Is Wool Destroying the Planet?! Environmental Chemist Dissects the EU PEF Method



Ya’ll, I hope you are ready to be hit with ✨science✨ Also known as: Watch me stumble over the word “synthetic” for almost 20 …

16 Comments

  1. Another chapter for face/palm or just banging your head against the wall….
    The big problem in the EU (and any other industrial country) is, that the rules and laws come from the industry and are not intended to make a sustainable world. Sustainable means industry is losing money and thats a big no, no. A skirt that is worn a year instead of 4 weeks is a problem for them, but luckily for them, the clothes are now so badly made that they will disintegrate after a few washes.
    So the only way out, in this (and almost all areas) is to make my own stuff. We as consumers have to shift our priorities, because the industry and goventments wont do it.

  2. I'm relieved that wool is not destroying the planet lol. But I had no idea about super wash! Can you tell us how one would identify it if it wasn't labeled?

  3. I love how much salt is in this video. Sooooo good and entirely deserved! Sounds like a bunch of lobbying nonsense to me. I'm hoping some day soon, green washing gets the scorn it deserves.
    I really appreciate this deep dive. Sometimes laws and regulations can be confusing (intentionally), so it's nice having it neatly laid out so we can see just how fucky it is

  4. I didn’t know superwash treated wool was coated in plastic 😭
    Synthetics are uncomfortable to wear, bad for the environment and end up in a landfill or burned, yet get a better score than wool 🤨 giving an objective score is a good idea to give customers a better idea of the environmental impact, but the scoring should be revised

  5. Thank you, this was really fascinating. I live in Australia where we have a large wool industry, it's interesting to see what is happening to the industry in other parts of the world.

    I wish I could wear wool! I am so for it as a sustainable natural fibre, but I am extremely allergic to it. Sadly I can't wear it at all without getting giant welts and itchy rashes😔Does anyone have any suggestions for wool alternatives? I'd love to make a historical cloak but have no idea what to use that isn't wool. Annoyingly, I am also allergic to wool from other animals like goats and alpacas, I've tried them all 🙃(eg. Cashmere, Mohair, Angora). Any ideas?

  6. Thank you so much for this video. I've been in dire need of a well-referenced resource to send to several vegan friends who think that synthetic fibers are somehow more environmentally friendly than animal fibers like wool. I'm a botanist, so I'm able to explain a lot of technical aspects of plant fibers and their production, but I don't have the technical expertise to fully explain the issues with synthetics. The ethics of animal husbandry are difficult to explain to people with minimal experience in ranching, since ethical animal treatment is simpler for free-range animals like sheep that can't really be raised in confinement. As a result, it's nice to have a video that summarizes a lot of the issues of synthetic fibers in comparison with natural ones.

    I also really appreciate your mentioning that wool tends to be a low-value (or even negative-value) byproduct of the lamb/mutton industry. It's a problem I've heard a lot about from acquaintances in the fiber arts community (I'm also a hand-spinner) who want to get into animal husbandry for fiber production. In many parts of the US, there aren't even enough professional sheep-shearers to service all of the livestock, making sheep husbandry prohibitively expensive. (I've got a friend who's a shearer and she's busy all the time, even though her rates are a bit higher than average.)

  7. I was talking with an acquaintance about my fabric preferences and she said "I'm also really particular about working conditions and sustainability (which involves far more than just natural fibers, fyi)" I was like yes… but as far as clothes sustainability are concerned smaller designers should make a point of using either deadstock plastics or natural. And natural is better because that doesn't magically make issues appear to vanish.

  8. As a former academic, I started laughing internally when the references started showing up on the screen.
    Thank you for your work, and for this very needed shade. Lobbying sure is real huh.

  9. I'm not an environmental chemist but I took one look at the ratings for different fibres and went 'no no no, this can't be right?'

  10. Love this video. Thank you.
    I have so much to say… let's start with sheep.

    My sheep build soil.
    My sheep distribute manure and urine evenly, meaning I don't have to import fertilizers.
    My sheep replace my gas-guzzling lawnmower.
    Both these actions sequester carbon in the ground and build soil so that each year, the pasture grows better.
    My sheep are happy to clear land of vegetation when I want to convert it to a garden

    On Large farms (we're talking more than 1k sheep who use wool graders), every scrap of wool has value and is saved for processing, even if some of that is for industrial use. On my small farm, the wool that won't make good fabric is composted and adds a tremendous amount of nitrogen to the soil.

    I also compost my old clothes that aren't good enough to pass on to a charity shop or be repaired. Then grow more food for the sheep (and the farmer) with the composted soil. What bugs me the most is the thread used in commercial 100% natural fibres, doesn't decompose. It's a pain to sift this out of the finished compost.

    This winter, I wore a wool skirt for the first time while farming. A cotton skirt can last no more than 3 days of winter farmwork before being so dirty with mud and muck that it needs washing. But the wool skirt can go a month of daily wear. For some reason, the mud and muck won't stick to it. This is a life-changing discovery for me.

    Natural clothing is so much more nuanced than that report suggests.
    Thanks again for the video.

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