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Beyond the Bale : March 2015
OFF FARM 25 • ashmei is a UK-based brand that produces high-end running apparel made from Australian Merino wool. Although the company was launched only three years ago, it has already won prestigious awards for its products. • ashmei’s suppliers are selected purely based on their quality and ability to produce the highest level of performance rather than price. UK-based brand ashmei is establishing a reputation for producing some of the best running apparel in the world – and the company is doing so with the help of Australian Merino wool. According to designer Stuart Brooke, who founded the company in 2012, ashmei is filling a gap at the top end of the running market with its “super-stylish, ultra high-end apparel” for men and women. “ashmei was created because I found the performance of current running clothing was pretty low-tech, with the majority of running kit on the market being poor visual quality and performing to the same mediocre standards,” Mr Brooke said. “I knew there were much better performance fabrics out there as I have been involved in the development of high end sportswear for some of the leading sports brands for the past 20 years. “Without a second thought I knew Merino wool would play a major role in the development of ashmei running apparel. I have used Merino wool on several high end products before and also had quite a collection of cycle, outdoor and ski gear that all use Merino because of its superior performance.” ashmei’s running products have won some prestigious awards including best men’s running clothing, ahead of Nike and Adidas, and runner-up in the women's category, at the UK’s inaugural Running Awards last year. ashmei also won the ISPO BRANDNEW award at the ISPO trade show in 2013, which is the world’s largest start-up competition in the sporting goods industry. “We don’t choose a price point, go out and select a fabric, and then make the best product we can. We work from the fibre and develop the clothing for performance, then quality, then style. Every product has to be the best there is or we won’t launch it. “Sourcing the Merino wool is pretty easy as I know the quality and performance must be the best possible, so we choose Merino wool from Australia.” The company is now expanding into cycle and triathlon with a range of “game-changing” pieces of clothing and accessories. One important aspect of ashmei’s marketing is to travel to race venues with a renovated icon of the road – a 1964 Overlander Airstream caravan – in which the company presents its entire collection to the athletes and spectators at the race. This enables potential customers to see and touch the product and then buy it ether there or from the company’s website at their convenience. ashmei will be sponsoring a number of running races in the UK during 2015 at which the company will be promoting its collection, the benefits of Merino wool, and the Woolmark brand. MORE INFORMATION www.ashmei.com Danish ultrarunner Jacob Hastrup wearing an ashmei running top while training in the woods below the Glacier des Bossons in Chamonix, France. The ashmei caravan in which the company presents its Merino wool apparel range to athletes at race venues across the UK and Europe. ULTIMATE QUALITY RUNS ASHMEI