Big Innovation in Sustainable Clothing Made Possible With Insulation From Icelandic Wool Fabric
Using Icelandic wool originally for traditional sweaters, Icewear has proven that a new standard for waste reduction is as sustainable as it is profitable.
“This innovation will drive the wool industry into the future”— Icewear’s CEO, Aðalsteinn Pálsson.
REYKJAVIK, ICELAND, January 11, 2023/ EINPresswire.com / -- Icelandic sheep roam free in the mountains, surviving the island’s harsh Nordic climate thanks to their unique fur. Their wool has been used for centuries to keep Icelanders warm, too, from which eventually the iconic Icelandic jumpers were created.
The premier outdoor brand Icewear now uses Icelandic wool insulation made from previously discarded material.
It was the end of 2021 when Icewear announced its greatest innovation after almost 50 years in business. In partnership with Ístex, Icewear launched a new outdoor line with unique and sustainable Icelandic wool insulation.
Icelandic wool insulation of this quality (over 80% wool) had never been seen before. This insulation is OEKO-TEX certified and offers qualities seen only in Icelandic wool. Icelandic wool’s most characteristic feature is its two layers (inner wool and long outer hair). The parts of that wool that were previously discarded (because it lacked the structure necessary for yarn) could now be mixed into a new wool insulation, making for holistic use of the source wool.
Icewear’s CEO, Aðalsteinn Pálsson, comments, “This innovation will drive the wool industry into the future.”
Clothing Waste Management in the Wool Industry
Pálsson and the rest of Icewear have become increasingly outspoken on the environment, especially with this innovation. It’s not just about Icewear making better use of raw product: it’s about waste management in the wool industry. Icewear has done more than reduce waste. It’s taken would-be waste and turned it into a line of quality products.
What was once “waste” was also previously a loss for sheep farmers. Now, Icewear is able to pay farmers more for the wool they produce, which makes Icewear’s new outdoor line even more sustainable, both environmentally and socially.
No other company in the world produces outdoor clothing with Icelandic wool, so Icewear was uniquely positioned to impact the industry.
Unique Products with Exclusive Properties
Icewear’s new insulation offers a long list of benefits to wearers to stay dry, clean, and to regulate body temperature outdoors.
It’s the use of Icelandic wool, specifically (and both layers of that wool) that brings these benefits to wearers. Icelandic wool insulation:
• Provides consistent warmth in ever-changing outdoor conditions.
• Maintains stable temperature even when wet.
• Does not clump together when wet.
• Has antibacterial properties.
• Optimizes breathability.
• Is especially light.
• Repels water.
Icelandic sheep have been bred in isolation for over a millennium, and their wool has become unique in both quality and demand. At its peak, the Icelandic wool industry was exporting over 900 tons of woollen products annually. That doesn’t even weigh in the domestic use of products.
Roaming freely through the Icelandic countryside for five months each year, for centuries Icelandic flocks have been exposed to the elements. Icelandic farming practices have further influenced the wool these sheep grow over countless generations.
Resilience is in the very DNA of Icelandic sheep—quite literally, since it’s seen in how their wool grows. And Icewear has now taken this natural resilience and rolled out a new outdoor clothing line based on it.
Environmentalism in Sheep Farming in Iceland
Shortly after lambs are born each spring, Icelandic farmers let their flocks out to roam freely through the summer. Instead of devoting vital resources to the transportation of feed and other supplies, farmers leave sheep to graze on the nourishing and self-sustaining roughage in the countryside.
Icelandic sheep are exposed to the changing weather into the fall before flocks are collected in an annual sheep-gathering festival. Over that time, sheep reach far corners of the countryside and explore the same wonders of the island that draw well over two million tourists each year.
This farming model is better for the sheep, better for the farmers, and better for the land. It’s sustainability at its best.
What’s Next for the Wool Industry in Iceland
Icelandic wool shifted in the 1970s and 1980s from a domestic market to a globally exported good. Today, Ístex is the only working wool factory in Iceland, and Icewear works with them to create this new and unique wool insulation.
Once washed and treated, wool is separated into what will become yarn and what won’t. There remain literal tons of opportunity for other brands to think like Icewear and make sustainable products using all parts of Icelandic wool.
Icewear has been in operation for over 50 years. The company started as a knitting studio in Hvammstangi in 1972, and since has grown into an international line of Icelandic wool and outdoor apparel. Before the launch of the new outdoor line, traditional Icelandic wool sweaters were the products Icewear was best known for. With the new outdoor insulated line, Icewear has championed in a new era for the company, for consumers, and for the wool industry in Iceland and abroad.
Robert van Spanje
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