Sport has become a greater part of our lifestyle than ever before. This impression is reinforced by the countless images and videos in social media networks such as Instagram, YouTube or Facebook: A selfie during a stretching exercise on a sunny morning in the park, a mirror image taken during a workout, or an action camera recording of a wild snowboard ride. It is difficult to say whether people are more active today than they were a few years ago, but exercise certainly is enjoyed differently and truly celebrated now.
Jogging, biking or walking has moved from the idea of „let me put on my running shirt and do a few laps“ to a total package, comprising, in addition to physical performance, the latest functional clothing in trending colors, accessories such as designer drink bottles or sports towels as well as electronic gadgets such as fitness bracelets, pulse monitors, or health apps. According to expert opinion, the so-called wearables market for body-related technology products alone is expected to experience double-digit growth in upcoming years. Gartner analyst Nick Jones projects that 35 percent of all people in developed markets will use wearables by 2020. For sports enthusiasts, enjoyment goes beyond the experience of losing a couple of pounds at the hips or the release of the happiness hormone endorphin, as the strong sense of belonging to a community is equally important.
Innovative plastic concepts
For lifestyle product manufacturers such as the Taiwanese company Sungo, the current trend is exciting and challenging at the same time. “It is no longer sufficient to offer functional design products,” says Ken Lu, General Manager at Sungo. “Products have to tell an emotional story to be successful in the marketplace. You have to create the so-called ‘big picture’ for every product.”
A lightweight, practical sports drink bottle in high-quality design with convenient features and an innovative material concept is the big picture of LUDAVI. The product’s simple, high-class appearance is a perfect fit for exercise and business environments alike. “Philosophically we want to create a drink bottle with a soul of love, which means the material needs to be not just healthful to people but also to the earth. In Asia for example, many people drink hot beverage, thus the material should be also good in boiling-hot condition, and quite chemically stable for all kinds of beverages”, says Lu. Sungo left nothing up to chance in the material selection and called on the experts from the High Performance Polymers Business Line of Evonik. The specialty chemical company from Germany is the perfect partner when it comes to mechanically stable plastics that are resistant to heat and chemicals as well as environmentally friendly.
Material designer for environmentally friendly solutions
“The combined properties of appearance and environmental aspects set our materials apart,” says Dr. Alexander Richter, head of the Consumer Goods market segment at Evonik. “Thanks to our many years of experience in the area of high-performance polymers, we are able to develop plastics with specific characteristics for our customers. We are, so to speak, architects of polymer design.” TROGAMID® Terra by Evonik was ultimately the material of choice for the new LUDAVI drink bottle.
The plastic is lightweight and abrasion-proof as well as resistant to heat and chemicals. That makes LUDAVI equally suitable to hold hot tea, carbonated sodas, and spritzers and helps the product withstand the mechanical stresses a drink bottle typically encounters in its life cycle. Evonik kept its focus on environmental properties from the start of the development: TROGAMID® Terra is a transparent microcrystalline polyamide made with more than 50 percent renewable raw materials such as palm kernel and coconut oil.
With its green lifestyle approach, Sungo has created optimal conditions for establishing LUDAVI as a popular product in sports departments, which combines all desirable properties of a drink bottle and appeals to health-conscious, environmentally aware, and fashion-minded shoppers alike.