Wool is a natural, renewable fibre generated from animal fleece every year. Pure wool products are biodegradable and can be returned to the earth at the end of their life.
Wool’s natural antibacterial properties mean less frequent washing and, when cared for properly, woollen garments will last years.
Wool fibres are soft on the skin and naturally elastic. They are breathable and help to regulate body temperature, helping you stay comfortable regardless of the weather.
Australia is the world’s largest wool supplier, accounting for around 90% of the world’s fine wool for apparel, meaning we produce almost all of the wool used in the garments created by the fashion industry.
We will always try to source Australian wool where we can, but sometimes due to technical limitations, or needing a specific wool fibre, we source elsewhere. We currently partner with leading mills to source wool from a range of countries, including Australia, China, South America and South Africa.
We are constantly working with the wool industry and our partners to actively improve farming practices in and the ethical treatment of animals and sustainability globally. You can read more about this commitment in our Responsible Wool Strategy.
As with all fibres, there are challenges within the wool industry that we are navigating as part of our ongoing work to improve sourcing standards.
Intensive sheep farming practices can harm the environment, as land is often cleared so that industrial-sized livestock can graze. This overgrazing can then lead to decreased biodiversity, deforestation and issues with erosion. Holistic land management is the alternative here: smaller groups of animals are grazed in smaller paddocks for shorter periods of time, letting the land recover.
We are working with farms that support practices like this such as Beaufront Station in Tasmania.
Among other animal welfare concerns, mulesing is a measure taken to protect sheep from flystrike. Flystrike is a common issue for sheep in the Australian wool industry.
Mulesing, however, is a painful procedure for the sheep and can be avoided if farms adopt alternate farming practices, including the breeding of plain bodied sheep.
Currently only 15% of all Australian shorn wool is non-mulesed.
With these key challenges in mind, we are proud to have developed a Responsible Wool Strategy which supports higher animal welfare standards and sustainable farming practices.
Verified Traceable Merino with Oritain
Country Road is committed to supporting Australian farmers. We have created a collection of knits where we can trace each and every fibre to a small number of farms located around Australia.
A premium yarn, Australian Merino wool is soft, lightweight and warm. The fibres are longer, finer and white, and are considered the most premium wool fibres in the world. Australian Merino wool is known throughout the world for its many qualities; breathable, elastic, static-resistant and responds responsive to changes in body temperature.
A word on microns
The terms lambswool, babywool, extra-fine, super-fine and ultra-fine refer to the thickness of the fibre. It does not refer to a lamb or baby animal.
A luxury fibre that is incredibly rare, cashmere is extremely soft, lofty and lightweight. We strive to source our cashmere from Mongolia, where traditional farming practices are exercised. Here the nomadic farmers comb the yarn from the undercoat of Kashmir goats that roam the hills of Mongolia. The goats are combed in summer, when the fibres are naturally shed.
We believe it is best practice to support responsible cashmere production in communities reliant on this industry for their livelihood. In Mongolia, cashmere is the country’s third largest exporting industry and provides income to more than 100,000 people, 90% of whom are women and 80% of whom are below the age of 35. It is our aim to engage with relevant suppliers, industry bodies and non-government organisations (NGOs) in order to continue to support the cashmere industry in a responsible manner.
We acknowledge the various environmental and animal welfare challenges posed by the production of cashmere. We believe we have an important role to play in increasing market support for responsibly sourced cashmere and assisting communities that rely on this industry to implement improved standards of cashmere production.
A fine, silky and lustrous fibre from alpaca, that’s also very warm and fluffy. Alpaca fibres are longer than cashmere, but not as soft. Alpacas are native to the Andes, found in Peru, South America, and create large yields of fibres when shorn.
Mohair is sourced from the Angora goat. It is long, lustrous and extremely soft. The majority of the world’s mohair comes from South Africa, where farming practices are traditionally nomadic – the herders comb the goats and then drop the yarn at a central station. The mohair industry supports approximately 30,000 workers and their families.
Mohair growers are now working with Textile Exchange in developing a Responsible Mohair Standard. This will recognise the best farming practices, ensuring that mohair comes from goats that have been treated responsibly, on farms with progressive approaches to land management. By winter 2020, Textile Exchange will be able to provide audited farms with certifications.
Country Road is committed to sourcing mohair from audited South African farms, where we have robust traceability and animal welfare guidelines in place.
Yak fibres are considered the warmest in the world and are very rare, which makes them a luxury yarn. Yak fibres are sourced from nomadic flocks that roam the Himalayas, Tibet and Mongolia. Shedding happens every spring; the herders comb the yak’s undercoat, which is then spun into ultra-fine yarns.
A soft and lightweight natural fibre sourced from the seedpod of the cotton plant.Read more
Natural and biodegradable, wool is sourced from the fleece of animals.Read more
The first fibre to be woven into fabric, linen is crafted from the flax plant. It is soft, crisp and breathable.Read more
A natural fibre that’s strong and durable, leather is one of the few materials that becomes more beautiful with age.Read more
Cellulose fibres start as a tree: the wood pulp is dissolved then spun into fibres.Read more
A luxury yarn that is known for being incredibly soft, lightweight and lustrous.Read more
A hardworking fabric made from a durable cotton twill with a distinct diagonal weave.Read more
We’re addressing ocean waste and landfill through recycled fabrics and materials.Read more
Easy to care for, wrinkle-resistant, strong, and with the ability to hold pleats: we engineer synthetic yarns for specific purposes.Read more