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Pearl Izumi innovates with Merino wool as part of sustainable materials strategy

Published September 19, 2019

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Pearl Izumi, the world’s leader in cycling apparel and footwear, has teamed up with The Woolmark Company to create a line of cycling apparel and accessories featuring innovative Merino wool technology designed to keep riders comfortable in cold and wet conditions.

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Pearl Izumi is paving the way toward a more sustainable cycling industry by using new innovations with natural technical materials such as Merino wool: a 100% natural, renewable and biodegradable fiber. The majority of the new Merino collection uses a unique plated construction equally blending nature’s original performance fiber, Merino wool, with quick-drying technical synthetic fibers made from recycled water bottles.

This eco-friendly combination, which has been certified by The Woolmark Company, maximizes the positive aspects of each material and allows Merino wool’s natural performance benefits to shine.

Tested and verified at the ACE Climate Wind Tunnel, the addition of Merino wool offers superior thermal regulation and keeps riders more comfortable compared to pure synthetic cycling garments. Along with benefitting from unbeatable odor control, riders stay can stay strong all season long, withstanding wind, rain and shifting temperatures.

The new Merino wool line follows the success of the spring 2019 release of the BLVD Merino T and BLVD Merino ¼ Zip. Riders were not only impressed by the overall performance of the products, they appreciated the materials and feel of the Merino tops.

The fall collection ties directly to Pearl Izumi's strategic plan to grow the brand’s sustainable practices, reduce its footprint and support a new social purpose statement, “ride more, do more.” The company has pledged 30% of the Pearl Izumi line will be made of recycled, renewable or organic materials by 2020, with a target of 90% by 2022.

“Pearl Izumi’s social purpose effort is focused on using business practices, products and advocacy to reduce the consumption of oil. Australian Merino wool has many of the same positive properties of a synthetic yarn or material, but with a much smaller footprint,” said Pearl Izumi Vice President of Product Christopher Martens. “Merino wool has great attributes such as good warmth to weight ratio, naturally hydrophobic properties and easy care, but they occur naturally. Integrating this 100% natural fiber into our apparel line is a key part of the strategy to shift toward more sustainable sources.”

Pearl Izumi will introduce the PRO Merino Thermal Jersey ($195), Merino Thermal Longsleeve Baselayer ($110), Merino Longsleeve Baselayer ($90), Merino T-Shirt Baselayer ($80) and BLVD Merino Vest ($190) in both men’s and women’s styles. Accessories include Merino Hat ($30), Merino Neck Gaiter ($35) and Merino Cycling Cap ($40). Using responsibly sourced Australian Merino wool, paired with Repreve recycled polyester made from recycled water bottles, Pearl Izumi strives to use sustainable technical materials while providing superior performance benefits to keep riders dry, comfortable and protected from the elements.

“The cycling industry — traditionally dominated by Lycra — has a strong opportunity for material innovation that enhances performance and the naturally occurring properties of Merino wool are very well suited to the conditions,” says The Woolmark Company Managing Director Stuart McCullough. “As a leader in the industry, Pearl Izumi’s collection puts Merino wool’s performance at the forefront for riders, backed with a complete eco-strategy for product development.”

The fall 2019 Merino wool collection is now available at pearlizumi.com and select retail locations.

About Pearl Izumi

Pearl Izumi was founded on two things: the love of cycling and more importantly, love for future generations. More than 60 years ago, a father in Japan created a special jersey out of technical fabric for his son, an aspiring bike racer. Since then, the company has been evolving and revolutionizing the design and manufacture of performance apparel and footwear for cyclists. Pearl Izumi  believes how we live today shapes how future generations ride, which is why they are committed to having a positive impact with cycling through sustainability and environmentally friendly actions. Pearl Izumi’s world headquarters is rooted in the Colorado Front Range where it embraces strong influence, both culturally and structurally, from its Japanese heritage.

About The Woolmark Company

The Woolmark Company is the global authority on wool. Through an extensive network of relationships spanning the international textile and fashion industries, it highlights Australian wool’s position as the ultimate natural fiber and premier ingredient in outdoor and performance apparel. The Woolmark logo is one of the world’s most recognized and respected brands, providing assurance of the highest quality, and representing pioneering excellence and innovation from farm through to finished product. The Woolmark Company is a subsidiary of Australian Wool Innovation, a not-for-profit enterprise that conducts research, development and marketing along the worldwide supply chain for Australian wool on behalf of about 60,000 wool growers that help fund the company.

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