Buy sustainable knitwear
Its durability makes wool one of the most environmentally friendly natural fibres around. But have you ever thought about animal welfare and recycling?
Here you can read what you should look out for when buying knitwear in terms of sustainability.
Experts reveal what you should know when buying knitwear in terms of sustainability
Knitwear is an important part of many wardrobes, especially in the winter season. "Wool is durable," Julie Davies, General Manager of Innovation and Education for the Woolmark Company, tells us. According to a new report by Nielsen for Woolmark, we own clothes made from wool longer than any other pieces in our wardrobe. "Buying pieces that you invest in is less harmful to the health of the planet," Davies adds.
As wool is a natural and biodegradable fibre, selling clothes made from knitwear can even have a positive impact on our environment. Charlotte Turner, Head of Sustainable Fashion and Textiles at Eco-Age, agrees and explains: "Wool sheep can be an integral part of regenerative farming systems."
These are the 5 things you should look out for when buying:
Pay attention to the environmental impact of individual fibres
It is best to choose natural fibres that are biodegradable and do not release harmful microplastics. "Look at the labels to know what you are buying - ideally it should be 100 per cent wool with no synthetic content as this will affect the biodegradability or recycling of the fibre," says Turner.
Some wool fibres can also be more damaging to the environment than others: "Cashmere is associated with overgrazing and desertification due to increasing herd sizes as the fibre becomes more popular and widely available," Turner explains.
Inquire with regard to animal welfare
Look for the "Responsible Wool Standard" seal on signs on the product or also on the internet, which ensures that the wool comes from animals that are kept properly
"There is still a lot of work to be done on the traceability of wool so we can know where it comes from," says Turner. "Farmers welcome inspections to show how they are managing the animals, land and water on their properties."
Attention when buying recycled wool
Recycled wool emits lower amounts of carbon, but it also has some disadvantages: Recycled materials often have to be blended with other fibres to improve quality, which makes it difficult to reuse them at the end of their life, as sorting and recycling blended fibre is not yet technically possible and a technology has to be developed.
Use knitwear as transitional clothing all year round
When you buy a new knitted piece, ask yourself if you can wear it in other seasons and not only in winter. A thinner jumper that you layer over other pieces can still be worn in spring and sometimes even into summer. "Transitional clothing you can wear for longer and it's not just suitable for certain months," says Davies. In fact, the new Woolmark study showed that a third of all merino wool pieces can be worn all year round.
Care for knitwear properly
Making sustainable purchasing decisions is just as important as taking proper care of your knitwear. This is the only way you can guarantee maximum sustainability. Because wool is naturally odourless, it does not need to be washed as often and therefore lasts longer. "This can reduce the use of electricity, water and detergents and further reduce the environmental impact of wool during use," adds Davies. "The microfibres [the wool] leaves behind when it is washed, worn and disposed of are naturally broken down."
Please note our Care tips.
Last but not least
Think twice before throwing away a jumper! Holes can be repaired and contribute to the longevity of the garment - even if it ends up in the wardrobe of a new wearer.
We offer a repair service for models from austriandesign.at.