For the Fall 2023 Season, I am thrilled to announce that our wool overcoats will be made from 100% RWS + NATIVA™ Regen certified domestic wool woven at American Woolen using Shaniko Wool!
Ahem, layman's terms please???
Let me explain.
Unlike synthetic fibers, (such as acrylic and polyester that are made from plastics) wool is a natural and biodegrade-able fiber from a renewable resource (sheep shearing.)
The new fabric is RWS (Responsible Wool Standard) certified meaning that a progressive approach is being taken in both land management and animal welfare on the farm where the animals are raised.
The wool fibers that are harvested from Shaniko Wool Co right here in the United States.
This wool is RWS + NATIVA™ Regen certified bringing this product to the forefront of sustainable and ethical wool.
NATIVA™Regen is a regenerative agriculture certification that recognizes holistic farming practices that promote healthy ecosystems and preserve biodiversity.
Regenerative agriculture helps plants store rather than release carbon, proven to capture carbon in the soil, thus playing a major role in carbon sequestration.
Once harvested, the wool fibers are processed at Chargeurs in South Carolina where they are washed, sorted and combed.
The wool fibers that I will be using in the new fabric is 16.5 microns in diameter, (Ahem, laymen's terms PLEASE!) meaning that they are a very fine fiber, giving the fabric a soft hand, drape, and feel on the skin. Our previous wool/ cashmere fabric and the new 100% wool fabric are almost identical in their feel on your skin.
The sorted fibers are then sent to American Woolen in Connecticut where they are spun into yarns, woven into fabric, and dyed, bring you a
photo courtesy of American Woolen Company
100% American wool cloth, from fiber to finish (that never leaves the United States.)
This has been no small feat, and I am extremely proud to be able to share this information with you.
I have been researching the American wool supply chain for the past 7 years and striving to piece it back together after decades of off-shoring.
I can assure you that truly American-made products are few and far between.
Once complete, the wool fabric is shipped from American Woolen in Connecticut to (me) here in Chicago. Our wool coats are assembled in Chicago bringing you an (almost entirely)
We ship to your doorstep, so those of you in the United States, are a part of our American supply chain a too.
It has long been a goal of mine to be able to work with an American fabrics so that I could provide better transparency into my own supply chain, reduce greenhouse gases, and engage with USA manufacturing efforts.
What is most exciting about this beautiful fabric (apart from it feeling amazing on the skin!) is the pioneering advances in ethical and sustainable manufacturing it brings to our domestic textile industry.
Our domestic textile industry has suffered for far too long.
Photo courtesy of American Woolen Company
Please note! While I work continue to work toward incorporating this fabric and more American-made fabrics into my line, many pieces in my line will continue to be made from imported fabrics, that are sewn in the USA. Most of the component parts, such as linings and fasteners ARE imported, and will most likely continue to be imported while we rebuild the American supply chain.
I want to be transparent with you in this regard.
However, it is on my to-do list to be able to one day deliver you a 100% American made product.
My wool overcoats are fully lined, using high end, quality materials that keep your warmth and protection in mind. Of utmost importance of me is that my coats are designed to function and keep you protected from the weather, rather than just top-off your outfit or check a box toward sustainability.
Wearability, Functionality, Quality, Comfort, Timelessness. ALL of these are important.
Sustainability and ethics are important to me as an occupant of Planet Earth, but style, wearability and performance is what will ultimately bring YOU to love your coat for years to come.
I hope you continue to support me on my journey.
designer, Liz Williams