That Sarah Palin cover on Newsweek is striking, for more reasons than the obvious one–the fact that a politician with national ambitions is being shown in a pair of short black shorts.
The headline is attention-grabbing, too. “She’s bad news for the GOP–and for everybody else, too.” Really? How? The story says that what Obama advisors (!) call “Palinism” has “created a climate of idelogical purity inside the GOP.” I’m no fan of ideological purity but it’s a stretch to blame Palin for the fact that the right-wing is coming down on, say, Lindsey Graham for working with John Kerry to enact climate change legislation.
As a runner, I was also struck by the fact that the cover photo comes from a series of pictures taken last spring for Runner’s World magazine, which are online here. I’m all in favor of recycling but it’s odd that Newsweek turned to a running magazine for its cover pic.
Then Lee Weinstein, a former Nike exec who now runs his own PR firm, told me that Palin is wearing a running top from a very cool startup, based in New Zealand, called Icebreaker. (Maybe she can see New Zealand as well as Russia from the shores of Alaska.) If you’re wondering, she’s wearing Icebreaker’s long sleeve chase zip in salsa and silver, available online here.
It’s made from all-natural merino wool, sourced in the mountains of New Zealand, which is environmentally preferable to the oil-based plastics used in a lot of outdoor gear. Icebreaker’s charismatic founder, Jeremy Moon, spoke last year at Fortune’s Brainstorm Green conference about the company’s deep rooted commitment to sustainability. Icebreaker even attaches a “Baacode” — get it? — to all of its products so that buyers can trace their raw materials back to the source.
As Lee emailed me to say:
It’s great Ms. Palin has discovered the benefits of running in natural, sustainable Icebreaker merino, which doesn’t hold odor like synthetic running tops (made from oil).
As opposed to the ‘Drill Baby Drill’ mantra of the last U.S. election cycle, Icebreaker has been campaigning for consumers to switch from synthetic running tops made from oil.
Palin may be “bad for everybody else,” but she’s setting a good example when it comes to sustainable running gear.