–the material becomes a silver flash you can’t miss in the dark.

The high-stretch material makes it a perfect fit for the burgeoning athleisure trend sweeping the nation. But it’s also been used as a runway statement piece in the world of high fashion.

3M challenged 40 graduates from the Cégep Marie-Victorin school of fashion in Montreal, Canada to creatively integrate 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material into urban wear and present their creations on the runway.

Female model walking a fashion runway wearing garments made with 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material.

The results were showstopping, but perhaps only scratched the surface of this technology’s aesthetic value. It’s clear we’ve only just begun applying 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material to fashion-forward clothing that blends safety and stunning.

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