pinecone embodies the strength and magic of nature. Untouched, its seeds take root and silently become towering structures of colossal strength. We want to preserve this wildness that sustains and elevates us. It's a treasure.
Our yarn is hand-dyed in a National Forest in California's San Bernardino mountains, just outside of Los Angeles at 6000 feet elevation. This historic mountain community inspires our colorways and our mission... supporting our National Parks and Forests.
After donating for over a year to our local National Forest, we expanded to help National Forests across the country. And now we’re not just donating for every skein sold. Now we’re donating 1.5% of the revenue of all goods we sell to the National Forest Foundation, our official partner! Every dollar we donate will plant a tree in a prioritized National Forest that needs it most.
Home is being out on a mountain trail surrounded by ancient trees with stories we wish they could tell. If everyone spent more time outdoors, we really think the world would be a better place. Fresh air is good for the spirit. We hope you join us out there!
Sustainability & Responsibility
ny business in this modern age is going to have some measure of environmental impact (and other externalities). Throughout the supply chain, materials and goods need to be shipped and processed until they end up as a final product. And it doesn’t end there- the product lives on, requiring washing and drying- and once it’s done serving people, it goes back to the earth and environment entirely. We think about the whole lifecycle of our products and continue to work on ways to be as sustainable as possible.
Promoting slow fashion. We want you to love what you make, so that it gets used and leaves less room in your closet for less enduring options. Quality yarns make garments that can serve a lifetime, and at the very least far outlast fast-fashion counterparts.
Promoting natural fibers. We love natural fibers for being biodegradable materials. There seems to still be a place and big demand for nylon (a synthetic polymer) in some yarns to make socks durable for a long life (for slow fashion). But if you’re not making socks, we’ll probably be encouraging you to check out our nylon-free yarns. Nylon takes decades to decompose, and is contributing to the alarming accumulation of microplastic pollution in our oceans and marine habitats. Also please know that the resin used on essentially all superwash merino isn't biodegradable either, though thankfully it doesn't prevent the wool itself from decomposing.
Packaging. A simple, easy effort. We use minimal and biodegradable packaging. We’re going to have to ship our things to you, so instead of using those ubiquitous plastic mailers, we use 100% recycled & compostable mailers. Simple changes can make a real difference.
Responsible wool processing. The superwash yarns we source are processed by facilities that hold ISO14001 environmental certification, which requires annual independent third party audits of their environmental performance. Older generations of superwash processing were particularly harmful to the environment, but newer closed-loop recycling of wastewater coupled with tight regulation has helped massively. Of course there's plenty of improvement to be had, and there's exciting research and development happening in the textile industry for environmentally gentler methods for superwash and some are slowly coming to market. We're trying to stay up to speed and are excited to see more of this soon! We've also tried offering nonsuperwash merino, but there wasn't demand with our current customers. We're now working on finding other fibers and blends that are nonsuperwash to introduce.
Habitat protection. Most of our wool comes from a combination of sheep reared in Australia, New Zealand and Great Britain where there are strict environmental regulations to ensure the pasture the sheep are raised on is not causing the loss of valuable natural habitat, including forests.
Mulesing-Free. Yes, you can be confident that all our yarns are mulesing-free and sourced humanely.
Water. Water is especially important here in arid Southern California. We use as little water as we can to process our yarn. And we choose the best dyes and techniques to have negligible impact on our wastewater.
About the dyes…
We use acid dyes (made in the USA) still on most of our yarn. Nearly all of the dye is absorbed by the fiber and is very permanent. Non-toxic biodegradable citric acid is used to fix the dyes. In our processes, we are sure to exhaust the dye bath, this means that the wastewater from our dye process is safe to send to wastewater.
What about natural dyes?
We now have some naturally dyed yarns! We're currently working on finding natural dyes that might work for us for at least some of our yarns. We keep in mind that the terms natural and organic don’t necessarily mean healthy and non-toxic. Natural dyes sound like they would obviously be better for the environment and your health, and they can be, but it can be more complicated, particularly for getting those fun bright colors we all love. Some natural dyes require harsh or toxic chemicals to bond them to fiber. Some even contain hazardous elements like tin and chromium too, and since these dyes aren’t as waterfast and are less permanent that means the dyes, toxic or not, can be more easily liberated. That makes natural dyes a concern for some chemically sensitive people (like one of us here). Some of these chemicals are a real contamination concern for wastewater and runoff as well. There are great indie dyers using gentle and simple natural dyeing methods to create beautiful soft tonal solids and we're finally experimenting with that ourselves!
The wilderness that has come to us from the eternity of the past we have the boldness to project into the eternity of the future.
Author of the Wilderness Act 1964
Why does the wild need help?