Rediscovering the golden fleece
It has to be one of modern life’s absurdities that companies selling plastic polypropylene clothing derived from fossil fuels are allowed to call it ‘fleece’. But in recent years real wool has been making a comeback.
Cutting-edge Kiwi clothing company Icebreaker is now busy clothing savvy customers in more than 3000 stores in 37 countries in fashionable, high-spec merino, while wool products from carpet makers Cavalier Bremworth are successfully taking on the synthetics inside our homes.
The movement has some influential backing. The Prince of Wales, arguably the world’s most famous sheep farmer, launched The Campaign for Wool in 2010 to reinvigorate interest in the fibre worldwide. It is set to run until 2015.
Jeremy Moon, who founded Icebreaker in 1994, is pleased that the new wave of wool is now getting a royal nod of approval:
“I think it’s cool that he’s dusting off the tweed and broadening his view of wool to include beautiful new lightweight merino wool fabrics, which are changing the face of what wool is,” he says.
“Wool went out of favour because it was itchy, prickly and oldfashioned.
We’ve made it light, soft and cool. People won’t buy things only because it’s natural; it’s got to be natural and beautiful.”