Belay - technical insulation garments made from Swedish sheep wool and 100% recycled polyester.
A classic material in a modern context
Unlike merino wool, which is often used in base layers, Nordic wool has coarser fibers and, as a result, a rougher texture. The character of Nordic wool fibers makes it itchy when worn directly against the skin, which means it's not suitable for base layers. Historically, this type of wool has been used for thicker garments and worn as mid or outer layers. When we think of wool, we often associate it with a classic insulating material used in more traditional clothing, such as knitted sweaters.
At the same time, the properties of wool are more high-tech than any other natural or synthetic material used in clothing today. It insulates very effectively, is light weight, retains its insulating properties even when damp, and ventilates efficiently, making it suitable for both static and active situations, i.e., both for rest and movement. Add to that the fact that wool has a self-cleaning process that means you don't need to wash it as often as other materials to keep the garment fresh.
By utilizing another biological byproduct in the form of cornstarch, we refine the wool together to create high-performance insulation. The shell of Belay is made from 100% recycled polyamide, which means that almost the entire garment is made from renewable or recycled materials.
The environmental aspect
Wool is a natural and renewable material. The majority of all Swedish wool is discarded immediately after shearing, accounting for over 800 tons of wool going to waste annually in Sweden alone. Through a collaboration with the Ullkontoret in Sweden and German company Lavalan, we collect wool from Swedish farms and process it into high-performance insulation. The advantages of Swedish wool are numerous; it's a renewable material that would otherwise be discarded, but it also reduces transportation, especially considering that Belay garments are also manufactured in Europe.
Garments tested under real conditions
During the development of the Belay series, we had our test team, consisting of experienced mountain guides, test the prototypes in real conditions and demanding situations. The feedback was clear and unanimous; the low weight and packability were impressive, and they were surprised by the excellent breathability. The latter meant they didn't have to take off and put on the garment as often as with, for example, a synthetic-filled insulation jacket.