Can Regenerative Wool Make Fashion More Sustainable?

Regenerative wool: it’s the new green buzzword in the fashion industry – but can wool ever be fully sustainable?

April 13, 2023 | Source: BBC | by Parisa Hashempour

While building their fledgling fashion brand, environmentally minded Edzard van der Wyck and Michael Wessely confronted a deluge of sustainability claims about different textiles.

“We looked at all types of fibres from cashmere to pineapple skin,” says Wessely. But they often found barriers in the way materials were produced. Bamboo, for example, while biodegradable, often goes through intensive chemical manufacturing processes. Pineapple production typically uses large amounts of agrochemicals and is usually grown in monoculture.

They were looking for a fabric with sustainability credentials that stood up to scrutiny, not just in carbon emissions but also in its impact on biodiversity, pollution, recyclability and the communities producing it. They initially suspected the ideal fabric might be found on the more innovative end of the spectrum, exploring materials that were relatively new to fashion.

But in 2018, Van der Wyck and Wessely turned their attention to a much, much older material.