4 Reasons Wool is Driving the Circular Economy
The current economy moves linearly. People acquire natural resources from the Earth, convert them into products, and discard them as waste when their job is done. Since raw materials have limited availability, the trend has shifted to a circular economy. The circular design believes in reducing waste production entirely. The circular model creates garments using reusable and regenerative materials, and wool is a leading choice.
What is Circular Business Design?
The circular design uses materials that can be generated again to create clothes, keeping them durable and sustainable. This method enables a long-lasting, reusable, and recyclable model and ensures the clothes remain biodegradable when they run their course. The circular design has three core values:
- No more waste and pollution
- Using regenerative materials to protect the environment
- Circulate, reuse and recycle products
This economic model aims to move from non-renewable activities to renewable functions, enabling a cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and sustainable business strategy. It separates economic operations from limited resources, instead opting for infinite resources to build a robust economy.
Why is Wool the Perfect Circular Economy Material?
As a naturally circular fibre, wool ticks all the boxes required to drive the circular fashion model. A renewable material, wool comes from sheep, has an exceptionally high reusable and recyclable threshold, and its biodegradable nature returns nutrients to the soil. Instead of merely recycling, wool completes the entire circle of deriving from nature and returning to it.
Every Wool Fibre is Usable
Regardless of the fibre’s length, every wool fibre comes in handy when designing garments. Once the sheep are sheared to obtain wool, fibres are separated according to their length and quality. The textile industry then processes long fibres to create fine yarns, and the shorter fibres are thoroughly washed to remove dirt and contaminants. After processing and cleaning the threads, the designer opens them to use the short fibres for spinning wool yarns and long fibres for wool clothes.
Woollen Products Last Long
According to the International Wool Textile Organisation, woollen items last for 20 to 30 years, sometimes even longer. The number of times you can wear a cloth indicates its durability and effect on the ecosystem. Woollen goods last decades, which makes wool the ideal material for reusing and recycling. Since wool exhibits incredible circulation abilities, it is an excellent circular economy fibre.
Furthermore, wool’s inherent properties, such as smell, resistance to stains, and anti-wrinkle characteristics, make woollen garments easy to maintain. They allow woollen clothes to retain their strength and appearance longer than other materials.
All Production Remnants are Recyclable
From shearing a sheep to obtaining wool to scouring and carding, every piece involved in the production process is reusable and recyclable as renewable materials. Depending on maintenance and quality, some parts can be reused without further cleaning. The scraps that don’t require additional processing save energy, resources, and time.
No Additional Chemicals Needed
Usually, during textile processing, materials require additional chemicals or dyes to help them maintain their colour. However, wool retains its colour without extra dye. Whether recycling wool fibres or yarns, the initial materials are enough to keep their colour. You can reuse the scraps and fabrics that underwent production first in their original state.
The circular economy creates a fashion model that handles climate change, maintains the ecosystem, and prevents waste and pollution. Using wool to create goods gives them durability and allows you to regenerate, reuse, and recycle them quickly, conveniently, and cost-effectively.