Our Story

SNOWSHED® is a direct-to-consumer premium Merino clothing brand, based in Chicago, IL  --  We know the cold and the heat here in Chicago which makes this an ideal testing ground for our temperature regulating Merino gear.  Also, Chicago has a huge airport which is right in the middle of the country so shipping is fast!  Our Merino wool is from Australia and our clothes are proudly constructed right here in America!  We're doing big things, while keeping our exceptional small business values, customer service, and high-quality Merino gear.

 

Thredbo Powder Day 
(Thredbo Ski Field, the highest lift in Australia)

Founded by lifelong outdoor enthusiast, motorcycle rider, and former ski bum, Colin Wischweh…  It all started in early 2013, our founder moved from California to Sydney, Australia.  It was there he learned that Australians wear Merino wool clothing in the fall, winter, spring...  and the scalding hot Aussie summer!?  His new friends Down Unda were even wearing Merino t-shirts to run 50 mile ultramarathons, in the summer!  It’s just shocking how wicking and breathable Merino wool is!  It was then that he got his first Merino shirt, and the rest is history... He fell in love with how great Merino wool clothing is for our body’s health and that wool is an extremely sustainable resource.  He realized that for most of his life he has predominantly worn clothes made of oil (synthetic/polyester) or cotton, both of which were never intended to keep a mammal warm in the winter and cool in the summer...  yet Merino wool does just that.  So after his drawers were full of wool clothing for all four seasons, he had just one issue - he kept getting holes in the Merino shirts he would buy from the stores. So he figured he could source very soft wool from extremely ethical ranches, where the sheep are being properly feed and tended to and thus growing very strong and healthy wool, then he could make softer and stronger clothing than what he currently wore.  So that was that.  He left his lucrative medical device career and immediately sought-out to find the highest-quality Merino sheep the world had to offer.  Luckily, he had learned the best Merino sheep are in Australia and New Zealand.  Over the next two years he basically put himself through "on-the-job" wool college with a masters degree in sourcing and logistics, and a PhD in manufacturing.  He met with dozens of Merino sheep ranchers and learned the ins-and-outs of what it takes to produce extremely high grade Merino wool.  No doubt, it all starts and ends with how the sheep are treated.  Two companies may produce the “same” grade of Merino wool (18.5 micron), but the main reason why one brands shirt holds up much better than the competitors is because of the quality of the sheep’s all-around living conditions.  This is why Colin is passionate about sourcing Snowshed’s wool from ethical ranches where animal welfare standards are audited regularly by AussureQuality, a third-party auditor who ensures the rigorous ranch standards are being met.  These days Colin runs a smooth-running show at SNOWSHED® and is committed to providing his customers with high-quality Merino clothing that is made in USA using ethical, traceable, and totally sustainable Merino wool from Australia and New Zealand.  It wan't easy, but he's checked those boxes for his customers, and his conscience!

SNOWSHED’s boutique size allows for our authentic personal touch that our customers really appreciate.

 

Made in the USA

The softest Merino sheep are sheared in New Zealand and Australia, then their fleece is sent to get cleaned & spun into yarn cones, and then knitted into huge rolls of beautiful Merino fabric.  Next, these rolls of Merino fabric are put on a ship and set sail for California where the fabric is cut, sewn, trimmed, logos put on, etc... and lastly, each garment is individually packaged.  Our completed products are then sent to our Chicago offices and distribution facility for delivery to our valued customers!

 

Axe logo by Snow Shed

Why have we chosen an axe as our logo?

Because our brand represents the strong and tough outdoors characteristics of a wilderness survivor.  The axe is known for its classic functionality and rugged durability - the axe is the outdoors tool that stands in perfect unison with SNOWSHED® baselayers.  So get out there and show your axe off!

 

Snow Shed Wool at the factory

 (above: cleaned raw Merino fleece - ready to be spun into yarn cones)

Our focus has been creating a soft & breathable one-quiver line of thermals with all the cut, sew, and trim operations taking place right here in the USA.  The warmth-to-weight ratio of our mid-weight Merino wool fabrics is industry-leading and our high-quality USA cut & sew garment construction is unparalleled.  Autumn, winter, and spring are a perfect complement to our collection of soft, warm, and 'no-stink' 3-Season Merino wool base layers.

Snowshed Merino wool being spun into yarn

(above: some of our Merino wool being spun into yarn cones at our partner factory)

Merino wool will keep you insulated (warm) even when wet due to the thousands of air pockets between the twisted Merino wool fibers.  And Merino wool takes a very long time to stink because the smelly atoms in sweat don't want to naturally bond with Merino wool (nature at its finest!) -- basically the opposite of how synthetics (oil based garments) react to sweat and stink.  SNOWSHED® keeps you warm and dry without stinking for multiple days of heavy athletic use. Guaranteed!