Millennials are changing the travel industry.
We’re trading in short glamorous trips for longer, more meaningful experiences, opting for hostels instead of hotels and backpacks instead of large luggage. Dan Demsky, Dima Zelikman and Andrew Cariboni, the founders of Unbound Merino saw this emerging market and jumped on it. They’ve created an entire line of clothing made specifically for the backpacking traveller who has minimal space to carry anything and limited laundry opportunities. They sat down with us to chat more about their products.
Your website says you have put your products “to the test like you wouldn’t believe”. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to test the odor wicking ability of your clothing?
In our 46 day test, Dan, one of the co-founders wore 1 T-shirt for 46 days straight. He would wear the shirt in the sauna, doing hot yoga, and it was the only shirt that he took to Bangkok, where it was 40 degrees!
It’s a little extreme, but we really wanted to push the performance of the shirt to the limit. He still wore it out to dinners and his wife was still willing to be seen with him in public, so we think it was a great success.
What’s the best packing tip for backpackers?
The simplest and best tip for packing is to roll all your clothing instead of folding. This will save on a lot of space and keep your clothing from getting wrinkled. Learn the military roll, it’s a game changer. We’re always posting packing tips and guides on our blog, so actually, that’s the best tip – follow our blog.
What do you think your most Cultworthy product is and why?
The 2-Pack Bundle is our best seller and gives you everything you’d need for most trips. It offers a great value, and you can customize the pack by bundling 2 shirts, 2 pairs of underwear and 2 socks. We think the name is very clever and creative.
Pssst: head to our Instagram page RIGHT NOW for a chance to win Unbound Merino’s cultworthy 2-Pack Bundle.
You don’t currently sell in physical stores, what’s behind this choice?
In the same way our product is intended to create simplicity in our customers lives and travels – we treat simplicity in all things as a true core value of our business. And that includes our business model. Having retail distribution adds a layer of complexity that we aren’t interested in. Selling direct to the customer allows us to keep our price down and have a personal and meaningful relationship with travelers all over the world.
Was there a product you’ve made that surprised you with how successful it is?
To be honest, this whole experience has been a huge surprise. When we started, we really were just trying to create a solution to a problem in our own life. I think the biggest surprise is this is something that travelers all over the world have been looking for. We were not expecting the growth that we had in our first year.
We’re also surprised by the amount of interest we have from women looking for a ladies line. Expect that coming later this year!
Tell us about a design idea that sucked.
It’s hard to design something that sucks when the whole principle of the company is to keep things timeless and simple. One time, a company that makes our packing supplies tried to sell us on the idea to ship our clothing in a plushy Merino sheep stuffed animal. That idea sucked.
If someone had $99, how should they spend it?
On Unbound Merino. Or weed stocks.
Name three areas of your life that have been improved by minimalism and how.
Less decision fatigue. Your brain has only so much capacity and energy for decisions each day. Every time you make a not so important decision, like what to wear, it distracts you from the more important things that actually matter. Knowing exactly what you’ll wear, every day, keeps you focused, energized and always looking fantastic. Just ask Zuckerberg.
Less laundry. I can’t tell you how lonely my laundry machine is. Not only is there less laundry to do, but the laundry itself is extremely simple and quick to manage. This is a huge time saver. There is no chore worse than folding a mountain of laundry.
Money! Spending way less money on clothing and all the money associated with taking care of clothing frees up money for important things like experience and rare pogs.
Can you think of any item of clothing that you wouldn’t make out of merino wool?
An Ed Hardy T-shirt.
The guys at Unbound Merino know how necessary a mid-winter getaway can be, so from now until the end of February, use the promo code NOTABLE at checkout to get a 10% discount on your purchases.