ashmei has long been a champion of the incredible performance benefits of Merino wool. But this summer, the premium British sportswear brand has teamed up with The Woolmark Company to roll out a campaign that champions wool as the ultimate performance fibre in high temperatures.
Stuart Brooke, founder of ashmei, says: “It’s incredible really, but we still meet customers who don’t realise that Merino wool will keep athletes cooler in hot conditions than synthetics. I think it’s because they relate Merino wool to the jumper they wear in winter. It feels to us that it’s high time for a re-education programme.”
Earlier in the year, Brooke visited Australia to shoot a short film championing the benefits of this natural wonder fibre alongside The Woolmark Company’s in-house videography and marketing teams. The resulting film focuses specifically on how well cycling and running apparel performs in the heat and is called Be Cool In Wool.
Set on a woolgrower’s farm in New South Wales, the film features a fictional farmer and keen cyclist/runner testing out the natural Merino wool fibre he produces. Comparing the latest Merino wool cycling and running gear with synthetic apparel, the beautifully-shot short film draws on science to showcase the performance benefits of wool and how it outperforms its synthetic counterparts.
“Australian Merino wool is a technical performance fibre loved by athletes worldwide,” explains The Woolmark Company Managing Director Stuart McCullough. “Our partnership with ashmei champions the performance benefits of wool, highlighting wool as a fibre for all seasons, and all levels of exercise intensity. The rapid growth in demand for technical textiles has significantly boosted wool’s prominence in the activewear industry, coupled with the fact that wool’s naturally inherent qualities – such as effective odour control, superb breathability and moisture management properties – cannot be matched by any man-made fibre.”
Natural, renewable and biodegradable, Australian Merino wool is also one of the most breathable fibres of all common apparel types. This is because wool fibres can absorb large quantities of moisture vapour – twice as much as cotton and 30 times as much as polyester – and allow it to evaporate, making wool garments feel less clingy and more comfortable to wear than garments made from other fibres. This also helps to keep the skin drier and prevent the build-up of sweat, bacteria and unpleasant smells. The unique chemical structure of wool enables it to absorb and lock away odours which may develop, and only release them on washing.
Brooke continues: “The public have been brainwashed to believe synthetics are a higher performing fibre. I think that this is down to major players in the sportswear market promoting its benefits of wicking and drying. However, what they don’t tell you is the fact that synthetics warm you up and actually make you sweat more!
“Our collaboration with The Woolmark Company will hopefully help to shine a light on the natural benefits of using Merino wool for high aerobic exercise in warm conditions.”
The campaign will run through August and September and will include run and ride events, giving the public a chance to feel the difference between Merino wool and synthetics. As a centrepiece of the campaign, the brand’s film has been released in time for the northern hemisphere’s high summer months. It will be shown across the brand’s digital and social channels using the hashtag #becoolinwool as well as via its multiple retail partner stores across North America, Europe and Asia.