Hungarian brand introduces world's 1st smart sailing apparel


Hungarian brand 878 Collective enters the international market for premium sailing apparel with products designed, developed, and manufactured in Hungary. The clothing items address unresolved issues of professional sailing and combine technological and material innovation to help increase the performance of both leisure sailors and professional athletes.

According to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal, the Budapest-based company's products are made of graphene, a material that is ultra-lightweight yet flexible, stretchy, perfectly waterproof, stronger than steel, which, as a main feature, provides about the same feeling of heat at both 5 and 20 degrees Celsius. The creators of the “super material” received a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2010. Moreover, the apparel can be perfectly made-to-measure/ tailor-made thanks to the 3D body scan, which can significantly contribute to the athletes’ performance.

878 used a unique approach already during its planning phase, as it involved the sailing community in the entire process, with which the most important needs of the athletes were mapped out, identifying the shortcomings and the areas in dire need of improvement. Each pocket, zipper, and even the packaging are uniquely designed.

István Papp

"878 was created with the mission to securely adhere to an innovative approach and to the application of intelligent solutions in order to develop products that can reach a 2% of the share of the global sailing apparel market," said István Papp, CEO of 878. "We believe that with our products, the world's first intelligent/smart sailing apparel entering on the market, we can offer sailors an innovative solution that can enhance their potential across a wide spectrum and also make leisure sports even more enjoyable and carefree."

Lilla Majer, the lead designer of 878, said about the product's appearance: "In addition to premium quality, we have implemented a timeless design, and our precision and perfectionism are reflected in every small element such as the custom 3D printed zipper or the iconic hood."

The digital innovation is reflected in two products: the so-called On-Board-Unit (OBU), also made by 878, which can be connected to the boat's navigation system, and the second one is a digital display built in the jacket, to which the OBU transmits preselected data via bluetooth. To set up the system, a mobile application needs to be downloaded that allows users to choose which data series they want to set for the digital display on their jackets. In addition, for team members performing different tasks, different data can be set up by the coach or team captain, so everyone has constant access to information most important to them.

Once the app is installed and configured, neither the app nor the mobile phone is needed anymore, as the display automatically connects to the OBU, which provides data. The 5.4” display implanted into the jacket has a wide viewing angle and, thanks to the UV-protected, glare-free surface, is clearly visible in strong sunlight. The clothes are made in Székesfehérvár, Hungary, in the company's own factory, equipped with Europe's most modern machines, where digital 3D design is also performed.

878 operates as a waste-free company thanks to its fully digitized and computer-controlled production capacities, using only chemical-free and environmentally friendly materials and minimizing water use.

According to the press release, part of the profits will be spent on water and ocean clean-up initiatives.

Zsombor Berecz

The official ambassador of the 878 brand is Zsombor Berecz, World and European champion Hungarian sailor, who wore premium sportswear made of innovative materials for the first time during a photo shoot in February. There, the athlete tested a number of unique features of the suit, including a waterproof pocket solution that allows the phone to be picked up through the suit and makes it possible to send messages.

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