Wool is a natural performance fiber created by the carbon cycle, from solar energy through photosynthesis, sheep grazing, and the production of protein fibers that are shorn seasonally. In the Northern California Fibershed, foggy coastal regions are home to sheep with coarse wool that is well suited for bedding and durable products. Inland, in drier climates and high desert regions, fine wool is soft yet strong and creates beautiful knitwear and woven fabrics.
For 5 years, Fibershed has been piloting US-based supply chains that directly connect brands and designers to farmers and ranchers who raise natural fiber with land stewardship practices that regenerate soil carbon.
For more information from Fibershed, watch this video
on restoring ecosystem health through regional fashion to learn more about Fibershed's Climate Beneficial™ Wool program.
Thoughts on Climate Beneficial™ Wool from our founder, Sarah Danu:
I first learned of this wool fabric when Elizabeth Suzann launched her first Climate Beneficial™ Wool collection. I started following along with the work of the supplier, Imperial Yarns, out of southern Oregon long before the thought of Danu Organic existed.
It's a luxurious wool, gorgeous in appearance, soft in the hand and with all the fabulous properties of wool. The only glaring issue with this fabric is it's cost. Expensive.
Now, I've spent a lot of hours reflecting on the expense of clothes that are truly good for the planet and these pants are indeed as sustainable as pants can possibly be with an organic cotton and natural rubber waistband to boot!
I grew up largely in a library, loving, for better or worse, historical fiction. I have so many memories of how clothing was written about. It was a BIG DEAL to get a new piece of clothing. Money was saved for it. Fabric was considered for months. You and your family probably made it yourself and it was still an investment. Danu's clothing costs what clothing used to cost because we have removed as best we can the one thing that has made clothing cheap — exploitation. Of people and planet.
Unfortunately, because so many people suffer from exploitation in the capitalist system, this makes clothing like these pants rather inaccessible. I see making them as almost art in practice. This is what we all could have in a new paradigm. Regionally, thoughtfully sourced pants. If anything, shining light on the issues of the current state of clothing and pointing towards a different path. And for people who can afford these pants, you are supporting farmers, mills, weavers and designers who are forging a way down that new path.
Now what are these properties of wool? Wool gets a bad rap for being itchy. I really do think the majority of people who find wool itchy will find this wool wondrously soft. The reason for this, which adds to the cost of this fabric, is that the wool fibers have been sorted and only the finest selected for this fabric. The other fibers aren't wasted — they go into things we don't wear like dryer balls, etc. Wool is also:
- Moisture wicking
- Mildew and mold resistant
- Climate beneficial™
- Fire resistant
Go deeper and learn more about the properties of Climate Beneficial Wool in this blog post.
You can buy our first garment in this fabric, the Hida Mountain Pants, here. If this goes well, hopefully next winter we can offer more styles in this fabric!