Sustainability & Responsibility

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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.

fiber artist hugs a treePromoting 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 100% natural fiber yarns. Nylon takes decades to decompose, and is contributing to the alarming accumulation of microplastic pollution in our oceans and marine habitats.  

Packaging. A simple, easy effort. We use minimal packaging, and are transitioning to biodegradable packaging. We’re going to have to ship our things to you, so instead of using those ubiquitous plastic mailers, we'll use 100% recycled, compostable (biodegradable) eco-mailers whenever possible. Simple changes can make a real difference.

Responsible wool processing. All the superwash yarns we use are sourced from companies who hold ISO14001 accreditation and/or engage in best practice with regard to environmental performance and waste water treatment and re-use. There is exciting research and development happening in the textile industry for environmentally gentler methods that are slowly coming to market. More on this soon!



Habitat protection. 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.

More on our dye choice…

We use acid dyes (made in the USA) on all yarns for a lower environmental impact. 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.

Why don’t we use all natural dyes?
It’s good to remember 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, but unfortunately it’s more complicated, particularly for getting those fun bright colors we love. Natural dyes often require harsh and/or toxic chemicals to bond them to fiber. Also, some natural dyes contain elements like tin and chromium, and since these dyes aren’t as waterfast and are less permanent that means these chemicals can be more easily liberated. (That makes natural dyes a concern for some chemically sensitive people.) These chemicals can also be a very real contamination concern for wastewater and runoff. There are some great indie dyers using gentle and simple natural dyeing methods to create beautiful soft tonal solids and we hope to explore that ourselves soon! For now, and especially for crisp dye patterns and bright colors, we’d prefer to leave the natural dyeing to the well-equipped big dye-houses... at least until we discover some better methods.

 

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.

-Howard Zahniser
Author of the Wilderness Act 1964

 

Read about why we're supporting our National Forest

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