A natural, renewable fiber, wool's ability to keep you warm, dry and comfortable across a wide range of environments makes it one of the most versatile materials around.
We work hard to source our wool responsibly, working with wool suppliers who utilize sustainable farming and ranching techniques, but it's not always a simple process.
As a natural fiber, the production of wool has a number of unique challenges, including animal welfare, land management, fabric processing and traceability. For animal health, the challenges include: providing animals with appropriate comfort, shelter and freedom from distress and illness. Mulesing, in which a layer of skin around the animal's rear is removed to prevent disease, is also an issue. Wherever possible, we use wool from non-mulesed sheep.
We seek out wool suppliers that systematically control chemical use, including pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, and protect the soil, surrounding watershed, biodiversity and wildlife.
We also prefer wool processing that uses the highest quality dyes, optimizes the chlorine based anti-shrink treatment and limits the use of water and treatment of wastewater. All of our cut-and-sew wool employs a closed-loop, anti-shrink process to de-scale the fibers. This process uses a polymer to create a final product with reduced shrinkage, improved durability and long-term wear. We use this process not because we want to use chlorine, but because doing so results in a more durable, softer product that's incredibly easy to care for. The closed-loop process ensures that the chemicals are managed properly and reused, thereby preventing them from being released into the environment. We continue to evaluate other options for treating our wool, but, at the moment, none of them produce an end product that is free from serious shortcomings with regards to shrinkage and pilling.
When possible, we use a system of traceability for the wool we buy. When this is not possible, we work to implement a network that will allow us to track the source of wool and ensure it meets our standards. We continually strive to improve all of our fabric and manufacturing sources. We are dedicated to the idea of traceability in our materials, humane treatment of animal fiber sources and decreased environmental impact in our manufacturing processes.
We are committed to exploring ways to expand the positive aspects of our use of wool including: increasing the traceability of all the wool we purchase; finding and developing relationships with sources for sustainably produced wool (which is currently not available with the fine hand and high quality we demand for our fabrics); ensuring the use of closed loop systems that have modern wastewater treatment facilities; working towards developing alternatives to chlorine in anti-shrink treatments; and continuing to emphasize healthy and humane animal husbandry practices. Our goal is always to provide the highest quality product that does the least harm.