At Icebug we only use mulesing free wool
Wool is derived from a renewable resource, sheep, but even if it is renewable, it does not mean that wool has zero environmental impact. Sheep need a large amount of land to graze on, and the production of wool also need water, chemicals, and energy to become a material that can be used in a final commercial product.
At Icebug we only use mulesing free wool. We also use recycled wool to be able to reduce the water consumption, energy use and the land used for sheep grazing. Using recycled wool also minimizes the pollution of air, water, and soil as well as reducing CO2 emissions compared to virgin wool. When using recycled wool, we also see to it that we do not add any extra dyes, to instead keep the colors that the wool product already has from its first lifecycle, thus avoiding the use of adding dying chemicals. Therefore our recycled wool has some mixed colors, which gives it unique aesthetics.
For our recycled wool we collaborate with the Swedish clothing company, Woolpower that have their factory and production in Östersund, Sweden. Instead of discarding the waste material from their production, it is collected and needle felted, thereby upcycling the wool, giving it a second lifecycle. It is mixed with synthetics, but it is always a minimum of 50% wool content in the waste that is used. From a sustainability point of view would, there is a downside to mix naturals and synthetics. Pure wool would have kept the biodegradability of the end product.
But we still see great benefit in upcycling materials that would otherwise be discarded, to give it a new value. The reason for why Woolpower adds synthetics together with wool is to increase the durability so that it can be used for a more extended period and in harder conditions. Because after all, the best thing from a sustainability point of view is to use the products that we consume for as long as possible. Products with this felted wool will be available in the FW19 collection.
Another great benefit of wool is the excellent material properties it provides. It has very good insulation qualities, excellent wicking capabilities, and natural anti-odor qualities, to name a few. Therefore we find that it is a great material to use for active days in the outdoors.