We’re not here to tell you that buying a shirt will save the planet. Instead, we want to share our progress in building a more sustainable apparel company. Our work here is never complete.
We believe that owning less is the most effective way to reduce our footprint. Wool&Prince is founded on the idea that guys get more out of life when they have fewer things. Own less, own better, and get to the things you love doing. We think merino wool is the key to owning less clothing, since it remains fresher for longer compared to other fibers.
We also sponsor Only What Matters, an online community of people practicing thoughtful consumption and simple living. We discuss a variety of topics including living with less, travel, wool care, and wardrobe optimization.
Wool&Prince launched after our founder wore a wool shirt for 100 days straight without washing. He followed that up with wearing only 26 items for one year. We practice our less-is-more approach, it’s not something we simply talk about. And it's not just our founder either, 63% of our customers, based on a 2019 survey, have changed their laundry habits since making a purchase from Wool&Prince.
Washing and drying account for a surprisingly high percentage of a garment’s carbon footprint. And all this washing isn't easy on clothing either. Cleaning often breaks down a garment just as much, if not more than actual use. We encourage you to wear-more, wash-less. #everydaymerino
-AEG, a washing machine company, estimates that 90% of clothes washed aren’t actually dirty.
-Washing machines account for 17% of our home water usage and a quarter of a garment’s carbon footprint over the course of its lifetime comes from cleaning it.
-We don’t wear 80% of the clothes we own.
-We throw away 70 pounds of clothing and other textiles annually.
Wool! And it's renewable and biodegradable. When needed, we add other materials to the wool to increase durability (like in our tees, where we wrap two nylon filaments around a merino fiber core) or achieve a certain color (like our white shirts). We’re working to replace nylon with an extra durable natural fiber such as hemp, but nylon is our best option at the moment.
You can learn more about where our wool comes from here.
A recent improvement is the usage of recycled polyester in our woven product labels. It's a small victory, but we're always looking for materials with less impact and no compromise.
Decreasing Our Impact
Here's a glimpse at the initiatives we’ve completed and the projects we’re working on to reduce our impact on the environment.
It’s our goal to use zero plastic packaging and only use packaging made from 100% post consumer waste. We’re not quite there, but we’re making progress and working on a “belly band” for our shirts instead of the recyclable poly bag that we use now.
Returned items with hair, odor, cologne scent, or dust can't be returned back to stock, so we sort through the products, find the wearable garments, clean them, and offer them at a reduced price. Many businesses destroy, ignore, recycle, or donate this product. However, we feel that renewing our products for their intended use is the most sustainable and beneficial option.
Natural Dye Collection
In the summer of 2019, we released our second batch of naturally dyed merino tees. The dyes—buckthorn, indigo, and iron—are as natural as the merino fibers themselves.
Wool&Prince is looking to test a buyback program, similar to what Patagonia does with Wornwear.com. If you have a Wool&Prince item that has fallen out of the rotation, we’d love to give you Wool&Prince credit in exchange for the old garment. All you have to do is ship your Wool&Prince items to us and include your email address in the package so we can follow up with credit.
Bike or take public transit to our showroom and get $10 credit toward your purchase.
100 Day Challenge
Expanding on the challenge that launched W&P, we now invite you to do your own 100-Day Challenge, or at least attempt one. We're convinced you could benefit from simplifying your morning routine, making “what to wear” the easiest question of your day. Read all about it here.
Meet the team and get a feel for the Wool&Prince culture.