WARM TONED WOOLS
As the season moves on from the deepest Winter chill to those clear days with just a touch of briskness to the air, I'm dropping my coat and simply relying on comfortable and breathable wool for my outer layers.
Each year I have a tradition of investing in one or two good wool jumpers from Country Road. From my experience they are always soft and easy to wear, a flattering fit and last me through the whole of winter and well into that 'in-between-ey' stage afterwards. If I was ever to purchase knits from any other brands they never seemed to quite live up to my CR buy so I formed this habit of investing in one or two for the season that I would wear to within an inch of it's life.
Looking back at this habit form it is certainly something that has shaped this trajectory that I'm on, focusing more and more on buying less but better. To be honest I was frustrated when I bought those other knits that yes, were affordable, but itched, held heat like a thermos (hello sweat-fest) or pilled on the very first wear.
The perfectionist in me liked the calculated research that went into carefully selecting the knit for the season that would be most versatile and wearable. This year's was this camel addition that is certainly earning back it's worth (unfortunately now out of stock, similar style here). But what I am also liking is Country Road's forward thinking in terms of sustainability for Australian Retailers. They are one of our first major brands offering transparency in their processes and have implemented a long term strategy to ensure ethical conditions are adhered to throughout their supply chain. Their strategy is detailed here and whilst they have certainly not perfected every aspect of their business yet, I think it is important to recognise these large brands that are making some effort, not just some sort of publicity stunt but are saying 'look, we're trying to do better in *these* ways'. The more companies that do this, and the more that we as consumers support them the more that we can lessen the harmful impact on the environment and the world's human resources that retail is currently responsible for.
The reason I choose wool in particular from Country Road's ranges is the fact that I believe in the benefits of wearing this natural fibre over a synthetic. Wool can have a stigma of being scratchy or prone to pilling but from my experience these two occurrences are reflective of the quality of the wool. This jumper and the others I have purchased before it have been soft to touch and hard wearing (and as I mentioned earlier I have certainly put these pieces to the test!).
The assurance that the CR Knit's are of high grade is due to their affiliation with The Woolmark Company, meaning that they are certified for quality and a guaranteed fibre content.
Australian Merino wool is used in their make which is well known for its softness, elasticity and breathable nature. Not only this but it is also a renewable fibre, as Australian Merino sheep produce a new fleece each year. On top of this it is also biodegradable, so whilst a synthetic garment may seem to have a less harmful impact on the wallet it has a much longer term consequence for the environment than it's biodegradable wool counterpart.
Whilst I digress slightly, I am so excited to be on this path exploring better ways to buy and ensure that the products I am purchasing are not only high quality, good value for hard-earned money and hard working in my wardrobe, but also a better choice overall. All it takes is for that little bit of extra thought- checking the garment's tag, or the 'About' section on a brand's website before you hit buy to start to understand who you are buying from and if they show care for their product and practices' impact on the environment.
I am certainly only at the start of this journey but so are a lot of these business's as well. I believe so strongly that it isn't so important that these endeavours are claimed to be 100% perfected, what's really important is that we all try as consumers and retailers, to learn together and make better decisions so that we can enjoy a beautiful product that doesn't cost the earth.