Two Norwegian producers of knitted merino wool apparel have recently taken major industry awards in the active/outdoor sector.
Both Aclima and Devold are well established design leaders in the growing active/outdoor market but also supply to the important workwear/safety market.
The Devold Air Vest has won the Scandinavian Outdoor Awards Jury's Choice award for Innovation. The judging panel believe it is the first garment of its kind to use two layers of 100% Merino wool separated by a thin elastic membrane, allowing the wearer to feel comfortable whilst allowing full freedom of movement.
"The sourcing of Merino from Australia has given us a very good and solid platform for delivering high and consistent quality. This has definitely paid off," said Devold sales and marketing manager Trond Sleipnes.
Devold has produced high-quality wool clothing since 1853, being the oldest manufacturer of knitted garments in Norway.
The Aclima Warmwool Hoodsweater won the Scandinavian Outdoor Award for best and original design and uses wool in a hoody and sweater one piece design.
Aclima sales/marketing manager Lars Johansen added: "the new innovative Merino range has been a great success and the interest is getting bigger and bigger while attracting new and younger consumer groups."
Aclima has played a leading part in the Norwegian textile industry, keeping people warm and dry, since 1922.
Australian Wool Innovation/Woolmark Sports/Outdoor manager Lars Ulvesund said the growing use of Merino wool in the market was confirmed at Outdoor, Europe's most significant outdoor fair, held in Germany earlier this year.
"Having these companies recognised for their innovative designs is wonderful. Having these designs using Australian wool is terrific and testament to the versatile nature of the fibre, which continues to gain attention through such initiatives as the Campaign for Wool. Interestingly this campaign involves a co-operation between Australian and Norwegian woolgrowers."
The competition for the Scandinavian Outdoor Industry has been hosted by S.O.G. since 2006. Up to 20 products from the Scandinavian Outdoor Group member brands get nominated every season to compete for the Scandinavian Outdoor Award.
The International Jury of Outdoor Journalists and Product Experts examine each product thoroughly to appoint the overall winner. The winning product gets selected according to the criteria functionality, quality, innovation and design.
Author: Billy Hunter