News

Merino gets sporty

10 February 2012

Australian wool continues to kick goals in the sports apparel market, with more Merino products recorded at this year’s ISPO trade show in Munich, Germany, than ever showcased before.

Teaming up with ISPO trade show organisers, The Woolmark Company co-arranged Wool Street – an indoor boulevard flanked with trade stands from major sports apparel brands
Teaming up with ISPO trade show organisers, The Woolmark Company co-arranged Wool Street – an indoor boulevard flanked with trade stands from major sports apparel brands.

The Woolmark Company continues to collaborate with leading manufacturers and brands in this expanding market to promote the many natural benefits of wool.

Building on the already comprehensive MerinoPerformTM range, The Woolmark Company this year  promoted the ‘three-layering system’ – a way of dressing endorsed by the sporting industry – which gives the wearer opportunity to adjust their clothing to the environment as well as to the level of activity.

Sports and Outdoor Category Manager for The Woolmark Company, Lars Ulvesund, said with more Merino wool on display than ever before it was a clear sign the properties and benefits of Merino as a technical fibre was gaining a greater recognition in this important market.

“There has been extremely positive feedback received from several leading sports brands after showcasing both mid and outer layer outdoor apparel,” Mr Ulvesund said.

“We saw the launching of many new products, such as American brand Smartwool launching a jacket padded with Australian wool instead of what was commonly padded with a traditional down filling. Another example is American company Global Merino that launched 100 per cent Merino fabrics for outdoor hiking pants. Even brands which usually produce synthetic-based apparel, such as Craft and Haglofs, have adopted Merino wool into their garment collections.”

Leading European brand in apparel for cross country, alpine, running and bike wear, Craft, launched a new Merino wool seamless base layer range at ISPO.

“Being a supplier to numerous national teams and professional users we cannot settle with anything less than the best of the best,” Craft Sports Marketing Manager Daniel Larsson said. “This range is a perfect complement to our collection and we are now offering a complete range of base layers for all weather conditions and activity levels.”

And while high-quality shopping is usually associated with the likes of Savile Row, the Champs-Elysees and Oxford Street, for the second year running ‘Wool Street’ was the place to be at ISPO.

Teaming up with the trade show’s organisers, The Woolmark Company co-arranged this indoor boulevard flanked with trade stands from major sports apparel brands.

The Woolmark Company also arranged for the inaugural ‘Wool Lounge’ to be set up at the stand of leading European outdoor brand Ortovox.

This wool education area showcased the production pipeline from sheep to shop as well as the benefits of Australian Merino wool.

“We work with the best and most professional retailers and we develop highly technical and advanced products,” Ortovox Head of Communication Hendrik Reschke said.

“For us it is very important to make sure our retail partners have a good knowledge of our products and materials used. Merino wool is a very advanced fibre and we are keen to pass on the information on its properties and benefits to our customers.”

Close to 80,000 visiting industry professionals from more than 100 countries visited ISPO this year to view the latest trends in the outdoor market. A key highlight of the event was a seminar on the comeback of natural fibres, with the focus being on Merino wool.