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Woolmark and adidas challenge tertiary students to innovate with wool

Sheep Central, February 1, 2018

The Woolmark Performance Challenge offers tertiary students the opportunity to develop innovative sports and performance applications for wool.

EUROPEAN and North American tertiary students will vie for prizemoney of €10,000 and the chance to work with global sports brand adidas in the Woolmark Performance Challenge.

The Woolmark Company and adidas have joined forces to launch the new annual design competition, which focuses on the development of innovative, forward-thinking products for the performance industry.

The company said the competition provided an unrivalled opportunity for tertiary students to kick-start their careers by developing innovative new product applications within the sports and performance market, by applying the science and performance benefits of Australian Merino wool.

The Woolmark Company managing director Stuart McCullough said the competition is unique in that it offers the winner hands-on experience with a leading performance brand.

“New talent is the future of our business and the industry.

“The Woolmark Company actively believes in education and fostering the development of the next generation of designers and change-makers,” he said.

“What makes this competition even more exciting is the focus on innovation.

“We have the utmost faith that all submissions will highlight the innovative nature of Merino wool, creating products which will not only take the fibre, but also the larger performance industry, into unchartered territory.”

The Woolmark Performance Challenge winner will be awarded a cash prize of €10,000, (A$15,300 or US$12,380) as well as being presented with career development and commercial opportunities including a three-month internship with the Woolmark Performance Challenge’s 2017-18 global sports brand partner adidas.

Performance apparel is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global textile industry. The Woolmark Company said this growth can be attributed to an emergence of new technologies, new sporting trends and a shift in peoples’ attitude towards health and fitness. 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.

adidas senior design director Tillmann Studrucker said those at adidas are driven by a constant desire for innovation and its belief that anybody can and should be a creator.

“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.”

The Woolmark Company said by taking advantage of the explosive growth in demand for sportswear and activewear, wool’s position as a technical fibre allows it to meet increasingly demanding consumer needs for comfort and performance. Wool is recognised by leading sportswear brands and manufacturers for its technical benefits including resistance to odour, superb breathability and moisture management capabilities.

Registrations for the Woolmark Performance Challenge are open and submissions are due by May 25, 2018. Finalists will be announced in June this year and the winner announced at ISPO Munich trade show in February 2019. Click here for more details on the challenge.

Source: The Woolmark Company.

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