Information for consumers about British Wool Products

Why wool is the best choice for the environment

As the concern of how plastic and synthetic materials has on the environment continues to grow. Could the use of natural fibres - such as wool - reduce this impact?

Wool fibres have natural properties that can out-perform synthetic fibres. Wool products can last longer, require less frequent washing at low temperatures, is readily recycleable and also is biodegradable in both land and water and does not contribute to any mircro placstic pollution.

The natural crimp and elasticity of wool can endure constant wear and compression and resist crushing and matting, which helps it withstand continuous wear and allows products to be enjoyed for longer whilst staying like new, with wool products only getting better with time.

"You do not wear your wool clothes out. You wear them in"

Micro plastic pollution is a growing alarmingly within our oceans, with 20% to 35% of the micro plastics in the ocean from clothing (The State of Fashion, McKinsey, 2020) with the vast majority of thses produced from washing clothes.

With one polyester fleece garment producing over 1900 fibres per wash (International Wool Textile Organisation) Yet, wool products require less washing and also don't release tiny plastic fibres into our water ways. On the whole, wool uses less water to wash and produce.

Wool uses 18% less energy than polyester and nearly 70% less water than cotton to produce 100 jumpers.

                  Woolmark

So why is wool a better choice? British Wool’s Head of Marketing, Graham Clark, explains more.

Products made out of synthetic fibres can take up to 40 years to degrade, while wool - a natural fibre - degrades in a fraction of that time. As wool is made up of keratin, a natural protein similar to the protein that is in human hair, which can be broken down naturally without causing an environmental hazard.

Wool biodegrades naturally, so it doesn't accumulate in landfill and oceans. Wool will still shed fibres during washing, but these fibres will break down naturally, without causing any harmful effects to the environment.

And wool will also reduce waste to landfill as it decomposes in soil in a matter of months or years, whilst slowly releasing valuable nutrients back into the earth and works as a highly effective soil fertiliser 

This presents a really compelling case, particularly when we consider that wool's natural properties support less frequent, lower impact washing, and provide greater durability.

Definitely something to think about next time you’re buying a new jumper or pair of socks!”

 

 

References

The Weather Network - How your laundry is filling the ocean with microplastics

 

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Why wool is the best choice for the environment