• German sportswear giant Adidas and The Woolmark Company have launched a new annual challenge to demonstrate the benefits of Australian Merino wool in the sports and performance market.
  • Adidas and The Woolmark Company have teamed up on a new design competition focusing on the development of innovative products for the sports and performance market.
  • The winner will be announced at ISPO Munich 2019.

German sportswear giant Adidas and The Woolmark Company have launched a new annual challenge to demonstrate the benefits of Australian Merino wool in the sports and performance market.

The annual competition - The Woolmark Performance Challenge – invites post-secondary students in Europe and North America to design new product applications for the sector by applying the science and performance benefits of Australian Merino wool.

Performance apparel is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global textile industry, the growth of which can be attributed to an emergence of new technologies, new sporting trends and a shift in peoples' attitude towards health and fitness. In addition, consumers are becoming more aware of the impact their purchasing decisions have on the planet and are demanding natural alternatives for their product and apparel needs.

"At Adidas we are driven by a constant desire for innovation and its belief that anybody can and should be a creator," explains Adidas senior design director Tillmann Studrucker. "This unique collaboration with The Woolmark Company gives young creative students the chance to help shape the future of sport, and sports culture. I am looking forward to a lot of creative designs that are considering sustainability with material innovation ideas that blend performance and style, past and future."

Wool's position as a technical fibre allows it to meet increasingly demanding consumer needs for comfort and performance, says The Woolmark Company, adding the fibre is recognised by leading sportswear brands and manufacturers for its technical benefits including resistance to odour, "superb" breathability and moisture management capabilities.

The Woolmark Performance Challenge winner will be awarded a cash prize of EUR10,000 (US$12,448), as well as being presented with career development and commercial opportunities including a three-month internship with Adidas.

Registration and submissions are open now with the closing date for submissions as 25 May. Finalists will be announced in June and the overall winner will be named at ISPO Munich 2019.