Photo credit: The Woolmark Company
A recent announcement by The Woolmark Company, in collaboration with NBA All-Star Ben Simmons and Australian Wool Innovation (AWI), shows that even high-profile international sport stars are choosing wool for their sport gear and merchandise. The Australian-born basketball star and the global authority on wool have worked together to develop a high-performance, 100% Merino wool T-shirt. The project promotes wool as an ideal fabric for quality sporting merchandise, while also bring awareness to pressing global issues around racism and inequality.
Simmons described the venture, stating, “Our goal with this merchandise is to centre equality of opportunity, something we all need to commit to – to actively equalize. We wanted to bring awareness to the impact of racism in denying opportunities to people everywhere, and drive support for people and resources that are committed to challenging existing issues.”
”Do it with Heart”
Simmons designed the T-shirt with the mantra #equalize as his focal point. The slogan is written in several different languages on the shirt, reflecting various nations and cultural groups. Aside from equality, the design also promotes the value “Do It With Heart.” Simmons hopes that the shirt and the ethos it promotes will encourage his fans to recognise that all things are connected and that people should act from the heart, doing the right thing in every circumstance. “Do It With Heart” is the central value of the Ben Simmons Family Foundation, a charitable organisation which the basketball star founded to support individuals and groups that contribute towards the breaking of racial barriers and other forms of discrimination.
“With the design, we played around a lot with ideas like liveliness and harmony. We wanted to create a sense of texture and diversity but also have balance – how different things can come together to make a greater whole, like the concept of equality itself. And we wanted to do it in a way that retains the unique feel of Merino tees,” a spokesperson for The Woolmark Company said.
Working with Merino Wool
100% pure Merino wool was the Woolmark Company’s and Simmons’ material of choice for this T-shirt. “We chose to work with Australian Merino wool because it’s a sustainable, ethically produced fibre that’s also incredibly high quality – it’s soft, odour-resistant and temperature regulating, and it has an amazing drape. For me, you shouldn’t have to compromise between luxury and performance, and I’m proud that it’s produced in Australia, so Merino wool was a natural choice for the fabric,” says Simmons.
Stuart McCullough, CEO of AWI says: “AWI through The Woolmark Company is proud to work with Ben Simmons and his foundation. It is a great opportunity for two Australian success stories – Ben Simmons and wool—to help each other. With more than 5.4 million Instagram followers Ben is incredibly popular especially in the United States. Our involvement with the Ben Simmons Family Foundation will raise awareness of wool’s natural superiority as a fibre through its softness, high quality, breathability, and odour resistance . Working with Ben will mean that message will hit a younger audience keen to follow their hero and buy this 100% Merino wool t-shirt plus more wool over their lifetime.”
The shirt is perfect blend of performance, sustainability and high fashion. Aside from being comfortable and stylish, it is also 100% renewable and biodegradable. It carries the Woolmark seal of approval after having gone through a rigorous quality assurance process. All proceeds from the sale of the shirt go towards the Ben Simmons Family Foundation.
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Learn More About Wool and All Its Uses and Benefits
Wool continues to prove that it is a diverse material that can be used for multiple purposes. This innovative collaboration paves the way to a new breed of natural, sustainable performance apparel. For more information on wool as a high-performance fibre, click here.
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