The invention of synthetic fabrics such as polyester in the middle of the 20th century seemingly solved this problem. The majority of modern clothes are made from these artificial textiles. This includes your average insulated jacket. Yet, these materials are cheap, dry quickly, and are easy to mass-produce.
This may sound like a consumer's dream. Unfortunately, the reality is that synthetic fabrics are unsustainable and unethical. The materials have a negative impact on global ecosystems when washed.
So what is the answer for the modern outdoor adventurer who seeks to revel in the natural world without destroying it? While this may come as a shock to many, the answer is wool! Keep reading to discover why a Merino wool jacket is the ideal staple for cold-weather adventure clothing needs.
Wool is a versatile fiber that humans have been using to make durable clothing for thousands of years. Yet, modern perceptions of wool tend to conjure images of itchy, unwanted Christmas sweaters.
Merino wool breaks and dispels all negative stereotypes associated with wool. It is a fine wool that comes from Merino sheep. It not only surpasses synthetic fibers in terms of outdoor performance needs but is also a sustainable, natural resource.
In addition to being good for the environment, insulated jackets made with Merino wool can be ethical. Sheep actually benefit from being sheared as health problems can arise for them if their wool grows too long. Since wool always grows back, it makes for a quality renewable resource.
What ethically-guided consumers need to be aware of when shopping for Merino wool clothing is a process called mulesing. This is when sections of the sheep's skin are removed in an attempt to reduce insect infestations in the wool. However, this harmful practice has proven unnecessary and cruel, so look for brands that source non-mulesed wool.
Understandably, you won’t want to sacrifice performance or safety when being active in harsh, cold conditions. So it’s good to know you can have both natural and ethically sourced products that perform as well as, or most of the time, better than the artificial competition.
Here are six ways a Merino wool insulated jacket performs better than synthetics.
1. Superior Warmth and Comfort
Merino wool fibers are thin and fine, making the wool so soft that it is often compared to cashmere. Even those with sensitive skin will find it silky to the touch. Moreover, a 2019 scientific study shows that Merino wool helps reduce the severity and surface area of eczema compared to standard clothing.
Wool also makes for an excellent insulator, as the formation of its fibers allows for air to be trapped within, keeping the wearer nice and warm.
One of the struggles outdoor enthusiasts face is finding clothing that keeps them warm without leading to overheating and dampness from excess sweating. Merino wool is a perfect solution because it not only has the capacity to trap heat but also provides its wearer with a built-in moisture-wicking system.
Its fine-wool fibers can store moisture at an undetectable level. When that moisture evaporates, it creates a cooling effect. In this way, Merino wool is perfect for temperature-regulating jackets. It automatically keeps one warm while managing the sweat produced from body heat, leaving its user feeling just right.
Whether one is skiing or trekking, an insulated jacket with fast-drying properties is a must. While Merino wool does have the ability to absorb moisture, it does so without leaving one feeling wet or damp.
Its moisture-wicking system also helps it dry quickly. Moreover, it can dry as efficiently as synthetic polyester when crafted into quick-drying jackets combined with other types of fibers.
One of the areas where Merino wool outperforms polyester by a landslide is its resistance to odor. While polyester absorbs less moisture, this leads the smelly oils that form body odor to settle into the fabric. Merino wool's absorption and evaporation properties make it odor-resistant, as the smells vaporize along with the water.
For this reason, Merino wool requires less washing than other textiles. This is yet another way wool proves more sustainable and better for the environment.
5. High Breathability
The air pockets in wool fibers that create a temperature-regulating system also facilitate excellent breathability for Merino wool clothing. Garments like this women's insulated jacket are designed to not only harness the power of Merino wool's natural breathability but also to build on it with additional features designed with outdoor adventure in mind.
6. Durable and Long-Lasting
Merino wool is a natural fiber, which makes it biodegradable, unlike polyester. However, some may wonder if that makes it less durable, something that will need replacing quickly.
Fortunately, Merino wool is a highly sturdy natural fiber due to how its protein structures cause the fibers to interlock. Not only that, but the shape of the fibers themselves enhances the wool's durability and elasticity.
Yet another strength of wool is the natural UV protection it provides. Several scientific studies have proven that Merino wool provides a superior barrier to UV waves than that of all other textiles. It does so by absorbing the rays and thereby shielding the user from them.
Live Your Adventure in Comfort
With an Insulated Jacket
Finding the right clothing for cold-weather adventures is difficult enough as it is. Trying to do so while factoring in environmental sustainability and ethics makes it all the more challenging. A non-mulesed insulated jacket made with Merino wool is the best way to tick all your conscious consumer boxes without sacrificing quality or performance.
There's an insulated jacket to fit everyone's individual needs. Click on the link to find a variety of Merino wool apparel, including insulated jackets for women and specially designed men's insulated jackets that will keep any adventurer warm, dry, and feeling fresh.