Winter is upon us. For those of us that worship at the altar of the Snow Gods, this in-between seasons time is one of anticipation as we carefully watch weather forecasts, tune skis, and update gear. Every snow flurry brings hope that opening day at our favorite ski resorts will be that much closer. This year, we’ve carefully researched the best gear, found new trends in the industry, and discovered what will become favorite innovations. Stay tuned as we unroll our Ski Season Preview.
It’s no secret that merino wool is a wonder fabric. From moisture wicking technical baselayers to wool based fleece and puffy jackets, the outdoor industry has a well deserved love affair with merino. However, one small Colorado brand’s model of locally sourced wool, jobs in the mountain towns, and new waterproof technology is poised to upend the outerwear market.
Voormi got their start sourcing wool and sewing garments in a tiny shop in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. Surrounded by more than a million acres of National Forest, they made local jobs and serious mountain inspired design a core foundation from the very beginning. Their early baselayers and hoodie designs show off that backcountry aesthetic, but it is the new Core Construction concept that has got us convinced that Voormi is the the future of wool.
Voormi’s Core Construction model relies on knitting a single layer of wool around a waterproof core membrane rather than the typical laminated two and three layer market standard. This means that rather than relying on slow vapor transfer through a polyurethane or teflon membrane and bonded face fabric, your wool jacket can provide ultimate breathability like a soft hoodie, but water resistance of a serious soft or hardshell. Right now there are a few products in development for the season, but the one we are most excited to look at is the AN/FO 3.0. Before, a wool jacket and trousers would have been the realm of mid-twentieth century skiers, Voormi’s new technology could return natural fibers to the forefront of fashion and function in the outdoor world. Combined with their sustainable business model and USA sourced materials, We won’t be surprised to see them start to take over the very competitive wool market overnight.
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