Our wool is low pesticide wool known as ecowool. The yarn from this ecowool is licensed to carry the Ecowool® registered trademark. The license defines that the wool must be certified to the EU Ecolabel standard for greasy wool.
The greasy wool is tested for concentrations of 32 individual pesticides grouped into 4 categories (Organophosphate, Synthetic Pyrethroid, Insect Growth Regulator and Organochlorine). These chemicals are washed out during processing so the wool must be tested straight from the farm before undergoing any processing. Some “environmental” standards test the finished fabric but by this time most of the harmful chemicals have been washed out to the detriment of marine life.
After testing, the wool is sent to be scoured or washed and this process must also meet the EU Ecolabel Standard for wool.
Each batch of our greasy wool is tested by CSIRO or Wronz to the standard and as part of our farm to fabric strict chain of custody, the batch number is traceable through to finished fabric. This facilitates regular audits by GECA but also enables us to assess how each batch of wool has performed during each stage of production to finished fabrics. This information can then be supplied back to the farmer to enable them to continue to improve their wool for Sustainable Living Fabrics’ specific end use.
With a strict farm to fabric chain of custody, we source the Leanwool® for our Ecowool® yarn through our LEAP scheme from over 160 selected farms practising ecofarming methods and tightly specify it to our standards. Ecofarming methods include practices such as rotational grazing to ensure the land is not degraded by the sheep’s cloven hoofs and low or no use of pesticides or other chemicals. The interest of farmers in following their wool through from farm to fabric and working to improve supply is a highlight of our sustainable fabric program.
Farms interested in being considered for the LEAP scheme are invited to register their interest here