Brands Look to Wool for Sustainability Solutions

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Wool’s environmental credentials are more relevant than ever as wool continues to make strides in the sportswear and activewear market.

At the recent ISPO Munich fair, where the international sports industry gathered in record numbers, IWTO responded to a range of questions from the product managers and sustainability officers of outdoor apparel brands.

Invited to ISPO by the European Outdoor Group (EOG) to share the recently-released Guidelines for Conducting a Life Cycle Assessment of the Environmental Performance of Wool Textiles, EOG members sought advice on a number of sustainability questions including the use of recycled wool yarn, how wool can help brands achieve zero waste requirements in manufacturing processes, and how to answer queries about sustainability along the entire wool pipeline.

Scientific support for wool’s natural attributes was also high on the list of requests from outdoor apparel brands.

Norwegian brand Devold Takes Gold

Interest in wool was understandably high given Norwegian brand Devold’s win of not one but two ISPO awards for their new products.

Devold’s Tinden Spacer jacket was chosen as ISPO Gold Winner in the Outdoor category. Combining great insulation with lightweight performance, this was the first time Devold Spacer fabric has been combined with Merino wool. The innovative technology creates pockets of air for enhanced insulation, making it possible for wool to compete with other high warmth-to-weight ratio garments, and expands the user range of Merino wool.

Also selected as an ISPO Award Winner in the Outdoor category was Devold’s 100% Merino Trollkyrkja. This is Devold’s first outer layer in 100% Merino wool and extols the virtues of wool’s technical qualities: water and wind resistance, body thermoregulation and the ability to provide warmth even when wet.

Devold, a Woolmark licensee, created the jacket using the Optim fabric developed by the Wool Development Centre in Shandong Provence, China, a venture between Australian Wool Innovation and The Nanshan Group.

One of the world’s oldest outdoor companies, established in 1853, Devold’s Product and Business Director Vidar Thorvik told The Woolmark Company that the reason wool is still central to its products is because of the importance of environmental issues: “Wool is natural, it’s a miracle fibre. It won’t be destroying the earth, it’s renewable.”

► For more information on life cycle assessment of wool products, and to download the IWTO Guidelines for Wool LCA, visit our page on Wool LCA: www.iwto.org/work/wool-LCA

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