For our new winter Beanie and Bobble hats, we knew we wanted them to be as kind as possible to the environment. Inevitably there is an environmental impact whichever material you choose but we feel natural is generally best. It might cost a bit more but the price, we think, is worth paying.
What’s best for beanie hats: synthetic fibres or natural fibres?
Next time you’re shopping for a hat, take a closer look at the makeup label on the inside. You might see that it’s made from 100% natural yarns or from a blend of fibres; some natural, and some synthetic.
You might ask: why are most hats made from synthetic or a blend of natural and synthetic fibres?
There are a few reasons:
Feel and touch. Manufacturers sometimes blend in synthetic fibres to improve the feel or “handle” of a fabric; other times certain synthetic fibres lend additional properties, such as elastane, which makes the fabric more stretchy.
Wear, wash, and performance. Synthetic fibres are generally easier to care for than natural fibres.
Dyeing and colour fastness.
Cost is the main reason. Synthetic fibre is cheaper than natural fibre, meaning lower production costs and therefore lower retail prices.
But there’s a problem. The issue with blending natural and synthetic fibres is there’s no easy way to untangle those fibres back into their constituent materials for recycling or repurposing. This makes them less environmentally friendly.
If we want to do the right thing for our planet, a simple decision like using natural fibres and keeping fibre types separate makes a lot of sense. Natural fibres are breathable, can be readily recycled, and are biodegradable (wool, for example, completely degrades after six months in the ground, breaking down into valuable soil nutrients like nitrogen).
That’s not to say all synthetic fibres are bad for the environment. Some types of plastics can readily be made into synthetic fibres. This helps reduce consumption of raw materials and energy, so surely it’s better to create a new use for waste materials rather than sending it to land fill?
Herdy hats: good for ewe and the environment
For the outer layers in our kid’s and adult beanie and bobble hats we’ve chosen the finest quality, 100% non-museled, merino wool. Merino wool has a naturally long fibre that gives it a lovely handle and feel, and makes it very hard wearing. Wool naturally wicks away moisture and keeps you warm so it’s the perfect choice for hats. And, whilst Merino wool is fine enough to be worn next to the skin, we’ve lined our beanies with 100% soft organic cotton making them comfortable to wear even on the most sensitive skin.
For comfort too, our bobble hats are lined with comfy fleece and, although this is a synthetic material, it’s made from recycled PET bottles, which eliminates waste and benefits the environment.
Doing the right thing when designing and manufacturing products is more important than ever before. By buying a Herdy hat you can feel good too, knowing that when it reaches its end of life all the materials used in its make up can be recycled or re-purposed responsibly.