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2023 Woolmark Performance Challenge

From Merino wool blended with marine waste to Merino wool/rubber blended materials, glucose-releasing technology and more, this year’s Woolmark Performance Challenge finalists drive fresh applications of Merino wool for the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailing team.

The innovative concepts developed for the Woolmark Performance Challenge 2023 – the world-leading innovation and ideas incubation program for the sports and performance market have been announced they deliver bold, game-changing innovations that will reinvent the head-to-toe uniforms for the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli team.

Discover them below.

South Korea, Hongik University in Seoul, Textile and Fashion Design

Joon Han


With focus on functionality for competitive aspirations in marine and cycling sports, Merino-Marine Tex™ combines the natural benefits of Merino wool blended with naturally sourced fibres from marine waste. Using nanotechnology and a unique dual-mesh structure, Merino-Marine Tex™ explores a comprehensive process from the filament spinning stage through to nano-finishing and fabric structure, to align with the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailing team’s focus on protecting marine environments.

USA, University of Oregon, Master of Science in Sports Product Design

Daniel Carhuff


Developing a family of composite materials to replace traditional plastic and rubber, the VVULCAN innovation seeks to support the performance and safety of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailing team while eliminating virgin rubber, plastic and neoprene usage. Harnessing Merino wool/rubber blends to create outsoles with greater grip in wet conditions, the VVULCAN family of composite rubbers allow for softer, more breathable seam tape as well as lighter and more ecologically considerate zipper pulls, overlays and trim pieces.

USA, University of Oregon, Master of Science in Sports Product Design

Aeryk Catipon


Enhancing sport performance and reducing recovery time, Glycoreact harnesses the unique properties of Australian Merino wool to provide direct muscle energy in response to an athlete’s activity intensity. Ideal for the intense needs of the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailing team, Glycoreact combines nano-infused glucose microcapsules and optical nano sensors for transdermal glucose transfer, releasing glucose into an athlete’s circulatory system to provide fuel and swift recovery when athletes need it most.

Japan, Professional Institute of International Fashion, Fashion Creation

Anri Amagasa


Using colour-changing dyes, this design focuses on health, efficiency and fashion. The colour changing system feature of the design utilises temperature to indicate training efficiency or the need for medical support, alongside maintaining an elegant aesthetic for the Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli sailing team. 

Italy, IED Istituto Europeo Di Design, Milan, Fashion Design

Edoardo Vedelago


Innovate Luna Rossa's training uniforms by introducing F.I.R. technology and microencapsulation technology to release Astaxanthin vitamin.