»The labels that are relevant to Merino wool and really say something about the mulesing problem - such as RWS and GOTS - are too little known.«
Georg Abel, Head of the Verbraucher Initiative in Berlin (label-online.de), cited in the DER SPIEGEL magazine, 7/2019
Making better wool starts with the sheep. Unfortunately, most of the soft Merino wool is obtained from animals who have a piece of their skin cut off without anaesthesia in a process that is called mulesing. We cannot accept that. To change it, we started our company. Our wool comes exclusively from controlled organic animal farming. With the GOTS label, independent certifiers monitor to ensure that only such wool is used in our yarns. Guaranteed to be free of mulesing, chemical sheep dips or long slaughter transport. So you can be certain that you are doing the right thing by purchasing and using our wool.
The wool is spun and dyed according to our specifications in three small facilities in England and Portugal. We visit them regularly and work together on new yarns and colours. These owner-managed manufactories are GOTS certified and work using traditional machinery and craftsmanship. One of the dyeing boilers recently needed a spare part. Since then, it has been running on a burner obtained from the Queen’s own country house, because the owner of the dye house could only find the same historical model there. Instead of winding the yarn tightly on cones, our dye houses dye it as loose skeins so that it remains more elastic. Each skein is twisted by hand. And you can feel this care.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) stands for ethical organic textiles. In 2012, we were the first company to offer GOTS hand knitting yarns only and we aim to continue doing so. There are no trade-offs with us: our wool has only 100% GOTS fibres in it. Independent certifiers inspect us and our entire production chain annually on site. Being consistent in all aspects of our manufacturing simply feels so good. And we would like to share this feeling and the deep fulfilment it brings with you.Video about GOTS
GOTS certifies the entire value chain.From the organic farms through the washing, spinning and dyeing to us, our shippers and our distributors. This makes GOTS the strictest and most comprehensive international organic textile label available. In June 2019, GOTS was declared a test winner in the German consumer testing magazine Stiftung Warentest. Every business, no matter in which country, is inspected and every kilogram of wool is traceable. This is the only way we can guarantee that only organic wool is used to make our yarns and that everyone in the supply chain is treated fairly. Not only the workers, but also the animals who provide us with their wonderful wool.
A safe working environment, fair pay, a ban on discrimination, no child labour, no excessive working hours, the right to worker representation and ethical business practice - this is what GOTS demands from every producer. This is verified through both announced and unannounced visits by independent certifiers. For the textile industry, this is a big step.
GOTS has strict standards for textile residues. We are required to have tests conducted regularly. Furthermore, only certain chemicals may be used in production. Consequently, the development of new colours takes a long time. Chlorine, for example, is banned, so we cannot bleach the wool. And certain colours cannot be produced because their creation requires too many heavy metals. GOTS also requires quality testing. So you can be sure that our yarn will maintain its shape during washing, will not fade and not bleed out - through water, saliva or sweat.
Our yarns have been climate neutral since 2021. More about this in our "Good to know" section.
In 2020, the animal welfare organisation Four Paws honoured us - unfortunately as the only one out of 28 brands of handknitting yarn - with the highest rating "Platinum Champion - Guaranteed Mulesing Free". Read more about the mulesing issue here.