Sustainable apparel brand Unbound Merino is true to its name. The brand wants its shoppers to be boundless — that is, free to roam, by “packing less and experiencing more,” according to the brand.
While wool isn’t anything new, its marketing as a sustainable fiber remains somewhat uncommon as many brands shift their focus to technical fabrics that deliver eco-properties. But Unbound Merino’s mission is one of sustainability and minimization of consumption, which is a fine line for brands selling apparel. Unbound Merino cofounder Dan Demsky told WWD, “Merino wool is sheared from merino sheep, typically raised in Australia and New Zealand where temperatures and climates can be harsh. The wool has natural sweat-wicking properties that are in turn carried over to clothing made from the material. Demsky explained, “The wool pulls sweat and moisture from the body to the outer layer of the fabric, allowing it to be evaporated, verses setting into the material and causing odor and discomfort.”
And Unbound Merino emphasizes that it fervently supports a buy less, not more lifestyle. “Merino’s unique ability to absorb up to a third of its weight in moisture while still feeling comfortable and dry, means that products made with the fabric require significantly less washing. Our T-shirts, socks, underwear and now button-downs can be worn for weeks, remaining fresh without ever needing a proper wash.” That’s why its targeting of college-age shoppers that are cash and time-strapped is a stroke of genius, as the brand sells its product under the tag line of “Don’t leave for college without it — the T-shirt you never need to wash.”
This ideology pairs well with its “packs” concept, which offers a bundle of travel essentials — think of its “Getaway Pack,” inclusive of two T-shirts, two tank-tops, one pair of socks and one pair of briefs — that can be worn repeatedly while on the road, thanks to merino wool’s aforementioned properties. From a sustainability perspective, while the brand reiterates that it prefers merino wool for its sweat-wicking, odor-resistant and wrinkle-repelling benefits, it also praises its versatility that enables a seamless transition from the gym, to a long plane ride, or hike in the woods.
Demsky told WWD, “Unlike other brands, at Unbound Merino, we’re working to get people to buy less, not more. Decluttering and minimalism are trendy right now, but there’s also a much larger environmental story at play here — a movement of people who are actively rejecting fast fashion, choosing to produce less of a footprint and less waste. Unbound Merino strives to cater to this population: consumers who see value in clothing and want to own less of it, decrease the demand for cheap, fast clothing, and increase a call for more conscious brands overall.”
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