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The Performance Power of Merino Wool

Calla In Motion

The Performance Power of Merino Wool

Lindsey Calla

One of the things I love most about where the #sportsluxe space is going and growing is how supportive fabric technology is to the active lifestyle.  I’m so happy to see that the urge to live healthier doesn’t mean that I’m restricted in style or function.  There is now no need to choose between the two.  I'm constantly inspired by people around the world who believe that getting back to basics is the ultimate luxury. The great part is that when it comes to fabric technology one of the oldest, natural, and most versatile fibers in the world still reigns supreme: wool.  How refreshing and uncomplicated!

I’m so thrilled to be working on a campaign with The Woolmark Company to bring to life the performance power of Merino wool.   My life is filled with dealing with changes in schedules, climates, and stress levels.  I have to be versatile and need to be surrounded by things that are equally as functional.  There are extremes in every day life and it's best for me to just keep things as easy as possible.  Some of the best designers in the world turn to wool as a foundation for their activewear.  It's well-suited for extremes because of the chemical and physical make-up of the fiber, and provides a versatile solution by having the ability to keep you both warm and cool due to insulation and breathability.  The best way to prove this is to take a trip to the one place in the world that deals with the most extreme conditions: the desert!

With spring/summer temperatures fast approaching it means more light to take workouts outside but more direct exposure to the heat.  I'm usually jogging/walking then into yoga, so sun protection, moisture management and comfort are all key.  Marianna and I took a trip out to Joshua Tree and it truly was freezing at dusk and dawn and had harsh sun during the day.  The orange adidas tee is extremely light-weight, seamless and the Merino wool naturally absorbs UV radiation making it a smart option for sun protection as well as helping me stay dry and comfortable.  

I'm a big fan of Vie Active which is a cool brand out of Australia.  They do a gorgeous printed leopard set that's designed for managing sweat and apres-sweat.  The Merino wool is on the back/inside of the fabric so it lets the print shine on the outside while providing the moisture wicking and absorption against the skin.  I'm also really picky about things feeling soft and not digging into my skin forcing pockets of weird folds or uncomfortable shifting, especially during yoga. This set was so comfortable and performed well for my rigorous yoga routine.    

The athleisure and athletic-inspired lifestyle for me also means that I can actually live in things outside of workouts and not have to have different wardrobes for everything.  In Joshua Tree we took the drive out to the Cholla cactus garden to rise with the sun so I threw on a wool blend Theory + jumpsuit; layered with a Merino Smartwool tank to keep extra warm.  The jumpsuit has a gorgeous drape with the mix of Merino wool and Tencel that gives it more of a fashion feel, but still has performance quality. It's more of a loungewear piece for me but cool enough to throw on with heels. The fact that wool is so great with odor protection means I can easily wear it after a workout when I’m far from anywhere that has a shower, like the middle of nowhere in Joshua Tree.

The layering was key for this desert climate.  A storm had just passed through southern California and it left this nasty wind that whipped through the rocks.  It was an element that I didn't really think was going to happen here but that last bit of cold air completely rocked most of the country that week so I can't be too surprised. I ended up layering some items together and used the base layer tights to explore and do some rock yoga. Merino wool has lots of natural stretch and recovers extremely well. This shape retention is another reason you can work out in wool and look good doing it thus blending fashion and fitness together perfectly. 

All of these wool pieces are things that I mix in and out of my daily wardrobe constantly.  It was so inspiring being out in the desert with the rock formations.  It feels like an entirely different planet and I can completely see why people make pilgrimages out there to rock climb, meditate, and camp.  The stars were unreal and I felt so connected to the earth and felt good knowing that I was wearing something that is renewable, biodegradable, functional and still style conscious.  We rented an awesome airbnb right outside of the park in this cool adobe style house.  I highly recommend taking a trip there if you've never been!

Orange tee: adidas
Leopard shorts, jacket, pants: Vie Active
Jumpsuit and Grey hoodie: Theory + 
Grey tank & plum tank: Smartwool
Base layer black tights: Smartwool
Hair & Makeup: Kris Koskella
Photography: Marianna Massey