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Adidas and Woolmark Co. Launch Performance Product Challenge

The Woolmark Company and Adidas are partnering on The Woolmark Challenge, a new annual design competition focusing on the development of innovative performance products.

Open to college-level students in Europe and North America, the challenge provides students with the opportunity to create new product applications for the performance and sports market.

The competition will enable students to leverage the performance capabilities of Australian merino wool, including breathability, resistance to odor and moisture management. The challenge winner will be granted a cash prize of $12,402 and will be able to participate in career development activities, including a three-month internship with Adidas, the Woolmark Performance Challenge’s 2017-18 global sports brand partner. Submissions will close on May 25, finalists will be announced in June and the challenge winner will be announced at ISPO Munich next year.

[Read more about performance product innovation: From Outerwear to Workwear, Fabric R&D Spikes New Performance Levels]

“This new competition is unique in that it offers the winner hands-on experience with a leading performance brand,” said Woolmark Company managing director Stuart McCullough. “New talent is the future of our business and the industry. The Woolmark Company actively believes in education and fostering the development of the next generation of designers and change-makers.”

Today, performance apparel is gaining momentum in the global textile sector, with the category’s growth attributed to new sporting trends, the emergence of new technologies and consumers’ changing perspectives on fitness and wellness. Consumers are also making more eco-conscious purchases and demanding natural alternatives for their products, including apparel, to reduce their overall carbon footprint.

With the competition, students can establish advanced performance products that meet consumers’ demands for more eco-friendly and functional goods.

“At Adidas we are driven by a constant desire for innovation and its belief that anybody can and should be a creator,” said Adidas’ senior design director, Tillmann Studrucker. “This unique collaboration with The Woolmark Company gives young creative students the chance to help shape the future of sport, and sports culture.”