SmartWool & New Zealand Merino to Host First of Its Kind, Wool Week To

SmartWool LLC,partners with the New Zealand Merino Company and the New Zealand Merino Growers to host a Wool Week tour
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SmartWool LLC, a leading outdoor performance brand offering technical apparel, socks and accessories, is partnering with the New Zealand Merino Company and the New Zealand Merino Growers to host the Outdoor Industry's own version of a Wool Week tour complete with associate training, consumer events, prizes and more. The tour will kick-off Monday, October 22, with a growers' visit to a SmartWool® sock mill in the southeastern United States, and continue through Saturday, October 27 with several consumer drive to retail events.

The week is intended to complement The Campaign for Wool - Wool Week events supported by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, happening around the globe throughout September and October. In October 2008, the Prince of Wales initiated The Campaign for Wool after he observed enormous and unprecedented challenges facing the wool industry. Today, the campaign hosts events around the globe including several countries in Europe, Asia and North America.

While SmartWool and New Zealand Merino have co-hosted events previously, this is the first time the group has come together to co-host a Wool Week event of this caliber. In total, the group will host 12 events, six associate trainings and six consumer events, all designed to educate get people and get them excited about Merino.

“The timing is right. We have a lot of great momentum right now. We're coming off our most successful product launch in the history of the company, our media campaign is in full swing, and it's getting cold,” explained Amy Beck, vice president North America Sales, SmartWool. “The great success we've seen with our PhD® product launch events allows us to connect on a more personal level with our fans. They love meeting the people behind the brand. They also care where the Merino comes from and how it is sourced. In today's business world, our partnership with our growers is incredibly special and we thought our fans would like to meet the wonderful people who raise our sheep. Giving the growers a platform to engage directly with our consumers seemed like a natural fit.”

“With wool awareness heightened around the globe, co-hosting the Wool Week festivities with SmartWool gives us an opportunity to further strengthen our unique partnership and highlight the Merino fiber. Even more importantly, the events give the growers the platform to truly connect with Merino consumers,” stated Hamish Yates, New Zealand Merino marketing director. “In this day and age, it's very rare that you get to connect all the dots and complete the circle from raising the lambs to shearing the wool to seeing the socks knit and then meeting the customers who love those products. It's pretty special and we are thrilled to be here. It truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many of us.”

Schedule of SmartWool Social Consumer Events:
Rock/Creek Outfitters
301 Manufacturer's Drive
Chattanooga, TN
Tuesday, October 23
5.00-8.00pm Hudson Trail Outfitters
12085 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD
Wednesday, October 24
6.00-9.00pm Eastern Mountain Sports
530 Broadway
New York, NY
Thursday, October 25
3.00-9.00pm
Easter Mountain Sports
2152 Broadway
New York, NY
Thursday, October 25
6.00-9.00pm Eastern Mountain Sports: Buckland
1510 Pleasant Valley Road
Manchester, CT
Friday, October 26
6.00-9.00pm Eastern Mountain Sports
One Brattle Square
Cambridge, MA
Saturday, October 27
4.00-8.00pm


ABOUT SMARTWOOL LLC: Based in Steamboat Springs, CO, SmartWool® is an apparel brand whose products are inspired by living and playing in the mountains. The company offers year-round apparel for an active life lived in unpredictable mountain climates. SmartWool® products are created to get the most out of the inherent benefits of Merino wool while delivering extraordinary comfort through intelligent and thoughtful products, allowing mountain athletes to do what they love to do longer. For information on the full range of SmartWool® products or to find a dealer near you, please log onto SmartWool's award winning website: www.SmartWool.com. SmartWool LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of The VF Corporation.

ABOUT THE NEW ZEALAND MERINO COMPANY: The New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) is an integrated sales, marketing, and innovation company focused on transforming New Zealand's Merino sheep industry.

NZM's contract model creates strong connections and valuable relationships between grower suppliers and the premium global brands that purchase the fibre. NZM handles around 80% of the Merino clip and the finer-edge mid micron (M²) clip in New Zealand, which equates to around $150 million of fibre sales per annum.

Last year NZM launched the Alpine Origin Merino Ltd joint venture with Silver Fern Farms that, with a branded niche approach, has the capacity to add further value to growers through extension into meat and co-products.

NZM's fibre brand, ZQ Merino, is a guarantee of the best Merino fibre available backed by an accreditation program that ensures the most ethical and sustainable farming methods.


For event and company updates visit SmartWool on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/smartwool or twitter: http://twitter.com/smartwool

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