Making things better
We don't work with any fabrics, factories or people by accident and we don't enter into relationships lightly. Our fibre and fabric selection is based upon a 'whole-istic' approach - questioning, considering and selecting....
1. What are the best materials for the job of making the product - natural fibre? synthetic? or blend? We weigh up the individual benefits for warmth, waterproofness and durability. We then select from and develop the best performance fabrics for products to fit, function and last.
2. Environmental considerations - is it available in recycled or organic to the same top spec standard? Can it be sourced closer to home or can the supply chain be simplified? Can it be re-proofed and repaired, rather than replaced?
3. Who and where is best to make this product? We know our supply chain inside out and regularly visit every factory we work with. We learn from and challenge the knitters, weavers, pattern cutters and seamstresses, to innovate, improve and make things better.
4. Animal welfare - Where does the fibre originate? Is full traceability guaranteed?
Guaranteed non-mulesed source
Mulesing is a painful procedure for sheep, whereby skin is removed from the rear end of the animal to prevent fly-strike. We have been working with merino since the very early days of Finisterre, developing our own unique merino fabrics. We only work with knitters, spinners and farms who can provide us with full traceability reports, and we do not work with any farms who practise mulesing, guaranteeing you that your Finisterre merino products are mulesing-free.
Why not organic wool?
When we embarked upon the Bowmont project we already knew a thing or two about merino, but after working with Lesley Prior, who has reared the Bowmont back from extinction, we got a deeper understanding of wool, beyond the fabric right back to the animal. Lesley has taught us a thing or two about the complexities and realities involved in farming, live line-breeding and fine fibre management.
A plant base fibre such as cotton is grown from a seed and is very different to a fibre derived from a live animal. When cotton is grown conventionally, pesticides and intensive water-use mean pollution can occur, harming the soil and local water supply, which in turn can harm humans and animals. This is why where available, we source organic cotton for our products.
When it comes to fibre farming from animals, the threat affects the animal more than the human. Because of organic certification regulations, animals reared for organic wool production cannot be treated with certain medicines, painkillers or pesticides. Merino sheep are particularly prone to fly strike and to avoid the need for mulesing, a non-organic farmer may need to treat the sheep with a pesticide to guard against fly strike, if not the animal will suffer. So we work with wool farms that are non organic, that practise non-museling, guaranteeing best welfare for the sheep. The farmers know their animals best and the realties of caring for them, without the need for certification for certification's sake. Our close relationship with all suppliers allows us to know, understand and improve on the intricacies of the wool supply chain.
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