by John Russel Jones

Those of you who may have known me in “a previous life” know that at one point in my career — working at Robert Talbott — I had the pleasure of partnering with the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association (SVRA). The organization’s raison d’être was to provide an opportunity for antique car enthusiasts to both show off and race their prized possessions. The sophisticated, high-earning membership seemed a natural overlap with the brand’s target customer, who truly appreciated fine craftsmanship. The sponsorship just confirmed something that I’d always appreciated about working in menswear: guys love cars, and much the same way a true devotee can geek out over the fine lines of a Jaguar D-Type, he can also wax rhapsodic over a lovely super 180s wool for his custom suit. My only misgiving about the SVRA races was, of course, that they required burning an awful lot of fuel, contributing to climate change, for something that was, ostensibly, a hobby.

That’s why I was excited to learn that The Woolmark Company has joined the Nissan Formula E Team — Formula E is a motorsport championship for electric cars — as its technical partner to develop an innovative Merino wool-rich team kit. Season 9 will be Nissan’s fifth in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship and marks the start of the Gen3 era (marking an increase in speeds due to advancements in technology). Nissan races in Formula E to bring the excitement and fun of zero-emission electric vehicles to a global audience. For the first time, Merino wool has been put to the test through the Nissan Formula E Team uniform, designed and developed for Season 9 of the all-electric series.

The uniforms herald the emergence of a new breed of natural team kit in motorsport taking advantage of Merino wool’s natural properties to maximize performance and comfort for the whole team. This partnership brings to the track a new degree of technical layering to Nissan’s new Formula E racing uniforms. Created with durability and performance in mind, the Merino blend wool kit is composed of base-, mid-, and outer-layers and includes an average of 50% Merino wool to enhance performance through wool’s technical benefits.

Merino Wool Racing Kit

Tommaso Volpe, Managing Director of the Nissan Formula E Team said, “We are proud to partner with a company that, like Nissan, dares to do what others don’t and is committed to building a more sustainable future through technology and innovation. Our partnership with The Woolmark Company will provide Nissan Formula E Team with a high-performance kit made with natural and biodegradable Merino wool fiber. This proves once more that, like in Formula E, high-performance and sustainability can go hand in hand. Partnering with The Woolmark Company was a natural but conscious decision for us, as we continue to look for more sustainable solutions in line with Nissan’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality a􏰀cross all operations and the life cycle of our products by 2050.”

The Merino wool team kit is composed of T-shirts, polo shirts, shirts, trousers, shorts, mid-layers, soft-shell jackets, and caps. Soft on the skin, Merino wool offers unbeatable moisture management, thermoregulation, and breathability properties, making it perfectly engineered for a performance-lead environment. The team kit is Merino Perform certified which guarantees the longevity and durability of the products. It is also entirely made in Europe and ensures premium quality to the outfits. Nissan Formula E Team keeps pioneering and forging partnerships for a durable future with Merino wool being a 100% natural, renewable, biodegradable, and recyclable fiber.

Naturally Engineered for Performance

“We have pioneered the use of wool across the world, collaborating with leading brands on material development, functionality, and aesthetics to constantly innovate,” says John Roberts, The Woolmark Company’s Managing Director. “As we take a bold and exciting first step into the world of motorsport, it was vital to find a partner who shared our vision. The Nissan Formula E Team has the ambition to do things differently, and they are redefining the way we wear wool by bringing the fiber’s innate performance to the motorsport industry. Our technical team worked hand-in-hand to craft a performance-oriented team kit, driving unexpected product offerings thanks to the inherent technical and eco-credentials of the fiber. The innovative nature of Merino wool is paralleled to the technology behind Formula E thanks to manufacturing techniques and engineering between our teams.”

The Merino wool team kit will be visible during the whole of Season 9 of the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (from December 2022 to July 2023). The Woolmark Company will be present in the E-village of the 12 different cities, while Nissan’s racing cars will be flocked with The Woolmark Company logo.