Product Business of the Year 2012

Armadillo Merino

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Armadillo MerinoManaging Director: Andy Caughey
Year Started: 2011 Website:

“Saving your skin” Armadillo Merino makes garments that reduce skin injuries and help save the lives of professional risk takers.

After viewing the extensive injuries incurred by soldiers when synthetic base layers melted into their skin as a result of exposure to IED explosions, founder Andy Caughey developed specialist next-to-skin protective clothing made from merino wool, which is naturally flame resistant up to 600 degrees.

Based in Derbyshire, Armadillo Merino has secured orders for garments from soldiers, police, fire, ambulance and search and rescue organisations throughout the world, from the RAF mountain rescue service, to the marine police of Hong Kong and the Italian navy.

Using a low cost virtual model, Armadillo Merino successfully sources fibre from New Zealand, before transporting to production in Korea, Fiji, Vietnam and Italy and eventually distributing it to high risk institutions across the globe.

In a addition, the company has developed Armadillo Merino G&T, which is a charity designed to counteract the effects of budget cuts on the forces. For every donation from the public, Armadillo Merino matches the gift with a product of the same value.

Judges’ comments:

Another impressive example of British design and innovation leading the world, Armadillo Merino is the only range of all natural body armour for fire fighters, police and military personnel, and will save lives.

The judges were impressed by the competitive prices Armadillo Merino is able to offer for their high quality crafted product, and by the range of contracts already won and pending. This product has the potential to become just the sort of quality, specialist, world-leading medium sized business the UK needs. 


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