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Ibex, purveyor of merino wool outdoor apparel, is taking a page out of the streetwear playbook. The Boulder, Colorado-based brand has launched a new label, Ibex Labs, that specializes in limited-edition capsule collections. And today 15 September 2023 the new venture has unveiled its first drop: Dyed in the Wool.
The Dyed in the Wool collection features a limited-edition lineup of merino-cotton joggers and sweatshirts livened up with sustainably produced tie-dye colorways, with prices ranging from $162-195.
Similar to companies like Icebreaker, but with a stronger eye for minimalist design and not owned by VF corp, Ibex produces performance garments made with natural fibers, especially merino wool. Sustainability has always been a part of the brand’s ethos, but the Dyed in the Wool collection offers a more creative spin on what eco-friendly fashion can look like.
The collection is a remix of items in the Ibex Tranquil line, and it includes men’s and women’s hoodies, women’s joggers, and a men’s crewneck sweatshirt splashed with tie-dye colorways.
To create the pieces, Ibex partnered with Green Matters, a Lancaster, PA-based company that specializes in plant-based dyes—a greener alternative to the water-intensive and polluting synthetic dyes used across the fashion industry. Each Dyed in the Wool garment gets its trippy aesthetic through real indigo and cutch (a powder derived from a species of acacia tree) harvested in southern India, and all the water used in the dyeing process comes from a rain cistern at Green Matters’ Pennsylvania farm.
Colors aside, these pieces offer a great blend of performance and everyday comfort. They’re made with Ibex’s cotton-merino terry fabric, which creates a comfy feel against the skin and has good breathability. The fabric includes a touch of stretchy elastane, which helps the garments retain their shape and keeps them from restricting your movement.
I recently tried the men’s hoodie from the Dyed in the Wool collection, and I think it’s a great pick for at-home lounging and everyday wear. The merino-cotton fabric felt a bit itchy at first, but it’s definitely cozy. It also breathed well, so I stayed comfortable even in relatively warm conditions (i.e. hanging out in my apartment). The tie-dye pattern is subtle: It has a heathered appearance and looks more like faded camouflage than something you’d find at a Phish concert. That’ll make it easier to integrate with the rest of your wardrobe.
Ibex already has high standards for sustainability, but with its all-natural dying process, the Dyed in the Wool collection ups the ante even more. It’s a promising start—and it’ll be fascinating to see where the brand takes the Ibex Labs project from here.