August 28, 2018
keeping cool in the Rocky Mountains
play cool, stay cool
The heat is on. This past month has been one for the books. Whatever book you like, non-fiction or even romance, I hear those get really hot. Hot can mean many different things to many people. For us at ThermApparel it means it's time to help. It's our mission to help people realize Now They Can participate, get up and out. play cool. stay cool.
This past month was one all over the country for us. We were honored to have two opportunities to work directly on our mission. First, I was lucky to sit and talk about heat issues with the MS Navigators at the National MS Society in Denver, Colorado. I spent the afternoon with some truly great folks that spend their days helping others find answers to their needs and questions. It was great to meet such empathetic people working hard to solve problems for others. The world could us a few more of them and the conference room we were in had a spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains.
Second, the 43rd National Wheelchair Softball World Series in Kansas City. Talk about people living up to a mission. I was in awe. It was inspiring to watch these athletes. Look for more about this below.
now you can. amazing stories from customers.
now. you. can. Three simple words. Now You Can came about at through the power of stories. Soon after UnderCool arrived on the market we stared receiving incredible stories from our customers.
People were now able to do things that they couldn't do without their UnderCool. A common theme quickly emerged, these stories all started "Because of my UnderCool NOW I CAN" go to, graduation, the beach, ride a horse, drive around in a convertible and on and on.
These stories are why we get up in the morning, they are our inspiration that drives ThermApparel. Please tell us your now you can story.
How Temperature Effects Productivity
As someone whose world revolves around ways to combat heat, my ears perked up when I heard a story on the radio about heat and how temperature affects workers in garment factories in India. Rest assured that all the garments at ThermApparel are sewn right here in Rochester, NY USA. The basis of the story was that large box retailers are encouraging the Indian garment factories they hire to have a more "green" footprint, the factories agreed to start by changing out the lights to LED lighting in 26 of it's 50 factories.
Then a few researchers heard about the change in lighting and had the insight to realize they now had a test group and a control group. They set about the task of measuring the differences if the factories. No cliffhanger for those sensitive to heat, the differences were DRAMATIC. By the way Southeast Asia (Bangalore its Hot and Humid, like WOW its hot and there's no a/c)
Here's the numbers, for every degree above 85F production decreased by 3%...wow... workers reported a loss of concentration and in a garment factory that can lead to injuries and death. A 4 degree drop in temperature was achieved by switching to LED lights, the garment factory now uses 1/7th of the electricity and the workers report better concentration and more production goals meet.
photo by Lauren Fleischmann
So for those of us who were not surprised by this what does it mean? It means we all have heat sensitivity it's just an issue of what temperature affects us. 85F seems to be the "heat stress threshold" for most of us. Our bodies can no longer process the heat fast enough for our core temperature to maintain a stable, safe environment. When we quickly warm up on the inside it makes it very difficult to do anything.
Take a look around your environment. Are you having heat issues and not realizing it? How can you isolate the heat in your house and at work? More a/c may not be the best answer. We would love to hear your heat sensitivity issues and helpful advice and fixes.
NWSA World Series 2018
ThermApparel was in Kansas City, KS August 9-11 for the 43rd annual National Wheelchair Softball Association World Series. Twenty teams from all over the world met in Kansas City to compete for the world series title. The games were played out on hot concrete parking lots, next to the T-Bones Independent League Baseball stadium, and also (not quite close enough) within the shadows of Kansas Speedway.
All three of us got the chance to be there and had a wonderful time talking to the players, the coaches and their families. We had the opportunity to have members of the various teams try out our UnderCool Cooling Vest. We had an amazing amount of feedback, how it helped, what they loved and suggestions to improve it for wheelchair athletes. But talk about hot! Wow! It was in the upper 90's all weekend and standing on the parking lot watching the games it was easily above 100F. We could feel the heat from the concrete parking lot moving up our legs.
It was great to be there helping out the teams mitigate the sunny, hot, humid weather, but it was just as great to watch them play ball. It's amazing how much of our bodies we use to do something as simple as throwing a ball and watching these athletes do all this from a sitting position was incredible. Some of the outfield throws would of put Vladimir Guerrero to shame and watching them turn double plays was even more exciting than in the Major Leagues. Watching players brake one wheel to get some torgue and extra "oomph" on a throw to first was amazing.
We applaud the athletes and their families dedication to the sport, the games started at 8:30 a.m. and went all day into the evening. There were teams from all over the world, many sponsored by MLB affiliates as well as teams from Ghana and Japan! The final game was between The Nebraska Barons and the Minnesota Rollin Twins, (Big congratulations to Nebraska!) and right after the championship game some players quickly switched uniforms to put on the red, white and blue for the USA vs Japan game. And yes, an entire team came from Japan to compete.
Like with all sports it ended with a mix of smiles and disappointment: however, the families and athletes have created a community unlike we had seen before. Their ease and cander about who they are as athletes and people can't be denied. If you ever have the opportunity to attend a game go and share in their excitement.
he's wearing an UnderCool!
A big thank you to the teams that tried out our UnderCool Cooling Vest at the NWSA World Series. We loved all the amazing amount of feedback, how it helped, what they loved and suggestions to improve it for wheelchair athletes. You make us cool
check out UnderCool here
tips & tricks
Over the last year, we have gotten many a befuddled look when we say that our Cooling Packs freeze at room temperature. It is a confusing thing, since we all think of freezing as "ice cold". The best way I can think of to describe it is like a stick of butter. It's a solid stick when it's in your fridge, but when it's out on your table it gets softer and when you stick put it in a hot pan it melts. (Butter's actual melting point is between 90-95F)
We talk a lot about how the freezing temperature of our packs is good because it means that it is safe for direct contact with the skin and won't cause your blood vessels to constrict from being too cold. But we have found some other benefits to this as well that make our cooling packs great for other reasons!
Because of the higher freezing temperature you don't have to have a freezer readily available to recharge them, a fridge or cooler with ice water works just as well. A customer in Florida last year was able to recharge her cooling packs throughout the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, when she didn't have A/C or power because of a cooler. Read more here........
You can also recharge them fast, like really fast, like 20 minutes fast, all you need is ice water. Because water is a good conductor of energy, this is actually even faster than the fridge or freezer for our cooling packs, and this makes them even better for on the go activities or out at events where coolers are readily available. (BBQ's and Sporting events anyone?)
Watch this video to see just how fast our cooling packs recharge in ice water.
stay cool. be cool.
Kurtis + Brad + Julia
125 Tech Park Dr
#1100 Suite 2130
Rochester, NY 14623