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Wool is a protein fibre made from keratin, just like our hair. Wool can be worn all year round, especially in Scotland, as it has the natural ability to help regulate our body temperature. Worn next to the skin, its hygroscopic nature continues to react with our fluctuating temperature, helping us to feel comfortable on both warm and cold days.
Wool has a combination of sustainable and non-sustainable attributes. It is rapidly renewable, biodegradable, recyclable, can be produced organically and is a by-product of the food industry. There are new wool traceability standards and animal welfare standards to track its production. It is a high-performance, long-lasting fibre which is naturally water repellent, and flame-resistant.
However, sheep also contribute to climate changing levels of methane in the atmosphere, yet, their dung contributes to topsoil regeneration which aids the sinking of atmospheric carbon. The laundering of the natural lanolin (oil) content in wool production also contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions in the supply chain. Yet, once in a wearable condition, wool is self-cleaning and requires little laundering at low temperatures during its lifespan as a garment.
Wool is one of those fibres that the individual must weigh up the pros and cons for themselves.