News

Open innovation crucial to product development: adidas

18 October 2016

“Fashion and sport are coming together, and they’re coming together at a fast rate.” So says adidas Senior Director Running Apparel and Customization Craig Vanderoef at the 9th Istanbul Fashion Conference.

Open innovation crucial to product development: adidas

At a time when the performance attributes of Merino wool are being increasingly recognised and adopted across the global sportswear industry, Mr Vanderoef brought his experience of ground-breaking product development to this prestigious event in Istanbul, sponsored by The Woolmark Company and organised by the Turkish Clothing Manufacturers Association.

The Woolmark Company is proud to continue its support for such an important trade event in Turkey and was delighted to invite Mr Vanderoef to share his insights into adidas’ innovative knitwear technologies and the benefits of Merino wool for high performance sportswear.

adidas continues to build its wool product listing, recently launching two new wool blend items.

The fully engineered Primeknit Half Zip was a collaboration that utilised the fibre know-how and innovation from the team at The Woolmark Company, the knitwear expertise of Stoll and the consumer and design insights from adidas.

The fully engineered Primeknit Half Zip was a collaboration that utilised the fibre know-how and innovation from the team at The Woolmark Company, the knitwear expertise of Stoll and the consumer and design insights from adidas

“We asked ourselves, how could we take every bit of performance, every bit of style, and put it all in one piece,” he said at the conference. “A running piece that keeps me warm when it’s cool, cool when it’s hot, is highly visible and protects me from the wind and rain. And I want it to be seamless and I want it to look great and not stink when I go out after I work out.

“As the team researched consumers’ needs for performance-driven and high-style options for their running wardrobe, we chose a Merino story that would provide runners with thermo-regulation, anti-odour properties and movement throughout their run and day.

“And so we brought experts and craftsmen together with the common goal and common hope that we’d be better together than if we were apart. Without the help of Woolmark or Stoll, we would have been able to make a nice garment, but it wouldn't be able to do everything we wanted it to do. An open innovation world allows for more.”

According to Mr Vanderoef, the road map to innovation isn't answers, it’s better questions, combined with the ability to work together as a group and allow for co-creation.

“This is the innovation roadmap: How to connect the hearts and minds of our scientists, our consumers, manufacturers, knitters, how to bring everyone together to tell one story to change the world, one question at a time.”