Portrait of Lewis Wilson - GORE-TEX Roadshow

    Lewis Wilson


    Lewis is hosting the GORE-TEX Roadshow in the UK and runs 114.index, a platform and creative agency focusing on functional living and fashion. Check out his introduction to the GORE-TEX Roadshow UK on gore-tex.com.

    Follow Lewis on Instagram @114.index 

    A Conversation with Lewis
    How would you describe yourself?

    I’m not too good at describing myself really, but I’d say I’m someone who’s full of useless random knowledge and cares a lot about what I do, whatever it may be.

    Tell us a bit about your city’s climate. What are your three favourite spots - in the summer, in the winter (outside)? What is your favourite method of transportation and why? How do you prep for bad weather if you spend time outside?

    In Manchester, it’s usually grey and pretty often drizzly. My favourite spot in the summer would probably be the marina, with its bakery, wine bar, and pub sitting adjacent to a whole bunch of houseboats. It's an unusual sight in the middle of a city but has a constant sense of calm. There’s also a small park just up the canal from my apartment which is a nice green space to walk or run around; there’s really not much of that here.

    What are you wearing today? Why are you wearing it, and did you have a particular weather scenario in mind when choosing this piece? What do you love most about your GORE-TEX product?

    Today I’m wearing a Tilak MiG Raptor 1 alongside some Lowa Zephyr TF on foot. Both of these are understated, unbranded pieces which is a big attraction to me. They’re fairly hard to come by but as they’re both aimed at a military market, build quality and function are at the forefront arguably more so than a mainline consumer product. I don’t really have a specific scenario in mind for these when I chose them, but they both get worn extensively and in the colder months I continually look to them. I love that this jacket has nothing to shout about, it just does the job and then some.

    Where and when did you get this... Do you have any special memories connected to this item? If you could go anywhere, where would you like to take this piece?

    I bought this jacket almost 6 years ago now and it’s been on every cold weather trip, hike, or walk around town since. It’s done some miles this one. I remember my first dangerously cold munro I hiked in this jacket. Around -10C and knee-deep snow on the mountain, coupled with 20+mph winds but the shell blocked absolutely everything out. I think in the end I hit the summit with just a long sleeve base layer on underneath as all of the wind being blocked out allowed me to keep warm enough.

    Why do you think functional clothing has gotten more popular in recent years?

    Functional clothing has seen a rise in popularity gradually since about 2015 or 2016 I think. At least in the mainstream. As people shift their lifestyle towards more functional living, there becomes a need to support this activity or change with pieces or clothing or equipment that can perform a variety of tasks, multiuse is where people see value. It’s been well documented now that this has been exacerbated by the pandemic and lockdowns. But I think now more than ever, climate change has been thrust to the forefront of how we are living our lives. Seasonal shifts are throwing what once was Spring and Summer, Autumn and Winter way off and we’re experiencing 21C in mid-October - this means what people are wearing must be able to perform for more tasks and for a longer period of time than before.

    How do you define the term “comfort” in clothing, in particular technical apparel?

    It all depends on your perspective. Comfort to some people is cosy and nice feelings next to skin, comfort to others may be that you are not feeling uncomfortable, be it wet, wind-bitten etc. To me, it depends on how I’m feeling, more situational. Different technical apparel does different jobs, keeping me comfortable in different ways. Certain design elements can affect this like pit zippers to cool you down in a sweaty shell, or a drawcord waist in a fleece to seal out any drafts coming up your back.

    What are you looking for in the next six months and what challenges do you see that you’re excited about?

    I’m looking for fulfillment throughout the winter months in a way that keeps me busy and moving forward in work, but having a nice balance in life to enjoy the colder weather and keep active. I see the challenge of maintaining a level of happiness and staying spritely even though the nights draw in quickly and there is a lot of darkness. It’s easy to slip into seasonal depression but I hope that people can soon come to enjoy the beauty of winter and realize that there is a lot in the bare trees and icy mornings that can keep you feeling good.

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