In an evolving and increasingly developed world, questions and the importance surrounding sustainability often come up. In this section we have addressed WILD WOOLs main focus areas to be our best self and help make the world a better place.
WILD WOOL and its history with sustainability
When we founded WILD WOOL back in 2012, the word Sustainability was rather uncommon, instead the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility («CSR») was the focus. CSR was a vital part of the initial concept of founding WILD WOOL, and still is. The purpose of founding WILD WOOL was to produce affordable, classic and high quality garments from 100% natural fabrics, that can be used over and over again throughout many years, contrary to the fast-fashion trend at the time. From the start we chose to produce our products in a developing country; Nepal, in order to contribute to increased prosperity in a developing country as well as take part in their inherited knitting craftsmanship. As a way of giving-back, from 2012 to 2017 WILD WOOL donated 10kr per item sold (approx 5% of the profit) to Utviklingsfondet and their work in Nepal (supported by Norad, who provide 90kr for every 10kr they received through charity). After 2017, WILD WOOL has instead donated a part of our profits to Unicef through the purchase of their product «Warm clothes for refugee children».
WILD WOOL and UNs Sustainability Development Goals
The initial choices made in 2012 when founding WILD WOOL, our purpose, choosing Nepal as production country and the choice of giving back some of our profits, are choices WILD WOOL have kept and that remain a strong part of our company’s DNA. The initial choices can be seen as our small contribution to the following two of UNs established Sustainable Development Goals from 2015; 1.No Poverty and 10.Reduced Inequalities.
Over the last five years, WILD WOOLs CSR focus has developed into further territory of these two UN Goals; 13.Climate Action and 12.Responsible Consumption and Production, as well as maintaining focus on the first two goals and of course supporting all 17 goals.
WILD WOOLs continuous responsibility and sustainability initiatives:
I Considered materials and process
The ingredient in our products is wool. Five years ago we committed to using organic, mulesing free, certified processes and fabrics (GOTS & OEKO-TEX®), in producing the WILD WOOL and MINI MERINO garments.
Making this commitment means we source materials and ingredients where the welfare of people, animals and the environment are taken into account, and making products that meet an international sustainability standard that supports the health of environment, worker and wearer.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS ) was developed by leading standard setters to define world-wide recognised requirements for organic textiles. From the harvesting of the raw materials, environmentally and socially responsible manufacturing to labelling, textiles certified to GOTS provide a credible assurance to the consumer.
When yarn carries the STANDARD 100 label by OEKO-TEX®, the customer can be certain that every component of this yarn, has been tested for harmful substances and that it therefore is harmless for human health.
The cashmere in the WILD WOOL products is organic, mulesing free cashmere from Inner Mongolia, Qinghai and Tibet with GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) approval and is certified as STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®.
The WILD WOOL scented candles are made from 100% natural soy wax.
All MINI MERINO garments are made of 100% long fibred superwash merino wool from Australia. The wool is certified STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX® and mulesing free.
II Community and craftsmanship
The choice of Nepal as production country for WILD WOOL, was motivated by the wish to work with another culture and an experienced country within the knitting field, as well as the will to increase a developed country’s prosperity and investing in their community. Our products are made for the use in the Scandinavian climate, which is in many ways similar to the climate of the mountain covered part of Nepal, making Nepal an important part of WILD WOOLs DNA.
Our supplier is a a boutique factory, making us an important part of their community’s welfare. WILD WOOL has traded fairly with the same supplier throughout almost 10 years now, and it has created several jobs over the company’s existence and continue to create work for people in both Norway and Nepal (mainly).
All our products are handmade by ladies and men. This type of work is called «skilled labor» and you must have a certificate and education to be able to make the clothes.
When visiting the factory premises we have witnessed a clean and pretty environment with happy employees with a dedicated lunch and rest room as well as access to a garden outside. We have established routines to check that the employees of the factory get what they are entitled to.
At WILD WOOL, we treat all people equal, we recruit without prejudice and with equality in mind. We would also like to add that we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and the LGBT community, among others.
III Reducing waste and planet welfare
Luxury shouldn’t be wasteful or pollute. Although we produce new products rather then recycling, we keep circularity in mind, including when it comes to our packaging. In 2018, we established a set-up for repair of garments, to ensure longer ware and use of our products with the aim of zero waste.
The purpose of founding WILD WOOL in 2012 was to produce affordable, classic and high quality garments from 100% natural fabrics, that can be used over and over again throughout many years, contrary to the fast-fashion trend at the time. We believe in buying better and less, instead of more for less, which can increase waste. If we are lucky, our products will be loved and cherished and passed on from generation to generation.
As cashmere is a 100% natural fabric and has great breathing capabilities, the need for cleaning is 5-10 times less than of cotton. This limits the footprint while using our products.
We aim to limit our carbon footprint by shipping fewer and more comprised parcels when ordering from our factory in Nepal. Our collections are shipped with DHL and all of DHLs packaging is made from recycled paper. At the factory in Nepal, our products are handmade on machines using no power, making the production of the garments zero emission and carbon neutral. The hangtags are FSC certified.
Our online orders are mainly shipped with Bring Posten Klimanøytral Servicepakke, a carbon neutral delivery option. This helps us to leave minimal carbon footprint for delivering our online orders.
Printing and the use of paper is rare in our operations, as we do not print marketing material and our accounting and ordering system is 100% digital. Online order packaging and in-store shopping bags are made of biodegrable paper and is FSC (forest for all forever)-certified to avoid polluting the nature.
We strive to minimize waste in all parts of our operations. As for the plastic our goods come in and the waste and plastic that may appear from our daily operations is degradable and handed in to recycling through the Norwegian The Waste Management Agency and Energy Recycling Agency.
All our products are sold to consumers either on full price or with a small discount, never destroyed. Therefore there is no unsold stock in our production cycle.
At our office and store we have a take home policy to avoid food waste and we only use biodegradable and FSC-certified or reusable cups for coffee and water. We use only LED lighting in the WILD WOOL premises, we are powered by hydropower which is a renewable energy source, as well as mainly using second-hand furniture and decor.
IV Animal welfare
WILD WOOL and MINI MERINO are cruelty free brands. No fur or leather is used in the production or in any products. The wool we use is organic and mulesing free. The goats roam freely and graze, and the wool is responsibly hand-combed, not plucked.
Raising goats is not just a job, it is a life style. Our cashmere supplier has met with each nomadic family personally to ensure they treat their animals well, promote good animal husbandry and ensure the five animal freedoms. In each area the goats have become the family members of herdsmen.
WILD WOOL is not a fully sustainable brand. It is inevitable, as we produce new things from the worlds resources. However we have a large and increasing effort in being as responsible and sustainable as we can. Our way of being sustainable is to work as locally as possible, and to create the minimum waste by being very precious and concise to minimize our footprint. We are not perfect and we are continuously working on bettering ourselves in all initiatives. Lastly, we humbly hope our transparency and being as open and honest as we are, will improve our industry.