Yep, you read that headline right. In an industry that has long been dominated by synthetics, it looks like the activewear industry is making a move towards using wool.
Before you ask, no, we’re not talking heavy knit jumpers or big, padded puffer jackets. We’re talking about your average fitness attire — tops, leggings, shorts, underwear, socks, sports bras — the whole lot. Wool activewear can be worn for running, hiking, climbing, and yes, snow sports.
So why wool? Or more specifically, Merino wool? Not only is it soft and breathable, but it’s also renewable, biodegradable, moisture-wicking, and for us smellier folk, it’s even odour resistant.
In fact, homegrown company Australian Wool Innovation recently completed its review of its ‘Move in Merino Strava Challenge.’ You remember Strava, the fitness platform that predicts when we’re all going to quit our resolutions…
The Woolmark Company (a subsidiary of AWI) challenged Strava’s registered user to replace the time they’d usually spend commuting with getting outdoors and getting active. All while wearing Merino wool.
120,577 people completed the challenge over a four week period last November, which resulted in five million hours of activity — almost 68 million kilometres. Following the review, AWI CEO Stuart McCullough said the successful marketing campaign “will reap long term benefits for Australian woolgrowers”.
Users were encouraged to take part by being offered potential discounts from brand partner’s products; they were available after taking part for 20 hours. The green credentials of wool were also promoted to users throughout.
At the time of the challenge, McCullough said: “By connecting directly with individual users, the initiative aims to increase awareness of the benefits of our country’s premium natural fibre and drive sales for our brand partners.”
The Woolmark Company now even has their own company club on Strava, so they can provide a platform for active-minded consumers to come together to find out the latest Merino performance offerings, stay connected and share inspiration to get moving in Merino wool.
If you’re wondering when wool fitness wear will be available for purchase — it already is. The Woolmark Company’s Amazon page is filled with different partners and a wide range of clothing.