76. Armadillo Merino
The company providing natural and comfortable body armour for professional risk takers
Founder: Andy Caughey
Founded: June 2011
Armadillo Merino was formed after founder Andy Caughey saw the extensive injuries suffered by soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan when their synthetic body armour would melt onto their skin after being damaged by IED explosions. After wondering why more was not being done to protect them from these flammable materials, Caughey got to work. Armadillo Merino produces a range of protective undershirts, made from the wool of New Zealand’s famously tough Merino sheep that protect the wearer from impact and fire damage whilst still being comfortable and lightweight. Designed for ‘professional risk takers’ in all walks of life, from soldiers and firefighters to cave rescuers and smoke jumpers, Armadillo Merino’s product is now worn by thousands of customers in countries across the world. After recently concluding a large contract for the supply of 1,200 garments to the Italian Navy, the next 12 months will see Armadillo Merino – which outsources almost every aspect of its business operations – begin to focus on more institutional procurement as companies who have been trialling the garment begin to place orders for commercial quantities.