We thrive for 'easy to wear, easy to care for' pieces. We all have busy lives and definitely have something better to be doing than handwashing clothing when we have washing machines in existence. That is far too high maintenance for my liking. I am all too familiar with the dreaded handwash only pile of jumpers that builds up in the corner of your landing or in the bottom of the laundry basket. I constantly battle with this and always dread and avoid it for as long as I can. Ultimately I end up wearing them all half as much as I would love to.
Almost all of our ethical items are washing machine friendly, tried and tested (with the wiser mum on board) before we make our final decision to move forward with a product. This does not sacrifice the quality or integrity of the item, the softness of the fabric or overall shape. We've hit the jackpot with our woollies and recycled treasures which are born to be 'easy to wear and easy to care' for.
Superior to your average wool jumper, our Embleton, Hadrian, Cheviot and Holy Island pure woollies are crafted to be convenient for our bustling, modern lives by being super easy to care for. Believe it or not, our pure wool jumpers can be machine washed in modern washing machines with a wool wash setting.
I am a renowned shrinker in my family despite following guidelines and giving it my best shot. With this reputation, I was sceptical when trialling the first samples. My mum and I took one of each size, measured them and with great hesitancy threw them in the washing machine one-by-one with closed eyes and crossed fingers. Once done our measurements found no change. Not believing it, we did this twice for each jumper. Low and behold, there was no shrinking! Our ‘close-to-perfect’ wool jumpers can be machine washed on both a wool or 30 degree wash.
Despite our best efforts, our Sycamore Gap merino knit is a hand-wash only item. Keeping within the environmentally-friendly methods of spinning and working the yarn, we could not achieve a machine-washable-friendly composition. So please note the recommendation is, as on the care label, to hand wash this piece.
Our woollies combine the best features of pure wool jumpers – supreme quality and easy care to make them an everyday favourite.
Rather than shrinking, we were concerned about a loss of softness from washing in machines. We are blown away the softness of our plastic-bottle materials and don't want that to be a temporary thing until they're washed for the first time.
Low and behold, our luxury recycled layers maintain their softness when washed consciously on a 30 degree wash.
When considering the ethical integrity of an item, it requires looking at every process. A substantial one with our recycled items was microfibres. We touch on the use of recycled polyester here. Part of this, we consider the microfibres shed whilst washing.
The quality of the fabric is a determining factor in the shedding of microfibres. Research by the University of Plymouth indicated that rPET sheds less and results show that textile design can strongly influence release of microfibres, with woven textiles with a compact structure twisted and composed of continuous filaments, release less microfibres. All of our recycled items are considered to have a tight weave within their textile makeup to be considered to belong to this group of textiles. Additionally, cooler washes are proven to reduce the release of microfibres. We recommend on our care labels a maximum 40 degrees, with most items recommended 30 degrees purely from an environmental standpoint.
Home Tip! If your washing machine does not have a filter, the use of a Cora Ball is the answer (no ad I promise! This is something I use at home myself to reduce my own impact). This is an affordable laundry ball thrown in with each wash which captures microfibres that break off clothing and collects them so it can be disposed of in the right way.
An Eco-minded Approach to Washing
We encourage a low maintenance approach to washing, both with your I&R pieces and your wider wardrobe. Coming from a family of farmers, we understand some things need regular deep cleaning...for the sake of grease, muck and your nose! Although, there are many items, particularly natural items like our woollies, that benefit from simply airing, rather than an intensive wash. Wool is clever. It's natural. Its resilient and resistant to simply everyday encounters, it knows the drill for self preservation.