Founded in 2012 by some magnificent brains out of MIT, Ministry of Supply is one of the most thoughtful, and cutting-edge new brands creating menswear, that originally started with a goal of inspiring confidence through clothing. They’re the guys who have created such products as The Aviator Jacket – a water-resistant blazer you can fully bend, stretch, and twist in without overheating – and the Apollo Dress Shirt that was made with NASA spacesuit technology.
Now, the brand that is always striving to develop the most advanced technical fabrics has embraced a natural performance material known as Merino wool and fused it with the company’s technology-based know-how to create a sweater inspired by spacesuits called, The Mercury Sweater.
“The idea for the Mercury Sweater came after we released our first midlayer garment, the Aeon,” says Gihan Amarasiriwardena, Co-founder and CEO of Ministry of Supply. “Customers love the Aeon for its versatility and performance (it’s odor-absorbing, stretches, and is breathable), so we created the Mercury to compliment the piece. The Mercury acts as an additional item for our customers that might need a bit more formality for the workplace, but don’t want to sacrifice performance and comfort.”
At first sight, the Mercury Sweater looks like a classic workwear essential. But the performance is in the material itself. The Ministry of Supply team has fused extra fine merino wool with Phase Change Material (or PCM), the same NASA-invented technology used in spacesuits to regulate astronauts’ body temperatures in drastically changing climates.
“The wool is fine enough that it isn’t itchy when worn directly against skin, and blends seamlessly with the PCM-infused acrylic,” says Amarasiriwardena. “The combination keeps you warm, but not overheated. The fabric is breathable, temperature-regulating, and really soft.”
Functioning like a thermostat, PCM reacts to your body temperature: if you’re too hot, it will store heat away from your body, and then when you need the heat, it will release it back. By blending PCM with extra fine Merino wool, the Mercury Sweater offers the best of both worlds: a sweater that’ll maintain a stable temperature, depending on what your body needs. “I’d say it’s techie take on a classic guy’s essential– a combination of the natural wool we love, with the PCM to keep us comfortable,” says Amarasiriwardena.
Inspired by their own active lifestyles, Amarasiriwardena and the Ministry of Supply team began designing out of their own personal need for clothing that offered the same comfort and performance of their athletic gear, but were appropriate for the office environment.
“We’re seeing that a lot of our customers aren’t working a strict 9-5 job,” says Amarasiriwardena. “Their social, professional and athletic lives are blurring together. Where we used to have different outfits for each separate part of our day, there is now a need for clothing that moves across our entire day with ease. We set out to develop menswear that encourages an active lifestyle and equips our customers to go after their limitless potential.”
The Mercury Sweater retails for $168, and is available now on Ministry of Supply’s website, ministryofsupply.com, and at H1, their popup store on Newbury Street.