Sustainably designed activewear

Apparel technology naming

Background & Challenge

Renowned activewear and recreational gear company The North Face developed a new line of insulated apparel featuring an innovative technology that’s warm (of course), lightweight, packable, durable, and circular—made with 100% recycled fabrics and able to be efficiently deconstructed and turned into new inputs at the end of its lifecycle, with minimal components that can’t be used again. The line is the next entry in the company’s Circular Design portfolio, designed to sustainably deliver the highest quality by sourcing better, creating durable products, minimizing waste, and championing material reuse. The company turned to Catchword to name the line and advise on naming strategy. (Shortly thereafter, TNF asked Catchword to name another product: Dream, the super-foam midsole that delivers enhanced propulsion and comfort in running and hiking footwear.)

Naming the Brand

The name for this apparel needed to communicate lightweight insulation without sounding light on quality, and it had to express end-to-end thinking without overused word parts like green and enviro. Circaloft is a natural coinage that is easy to say and spell and instantly understandable to a global audience. Circa evokes the lifecycle model and the company’s Circular Design commitment, while Loft communicates lightweight insulation, garments that float back into shape after compression, and aspiration toward a more sustainable future.

The North Face
The North Face
Naming Strategy
Product Naming

The North Face introduced Circaloft in September 2023, with positive reception by consumers and the press. Travel and Leisure named the women’s jacket the Best Sustainable Puffer Jacket of the year, “You’ll have to search high and low for a puffer that’s more lightweight than the Circaloft, which manages to keep all of the insulating warmth with none of the bulk.”

“What stands out to me about Catchword is the combination of serious strategic acumen and creative chops. They provide really smart, strategic branding guidance AND creative solutions consistent with their recommendations.”

Senior Global Marketing Manager | The North Face

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