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THE WOOLMARK COMPANY X Monocle

Field of expertise

Increasingly these days, consumers are thinking about their clothes in a different way. We need to: fashion is one of the world’s most heavily polluting industries so we can’t keep buying fast-fashion items and ditching them after one season. So, when thinking about your smart modern wardrobe and choosing what sorts of clothes are worth investing in, it makes sense to consider items of clothing made of merino wool. 

Australia is the world leader in producing the merino wool that consumers have fallen in love with. This noble fibre is produced by tens of thousands of passionate Australian woolgrowers who know that happy, healthy sheep produce the world’s best wool. Acting on behalf of these growers, The Woolmark Company is a not-for-profit organisation that not only champions Australian wool but also guarantees authenticity and quality assurance with its iconic logo.

An increasing number of modern shoppers are keen to buy less but buy better. This change in consumption patterns can ultimately reduce the carbon footprint of their wardrobes as they invest in a smaller number of high-quality pieces destined to last a lifetime. For many reasons, woollen creations fit the bill; they are the antidote to fast-fashion and the fibre’s naturally inherent properties are so unique that they cannot be matched by any other material, natural or man-made. In fact, The Woolmark Company asked research firm Nielsen to dive into the wardrobes of more than 1,000 consumers in China, Japan, Germany, the UK and the US; the resulting study showed that woollen items were among the most durable pieces of clothing that people own. Seven per cent of wool items were bought more than a decade ago, compared to about 2 per cent of cotton and polyester items (figures taken as an average between both male and female wardrobes). 

The study also revealed that consumers perceived wool items as being “very difficult” to care for, which is a common misconception. Many wool items can be machine-washed and even tumble-dried at home, with care instructions that are simple to follow. It is also an eco-friendly fibre. When you wash it, the microfibres released are biodegradable and gradually disappear when they reach the ocean; when you wash synthetic products, the microfibres persist and can harm marine life. 

Other factors make woollen wares worthy of being long-term investments. Australian merino wool is naturally soft and breathable, and resistant to odour, creases and UV rays. Materials made from the fibre are versatile and can be worn across the seasons: it is one of the most breathable fibres and is also active, meaning that it reacts to changes in the wearer’s body temperature. It keeps you toasty when it’s cold and cool in summer. 

The potential and innovative nature of Australian merino wool has seen it move away from the confines of traditional tailoring and jumpers knitted by grandma. On these pages you’ll see how its rise in popularity has seen the world’s best designers turn the noble fibre into luxurious knitwear, high-performance sportswear and items that will stand the test of time. 

The Woolmark Company is committed to supporting Australia’s 60,000 woolgrowers and uniting the supply chain, from farmers to consumers, by encouraging lifestyles that promote ethical and ecological practices

Australian merino wool is a miracle yarn: it is renewable, biodegradable and completely natural

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01 
Rollneck jumper 
by Emilia Wickstead

Merino wool is longlasting, making it the perfect material for an investment piece, such as this classic chunky rollneck.

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02
Jacket by Private White VC 
Trousers by Joe Merino

Naturally resistant to creases, merino wool can be found in plenty of sharply cut menswear pieces.

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03
Bra top and leggings 
by Nagnata

Wool microfibres are biodegradable, making wool an eco-friendly choice for heavily washed items such as sportswear. 

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04
Long-sleeve waffle base layer 
by Tracksmith

Looking for an exercise top that will keep you warm before your run and cool you down mid-race? Wool can do that.

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05
Poncho by Albus Lumen

Super soft and breathable, merino wool is both luxurious and practical – wrap yourself up in this poncho to feel cosy. 

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