Humans are the masters of invention, designing and innovating to find new solutions to old problems. But have you noticed that, in the end, we always revert back to nature’s solutions? With the oceans filling up with plastic microfibres, why would we put our trust in synthetic fibres for our clothing over natural ones?
We’ve spoken a lot about merino wool’s benefit to you, the wearer. But what’s the positive impact of wearing more natural fibres, including merino, on the environment around us and the planet in general?
1/. Fewer washes mean less water consumption
“The protective waxy coating on wool fibres makes wool products resistant to staining and they also pick up less dust as wool is naturally anti-static.” The Campaign for Wool are advocates for wool products becoming far more mainstream. Alongside the staining-resistant qualities of wool, merino doesn’t hold smell. The natural composition of merino with its antimicrobial design, allows sweat to sit on the surface of a product without leaving unwanted smells on the garment for a period of time. The surface of the fibre is like a layer of roof tiles (compared to synthetic fibres, which are smooth), so it is difficult for bacteria to get lodged inside. These bacteria are responsible for that stuffy smell. With merino, moisture is absorbed directly into the fibres, allowing less sweat to build up on the skin so there’s less time for bacteria to grow.
All of this means you don’t need to wash your wool products as often as synthetic ones. Fewer wash cycles means an awful lot less water consumption. The most efficient washing machine will use 6 litres of water per kilogram – that adds up over time!
The Campaign for Wool tells us, “When wool is disposed of in soil or water, it takes a very short time to break down, whereas most synthetics and plastics are extremely slow to degrade, if at all. At the end of its useful life, wool can be returned to the soil or the marine environment where it decomposes, releasing valuable nitrogen-based nutrients into the ground/ocean.”
We don’t want to think about the end of life of products but, there will come a time, 100 years from now when your merino will be showing wear and you might want to dispose of it. Merino wool, along with other natural fibres will biodegrade, returning nutrients to the earth. Man-made fabrics just won’t do this, they’ll break down more slowly, releasing microparticles into the earth and the ocean.
Natural wool grows naturally on sheep who feed off the land. Sheep grow a full coat each year, so as long as a sheep is living, they’ll produce wool. Just add grass, water, air and sunshine and you’re good to go with happy sheep!
4/. Longer life
The International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) suggest the lifespan of wool garments is 2 – 10 years compared to 2 – 3 years for manmade fibre garments. If we all bought clothing which was of higher quality and lasted longer, it would go some way to slowing down the fast-fashion throwaway culture which produces so much landfill waste. The Waste and Resources Action Programme estimates that there are 800,000 tonnes of process waste from the fashion industry from the UK alone and that £140 million worth of clothing goes into landfills each year.
The longer a garment can last and the less waste produced with each item made (such as with our Seamless Performance technology) the better!
FINDRA are advocates of slow fashion, producing high-quality clothing that lasts, it is designed to be worn for years and become a wardrobe staple. Choose a healthier planet – choose wool.