If merino is so good for running, why doesn’t ‘you know who’ just use it?
It’s a question we get asked a bit, and it’s fair enough. If Merino is so great for running, and other outdoor adventures for that matter, why don’t most of the major running brands in the world use it in their clothing?
The answer is pretty simple: money.
Synthetic fabrics can literally cost about 5% of what quality Merino fabrics cost. Even fancy synthetic fabrics with made up names to make them sound better than they really are that are supposed to do all sorts of wonderful things, can cost literally a fraction of what merino costs.
So if you were a company that was all about making money, paying for admittedly amazing advertising, and sponsoring high profile athletes, you’d need to make massive profit margins on your clothes. You’d need to make a T-shirt for less than $5 or $10 dollars and sell them for $50 or $60 so that you could pay for all that other stuff and make all that profit. It’s just how businesses like theirs work. (And in all honesty, even we use their products. We wear their shoes and shorts. The stuff we don’t make ourselves of course!)
Just as an example, in 2018 Nike turned over $34.5 billion at a gross margin - including wholesale, retail etc - of 43.8%, for a profit of a tad over $15 billion. You don’t make that sort of margin and profit paying for high quality merino fabrics.
Merino on the other hand is comparatively expensive to make. It’s labour intensive. It involves shearing sheep, turning the fibre into yarn, and knitting the yarn into fabric. And if you’re us, it involves only sourcing and using the best quality fibre to start with, and knitting ethically in Australia where people are paid and treated fairly.
Compared to synthetics, Merino is then much more difficult to work with. You can’t just cut and sew it like other fabrics. Because it’s a natural fibre, there’s all sorts of things you have to do differently. These things take time and expertise. And again, we choose to only cut and sew in ethical factories that do the right thing by their people.
We do all this because we believe in natural fabrics, we believe in doing the right thing by the environment, we believe in reducing landfill and micro plastics, we believe in ethical production, and most of all, we believe in the natural, high performance of a fabric that comes direct from Mother Nature.
We know all this adds up to clothes that are more expensive than some others. And we know it means we’ll make a lot less profit because of it. But we think it’s worth it. And we hope you do too.
Ever wondered why we quite often refer to our merino outdoor clothing as ‘layers’ or ‘base layers’ rather than just calling them ‘clothes’. Maybe it’s time we explained why.
While Merino is an amazing natural fibre, not all Merino fabrics are created equal. At ioMerino, we make our own fabrics, using only the best quality fibres, and to very specific specifications that make the most of the natural benefits of Merino. All of them are 'Merino rich’. No cheap blends passed off as Merino. No cheaper scratchy fibres or synthetic substitutes to save money. No unethical production. And each fabric is made for a specific purpose. So if you see something with a small amount of elastase or nylon added, you can be sure it absolutely needs to be there to enhance the natural stretch and durability.
It took every bit of our 140 years of experience in the wool industry to perfect our fabrics, but we think you’ll agree the end result was more than worth the effort.
Ethically Made. Ethically Sourced. Perfectly Natural.
Lightweight 170gsm 96% Australian Merino Wool with 4% elastane for extra stretch and comfort. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Lightweight 160gsm 83% Australian Merino Wool blended with 12% nylon blended for extra durability and 5% Elastane for stretch and comfort.
Midweight 265gsm 96% Australian Merino Wool with 4% elastane for extra stretch and comfort. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Ultra Lightweight 150gsm 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Midweight 280gsm 76% Australian Merino Wool, 15% Elastane and 9% Nylon for extra stretch and compression properties.
Ultra lightweight ribbed 155gsm 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Outer Weight 280gsm Fleece 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Midweight 260gsm 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Midweight 260gsm waffle texture 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric.
Midweight 255gsm French Terry 100% Australian Merino Wool. A MicroMerino® Fabric.