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Bad animal husbandry, like the horrifying practise of mulesing in sheep farming, leaves an ugly mark on the clothing industry, and it's something we want to stop - right now. We rely on these animals. The least we can do is show them some respect.
We think that wool is an excellent material for outdoor wear. Over the decades, it's managed to shed any associations with being too hot and itchy to wear anywhere but in the cabin: it's now easier than ever before to find comfortable, high-performance wool and wool blend garments that you'll soon grow to love and rely on.
Wool's insulating properties are well-known, and it's also a highly breathable material that works very effectively as an insulating layer. Modern wool garments are most often light and versatile with an excellent degree of next-to-skin comfort, which is where another of its properties comes in really handy - it's great at managing moisture. It's also good at supressing nasty odours and, with the right kind of care and attention, can be a low-maintenance and hardy material. On a cold day in the wilderness, you'll notice the difference a wool layer makes.
Wool is also a natural material. In order to make sure that a sustainable philosophy extends to every aspect of wool production, the wool that we at Haglöfs use is always mulesing-free. Mulesing is a process that involves skinning part of a merino sheep's hindquarters in order to avoid infestation of insects and to maintain the wool's quality. We don't want the sheep that provide our wool to go through this process - particularly since other methods of getting the desired effects are available.
As well as ensuring that the wool is mulesing-free, we request that our wool suppliers provide certification from IWTO - the International Wool Textile Organisation - to show that they adhere to their sustainable, ethical practises.
In order to increase the sustainability aspect of wool, we use recycled wool wherever we can. This normally takes the form of a newly-spun soft wool fibre containing 30-50% wool collected from recycled products. The process of using recycled wool saves substantial amount of water, chemicals and energy, however, it also means that traceability of the raw material becomes a challenge.
A sustainable outdoor industry.