Welcome to our Getting to Know the X-Pac® Team – a blog series where we interview and highlight the talented folks that develop and commercialize this extraordinary line of X-Pac® performance laminates by Dimension-Polyant, which can be found in leading backpack brands internationally.
First up is Taylor North, Head of Technical Fabrics, Dimension-Polyant USA. Taylor has created a dream role at the company by blending his background in engineering and performance sailcloth development with his passion for the outdoor, motorsports and boutique fashion industries. He realized that there was great opportunity to bring creative textile solutions with sailcloth-like technical fabrics to outdoor, action sports and lifestyle brands looking for innovative materials to help add a distinctive performance edge to their product lines.
Taylor has done a phenomenal job engineering and refining the properties for the best and most comprehensive X-Pac® product line ever. He has also orchestrated the supply chain, our cleenTEC® initiatives, and the many commercial aspects of what we all enjoy about X-Pac® today.
If you’ve not already had the opportunity to meet Taylor at a trade show, sailing regatta, or cruise along the Connecticut River/Long Island Sound, you can get to know him a bit in our Q & A below.
What is your role at Dimension-Polyant and how long have you’ve been with the company?
I have been at Dimension-Polyant for 5 years. I am the Head of Technical Fabrics here in the USA and oversee all non-sailcloth related products and accounts from the Dimension-Polyant Putnam office.
What are a few unique qualities/areas of expertise you bring to the company?
My background is in mechanical engineering, sailing and the marine industry. I know the technical aspects of sailcloth and can explain the benefits of these kinds of technical fabrics. Before Dimension Polyant, I worked in the cloth department and subsequently worked on the hardware development for the largest sailmaker in the world. Now, I enjoy creating solutions with sailcloth-like technical fabrics for all kinds of customers in various industries.
What drew you to Dimension-Polyant?
The opportunity to solve problems and find solutions for a diverse range of customers. I am fortunate to work with customers in mountaineering, boutique fashion, ski, racing teams (motorsport), photography, hunting industries – and yes – the yachting industry as well.
Will you please share a work experience that you are most proud of?
Creating game-changing products that have set our customers apart in different sporting industries. Being awarded multiple ISPO awards with co-developed brand-customer products.
What inspires you?
If a person, my wife, who is always striving for personal and professional development and trying new things. Also, athletes and companies that push the boundaries of what’s possible when it comes to innovation.
What are you excited about?
I’m excited about the sustainability initiatives Dimension-Polyant has taken. We are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to real, actionable sustainability goals and products. We have a lot of exciting new products to share with customers.
What is your favorite X-Pac® fabric?
I really like the X11 Organic Cotton fabric. It’s a classic cotton canvas face fabric with technical X-Pac® backing. It’s a super cool fabric that is also climate neutral, which absolutely adds to the allure of the X11 Cotton.
If you could make or have anything made with X-Pac®, what would it be?
A new rolling suitcase!
Will you please tell us about one of your most exciting sailing/boating adventures?
Breaking the record for the Marblehead to Halifax Ocean Race. We finished in Halifax harbor going very fast in the middle of the night. Due to my role as bowman, I happened to be aloft at the top of the mast (100ft up!) when we crossed the mark. It was all quite exciting…
What was the first concert you ever went to?
Trans-Siberian Orchestra! Ha!
Last book you read?
Thunderstruck by Erik Larson.
Did you have a streaming binge during COVID?
Yes -F1 Drive to Survive
Where is your happy place?
Out on the water with friends. Racing small boats against friends is just about the most fun that can be had!
What is your favorite pastime when not developing amazing X-Pac® materials?
Being out on the water either sailing or powerboating. I would go out every day if I could! Actually, during COVID when work was 100% remote, I worked from the boat often to get out of the house!
What place you are most looking forward to traveling to?
Getting back to the Caribbean, haven’t been in a decade!
Thanks for all of your time, Taylor!
We look forward to sharing more interviews with our X-Pac® Team, so please visit our blog for our latest updates!