IS WOOL ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY?
WOOL IS A NATURAL AND RENEWABLE MATERIAL
Unlike synthetic fibres that are made from petrochemicals and plastics, wool is completely natural.
Wool fibres are biodegradable and, the end of their life, they release valuable nutrients back into the earth acting as a fertiliser for plants and crops. This is in stark contrast to synthetic fibres which can remain in the soil for hundreds of years with no positive benefit.
We know you won't be throwing your British Blanket Company throw away any time soon but, if you did, rest assured the wool would completely biodegrade in as little as 3-4 months.
Wool cloth uses less water and energy to make than cotton and synthetics
On average, wool fabric uses 18% less energy than polyester, and almost 70% less water than cotton to produce as many as 100 garments. As wool makes such a low impact on the environment during its creation, it’s one of the most environmentally friendly fabrics around.
WOOL COMES FROM SHEEP THAT ROAM FREELY
Animal welfare is a big concern when it comes to sustainability, which is why we work with trusted mills and suppliers that share our values. The wool used for each and every one of our blankets comes from sheep that roam freely. Our merino is also mulesing free.
A sheep standing in the middle of a field with brown grass and bright blue sky
Wool lasts longer than synthetic fibres and cotton
Research carried about by The Nielsen Company (2012) shows that the average life span of wool is 50% longer than that of cotton garments. Wool products need to be washed much less than synthetic fibres due to its natural odour resisting properties.
As wool lasts longer, they can also be donated and recycled when its no longer needed. Wool fibres from unwanted clothing can be respun into new cloth, giving wool a second life.
A longer life and fewer washes mean that not only do your wool blankets and clothes last longer, but the carbon footprint created by maintaining them is lower than with other materials.
WOOL CAN BE KIND
What about animal rights? This is where wool made in Europe is pretty great. Mulesing, the notorious practice of cutting the folded skin off of of the backs of merino sheep, is done to protect them from blowflies laying eggs in their skin, which can actually be fatal to the sheep. But this is only done in Australia, where blowflies are a menace. European merino wool doesn’t require that, making it an excellent choice for the conscious consumer.
Plus (and this should be obvious, but it must be said) sheep are not killed for their wool. Skilled shearers carefully sheer the wool off, then let the sheep go back to doing their thing, munching on grass, growing more wool. There are nicks sometimes, of course. “When you shave your legs, sometimes you’re going to nick your legs,” Burgess points out. And if your leg was squirming around, then you would probably do so more often. “Sheep are so valuable. I have never seen a shearer ever go in and massacre a sheep. It would make no sense, economically.”
“We can’t meet our goals to avert catastrophic climate change unless we engage in net negative emissions, which can happen in agriculture. We have farms already doing this. We have many farms excited to do it because it increases their productivity. We’ve shown that it’s possible and it can be profitable.”
WHERE TO BUY CLIMATE POSITIVE WOOL
In this case, it actually really does have a direct impact on the climate to go shopping, and even regular wool is a better option than virgin synthetics. “I recommend wool as a whole right now if it’s unblended with fossil-fuel fibers. It will show brands that the public is interested in compostable shirts and a pants.