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Front Runners How we work to make our wool garments last forever

Filippa K’s journey towards sustainability is guided by our Front Runners – our garments developed as sustainably as is possible today. The Front Runners go through thorough sustainable life-cycle assessments, where every phase of the garments’ lifecycle; from raw material to afterlife; is examined and adjusted with minimal eco-system impact in mind. Looking at one material at the time, our plan is to make our entire collections sustainable by 2030 – with the Front Runners leading our way.

After a long process behind the scenes, the second set of Front Runners is now reaching our stores, and this time, they are made of recycled wool.
Here is a peek into the process of making the Front Runners: Recycled Wool.

Recycled wool
Our choice for the front runner main material is recycled wool mixed with recycled polyester needed to increase the strength and durability. The recycling companies and fabric supplier are located in Prato, Italy.

No anti-pilling
All wools do pill, it is part of wools’ inherent qualities. How much they pill depends on the length of the fibres and how the fibre has been treated. The same goes for recycled wool. We have mechanically adjusted the fibre in the front runners to pill as little as possible. We had a choice to make, either to add an anti-pilling treatment to the fabric to prevent pilling or leave the fabric totally untreated and by doing so saving a lot of water, chemicals and energy. We chose the latter. So the front runners might pill after some usage and the best way to get rid of the pilling is to use a tool to remove them, like a sweater stone.

No dyeing
The scraps of fabrics used–cutting left overs–get sorted in to colours before being recycled, which means we do not have to dye or finish the fabrics. This means we use 96% less CO2, 89% less water and 76% less energy than in a regular dyeing process.

Our plan is to make
our entire collection sustainable by 2030

Traceability
We have full traceability from cutting waste to ready made garment.

Minimised cutting waste
The skirt is made out of one piece of fabric creating practically zero cutting waste.

Recycled lining
We are using recycled polyester for the lining and have chosen an extra strong fabric since we want it to last as long as possible. The lining is usually one of the components that gets worn out first.

Recycled sewing thread
We are using recycled polyester sewing thread in instead of virgin one.

Recycled zippers
The zippers are made of recycled polyester.

Sustainable buttons
We use corozo buttons. Corozo, known as "vegetable ivory”, is the fruit of Phitelephas Macrocarpa, an autochthonous palm-tree which grows in Ecuadorian micro-climates. The farmers collect the ripe nuts when they have fallen from the trees and then sun-dry and process the nuts into button ‘blanks’ in a 100% natural way. When sent to the button supplier, where all the remaining steps are undertaken to fashion a button ‘blank’ into a finished product, the ‘blanks’ that are not perfect are ground together and used to polish buttons. Dyeing is executed using natural substances where at all possible.

Full traceability from cutting waste to garment

10 years of care
10 years of care is a kind of warranty system, meaning we will help the customers to care for their products during ten years. We are also inviting our customers to contribute with information that can be valuable for us in the future. When a customer brings in a Front runner with some kind of problem to a store we treat or repair the garment according to the need.

Recycled grey labels
We are trying out a new kind of label, 100% recycled and in a grey tone. Since caring for your garment is an essential part of a making it last longer, one of the most important messages is not to wash your clothes too often. Wool is a “self cleaning” anti-septic material that does not need to be washed very often. Most of the time airing is enough. A white neck label can appear a bit grey after a while of usage–therefore we changed the label to grey for the Front runners.

Hangtag
The hangtags are made of 100% recycled paper and the string is made of 100% recycled polyester.

Polybag for transport
Most polybags are made of polythene. Once they are made they cannot be destroyed, as polythene is not biodegradedable. We instead use a biodegradable plastic bag made out of corn starch which is a more sustainable choice and does not have the same dangerous impact on environment and people.