Material Matter: Re-Engineered Wool

By Brittany DiBenedetto | Material Matter
Posted Nov 15, 2016

A collaboration from Italian textile producers has created a transparent supply chain for re-engineered wool; providing a high quality material for premium brands while keeping conscience production practices in mind.

Just outside the infamous Florence, Italy sits the city of Prato, the home to many textile manufacturers. Prato began specializing in textiles during  the 12th century.  Today, the textile industry continues to have a large impact on the city’s economy. Among these essential manufacturer’s is a collection of partners that have developed a new, traceable supply chain trademarked as Re.Verso™, specializing in recycled wool. Two years were dedicated to the development of a responsible and transparent process of the transformation from traditional recycling processes of wool. With the help of the Gucci Group and C.L.A.S.S., Re.Verso™ was presented for the first time in September of 2014 at Première Vision.

This trademark is a multi-step collaboration of five Italian textile producers. The production is based on the use of pre-consumer wool and cashmere clippings that are sourced and sorted by Green Line, coming from Italian and international fashion brands as well as industry producers. Then the processing company, Nuova Fratelli Boretti,transforms the left-over wool and preps the regenerated fibers for spinning. The third phase focuses on the mechanical transformation. The fibers are moved to three firms in order to produce the new wool yarns; A. Stelloni Collection by Mapel for fashion textiles, Filpucci for high-end, luxury knitwear yarns, and Filatura C4 for contract and woven yarns. With this, high-quality yarns, fabrics, and knitwear are produced using a circular production system.

Wool has the ability to be recycled up to seven times, but due to the high-quality premium standards of Re.Verso™, not all recycled wool can be branded with this trademark. The Re.Verso™ system was found to hold a great amount of savings during a Life Cycle Assessment study, conducted by Prima Q. Compared to the production of traditional wool, 76% was saved in energy consumption, 89% in water consumption, and 96% in the amount of CO2 emissions. In addition to this, the processing cycle holds the certifications of the Global Recycling Standard, ISO 9001, and SA8000.

For the Autumn/ Winter 2016-2017 season, several premium brands have selected Re.Verso™ products to influence their collections as it embodies the best values of transparency, responsibility, and sustainability. These brands include: Eileen Fisher, Filippa K, Patagonia and Stella McCartney. The innovative material process that Re.Verso™ offers generates beautiful, premium products without compromising quality standards. A transparent, circular system for the wool sector in textiles has been created, just one more step for the industry in making fashion more responsible. 

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