Leading global barefoot 'footwear' company Vivobarefoot is on a mission to reconnect people and planet through their regenerative footwear and has teamed up with Australian Wool Innovation's The Woolmark Company to launch a new natural footwear range incorporating Merino wool.
Launching wool for the first time in its footwear line, Vivobarefoot states its new super-natural footwear allows the wearer's feet to move, breathe and perform in a way that synthetic or petroleum-based shoes cannot.
Based in London, Vivobarefoot believes sustainability is not enough.
Instead, the company focusses on supporting human health through its footwear as well as building a business that will regenerate the planet.
This approach was recently recognised as it was awarded B Corp status in 2020.
To help deliver its missions, Vivobarefoot aims to use natural, recycled and bio materials for all its new products.
Merino wool, being 100 per cent natural, biodegradable and renewable, is the key fibre choice for the company's footwear range, providing sustainability credentials as well as incredible natural performance.
Merino wool is used in the new natural tech knit upper on Vivobarefoot's popular Primus Knit and Magna Trail styles - for men, women and children.
Merino wool is combined with Tencel into a knitted sock, and also finished off with a wild hide leather upper and 45pc natural rubber outsole in both the Magna Trail and Primus models.
Due to the barefoot design principles behind the brand's shoes, Merino wool was specifically purposed for the layer against the foot for enhanced softness and breathability combined with the fibre's sweat wicking, temperature regulating and odour neutralising abilities.
The Merino fabric acts as a natural sock that lets your feet breath.
Vivobarefoot Co-Founder and CDO, Asher Clark, said the company is always striving for better ways of doing things and looking to nature, which he said is often overlooked, for materials with high levels of performance to make the perfect shoes, perfect for feet.
"The more we learned about the incredible characteristics of wool, we quickly realised we needed to work with the global authority on wool, The Woolmark Company," Mr Clark said.
"The combination of the Merino wool, which is an engineered knit against the skin for amazing thermal regulation was teamed up with Tencel, made from eucalyptus tree pulp fibre as the top layer that helps enhance the durability and overall life span of our footwear while keeping things natural."
The footwear were tested and certified with The Woolmark Company's Wool Blend Performance certification mark.
Wool will be adopted as a core material across all Vivobarefoot's products moving forward and The Woolmark Company is already working with the brand on their next project.
AWI's chief executive Stuart McCullough said he has been delighted with the results of the product development between the two companies.
"The success of Merino wool in footwear lies not only in the fibre's natural properties, but also in its ability to be constructed in a way that aids performance," mr McCullough said.
"Innovative design and manufacture enhance wool's natural performance benefits - such as breathability, odour resistance and comfort next to the skin, which are so important in footwear products like those produced by Vivobarefoot."
Leading the 'barefoot footwear' revolution, Vivobarefoot plans to change the shoe industry based on one simple insight - shoes should let your feet do their natural thing.
Their footwear feature an ultra-thin, puncture-resistant sole in every shoe that protects the foot while providing feet with maximum sensory feedback. Visit www.vivobarefoot.com/woolmark for more details.