IT ALL STARTED FROM AN ICE HOCKEY INJURY BACK IN 2011...
It was the fall of 2011 when I read from the newspaper a story about an ice hockey player who was injured in the match. The ice skate blade of another player had slit his arm severely and caused the ending of his career. As an amateur hockey player I have witnessed similar kinds of accidents at the practices and in the games.
For me nothing is more important than the health of my loved ones – and mine as well. I started to wonder if there was something that could be done about the situation to prevent these accidents. And soon I started to plan underwear that would protect the ice hockey players from the blade cuts.
Things moved forward and I got help and support for my ideas from many specialists. In 2013 a member of the international clothing company heard from my idea and was willing to help. He promised that if the right material would be found they would make the prototype of the protective underwear. For a year we tried to find suitable material but the search was ineffectual. However, although the project seemed impossible, I did not lose my hope. Finally, I contacted a local fabric manufacturer and shared my idea with them. They were inspired about it and we started the collaboration in the beginning of 2015.
At first, we started generating ideas for what purposes the new material could be used. Multiple possibilities where found from the different fields of industry, sports and other emergency personnel to improve safety. In the fall of 2015 we decided to apply a grant from the center of economic development to develop this new blade protecting material. At the end of the year we were overjoyed to find out that we had convinced the board of decision makers with our idea and they wanted to support our efforts.
The beginning of 2016 was dedicated to the design process and we made eight prototypes of the protective material. The last two prototypes were so remarkable that I felt the same kind of excitement as when I learned to ride a bike as a little boy. We finally had accomplished something totally new!
This new material that protects from the blade cuts was named as Cutlon. We do not know how the story of Cutlon continues but the aim is to create a safer future.
– Toni Nieminen
Cutlon® / Slashter Ltd.