Wool – a natural fibre – is renewable, recyclable and even biodegradable. It's known for its thermal insulation qualities, keeping you warm when it's cold and cool when it's warm. A moisture-wicking fibre, the natural, self-cleaning properties of wool ensure that you don't have to wash wool garments often. If you look after your garments, they'll be with you year after year.
Our wool commitment
OUR WOOL COMMITMENT
For all its benefits, the farming of sheep and the processing of wool have a significant environmental footprint, due to the use of chemicals, emissions of greenhouse gases – such as methane – and the soil degradation caused. At Scotch & Soda, we feel a shared responsibility to care for the ecosystem that supports us. Our goal is to make a positive contribution to climate protection, reducing our environmental impact and waste. Therefore, we've committed to sourcing at least 50% of our wool from preferred wool fibres by 2025.
We've classified the following types of wool as preferred:
- Responsible wool (RWS certified)
- Organic wool (GOTS, OCS certified)
- Recycled wool (GRS, RCS certified)
- Merino wool (RWS certified)
- Mohair (RMS certified)
- Alpaca (RAS certified)
- Post-consumer Recycled Cashmere (GRS, RCS certified)
See the list below for info about each of these eight types of wool.
Since 2021, Scotch & Soda has been a certified party of the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), a voluntary standard that addresses the welfare of sheep and the land they graze on; as well as the Global Recycled Standard (GRS) and the Organic Content Standard (OCS). We've been a certified party of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) since 2020.
We work closely with our suppliers to source better wool fibre alternatives and to align every step in our value chain – i.e. the activities needed to create a product – with the chain-of-custody practices of the standard.
ROADMAP TO 2025
Being able to offer our designs in a preferred wool fibre takes time, research and innovation. Therefore, we've set a roadmap towards our end objective of sourcing at least 50% of the wool we use in our collections from our preferred wool fibre source by 2025.
- 2021: gained our GRS, OCS and RWS certification – current position
- 2022: 5%
- 2023: 20%
- 2024: 35%
- 2025: 50%
RESPONSIBLE WOOL (RWS CERTIFIED)
The Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) is an independent voluntary standard, developed with the input of farmers, animal welfare experts, land conservation experts, brands and retailers from all parts of the world. The RWS requires all sites involved in the production or processing of wool to be certified. From farming the wool to all processing stages: from trading to sourcing, yarn spinning, fabric making and garment assembling to retailing.
The certification verifies that sheep are treated with respect to their Five Freedoms:
- Freedom from thirst, hunger and malnutrition
- Freedom from discomfort
- Freedom from pain, injury and disease
- Freedom to express normal patterns of behaviour
- Freedom from fear and distress
In addition, it verifies best practices in land management. For farmers, this entails that they:
- need to meet the criteria of RWS in order to preserve land health;
- practice progressive methods of land management on their farms to protect soil health, biodiversity and native species;
- and that their farms are certified to the Animal Welfare, Land Management and Social Modules of the RWS.
Through the processing stages, the RWS certification ensures that wool from certified farms is properly identified and tracked. This means subsequent stages of the supply chain are certified to the Content Claim Standard (CCS) requirements.
ORGANIC WOOL (GOTS, OCS CERTIFIED)
Our organic wool is certified under the Organic Content Standard (OCS) and the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), which has defined requirements on land and processing use. GOTS also has prohibitions on chemical and synthetic fertilizer usage on land, as well as on chemicals used in the processing of wool and wastewater treatment.
RECYCLED WOOL (GRS, RCS CERTIFIED)
With the production of wool being a resource-intensive job, using recycled wool is a great way to extend the life span of this fibre. Recycled wool reduces the amount of waste material, and less water and energy are needed for the process of recycling than for producing virgin wool. By recycling wool, GHG emissions are also minimised, as there is no need for farming sheep, which emits methane during the animal's digestive process. We follow the standards for recycled wool as defined and certified by the Recycled Content Standard (RCS) and the Global Recycled Standard (GRS).
MERINO (RWS CERTIFIED)
Merino wool comes from merino sheep. The fibres have the same beneficial properties as common sheep wool but are softer and finer than regular sheep wool fibres. This makes merino suitable to produce finer, lightweight knits that are extra breathable. Merino wool falls under the same Responsible Wool Standard as 'regular' sheep wool, which is our preferred option when we source merino.
ALPACA (RAS CERTIFIED)
Alpaca wool mainly comes from South America, particularly Peru. Unique characteristics of this fibre are its softness and lightness, combined with the long fibre length. All these properties make alpaca a valuable fibre, great for producing soft, durable and fine knits. Due to the landscape of the country, the majority of alpaca wool comes from small-holder farmers who own fewer than 50 animals and reside in remote areas of the highlands. This results in a different way of farming and wool processing, which is why an alpaca-specific standard was created: the Responsible Alpaca Standard (RAS). This standard verifies alpaca animal welfare and land management requirements and tracks it from the source to the final product.
POST-CONSUMER RECYCLED CASHMERE
Cashmere goats grow a double fleece: a fine, downy undercoat and a coarse outer coat. The soft, downy hairs have a unique, fine structure, which are turned into the silky soft fibres, and ultimately fabrics, that cashmere is known for. In 2019, industry reports revealed unethical methods of shearing – such as mulesing – and therefore we do not use virgin cashmere in our collections.
Scotch & Soda will only use recycled cashmere of post-consumer origin that is GRS or RCS certified, extending the life span of cashmere.