Uniqlo: We Lab Test Their Merino Wool

Uniqlo's 100% Fine Merino Wool

Uniqlo lab tested.

It’s safe to say we’re now firmly in a world of “hi/low” dressing – mixing, say, Gucci and Primark into the same outfit. Why? Because it’s now hard to tell which is which; style and saving money go hand in hand.   I recently complimented my friend’s coat only to find out it was, in fact, Zara.

Nothing really new here except that the “low” or cheaper high street brands are continuing to edge ever closer to the quality offered by the luxury brands.

Case-in-point: Uniqlo, the Japanese brand own by Fast Retailing Co. which is currently offering a range of Extra Fine Merino wool jumpers for only £29.90.

At first glance these sweaters look to be made of the same high quality wool as premium brand, John Smedley,  who charges £140.00 for similar styles – a significant price difference.

To be fair, the Smedley product incorporates some subtle details most buyers wouldn’t notice and the weave may be only slightly heavier.

So how is it possible that Uniqlo can offer such a seemingly high quality product for only £29.90? And is it even real, pure 100% Extra Fine Merino?

Off to the Lab

Actually, we were skeptical enough hire Dr Phil Greaves of Microtex Analysis in Yorkshire to put the wool through it’s paces to confirm the cloth’s quality, purity and provenance.

Of course, we were secretly hoping we could bust Uniqlo in a scam and pat ourselves on the back for exposing their deceitfulness.

Guess what? Just the opposite happened. Uniqlo, has sailed through our testing with flying colours and has the happy distinction of being a purveyor of very fine Merino jumpers in several different styles at absurdly low prices.

Dr. Greaves added that not only is the wool 100% Extra Fine Merino, “It’s also of a very good quality at that,” said Greaves.

Uniqlo Value Thanks to Vertical Integration

So good on you, Uniqlo! You passed our first MAN LONDON science experiment with flying colours. We tried to interview somebody from Uniqlo but the company declined our request.

That said, we hear from a good source that Fast Retailing is able to sell so cheaply due to a vertically integrated operation whereby they own their own sheep farming, weaving and spinning operations.

Congratulations Uniqlo!