After the powerful protest during this year's London Fashion Week against using animal Fur...
It triggered a huge political and ethical storm in the industry and my mind!
As with other industries where animals are raised for a profit, the interests and feelings of the animals used in the wool industry are rarely considered. Flocks usually consist of thousands of sheep, and individual attention to their needs are not accounted for.
Many people believe that shearing sheep helps animals who might otherwise be burdened with too much wool, however through research, it is clear that without human interference, sheep grow just enough wool to protect themselves from temperature extremes. Regardless of this, they are not treated ethically throughout the process.
With this in mind, and sheep being bred today for the meat industry, a company called SANDERMANN discovered that their Danish sheep breeders were actually burning the wool, when they sheared the sheep once or twice a year!
SANDERMANN is a womenswear label based on a sustainable concept, using up-cycled waste materials and other ethical approaches to textile and fashion design. Their main focus lies on solid waste management. Both in regards to using waste materials as well as on creating as little waste themselves as possible when producing by constructing zero waste patterns for our garments.
Behind the label of SANDERMANN is Danish designer Stine Sandermann, a graduate of the MA Sustainable Textile Design course at Chelsea College of Arts, UAL, in London. During her studies, she gained a greater insight into the fashion industry: With it being the world’s second most polluting industry next to the oil industry, she chose to change her approach to designing and never go back to doing conventional fashion.
The SANDERMANN journey began when she discovered the masses of wasted burnt wool pollution from a local Danish farmer, where sheep are bred. Not being able to stop the sheep being sheered in the first place, the initial mission was to collect this type of wool, and actually utilize it, rather than it being wasted; especially after all the pain and suffering the sheep encounter during the process. So, SANDERMANN now use it to spin their own yarns and successfully proved that it could actually be used for clothing, rather than become pollution!
They believe that wool in itself a very sustainable material: Wool resists wrinkles, so that it doesn't have to be ironed, it has self-cleaning properties, which means you don't have to wash it, it's a naturally renewable fiber and it's 100% bio degradable. As SANDERMANN developed, the company explored deeper into the world of Danish Wool and recently started developing a technique for making cruelty-free sheep fur with a collaborator.
"We believe that ethics are just as important as aesthetics and therefore the SANDERMANN design philosophy builds on the principle of a unique and fashionable statement for the daring and playful individual. A design from SANDERMANN is both practical and personal. A complete focus on detail, quality and craftsmanship is truly paramount."
When they are not working with wool, they source other types of waste materials, such as deadstock textiles from the Danish textile industry. A lot of the fabrics they use have been lying in stock for years - dating back to the 70's. Due to this, styles vary and garments are exclusive and individual, with limited quantities.
"We would never support poor treatment of animals and it is always our highest priority to know the animals we source our wool from are treated well. With our supply chain, we can actually control this, because we collect the wool ourselves which is unique. We have an on-going dialogue with our local Danish sheep farmers, most of whom keep sheep as a hobby. They have small herds and, of course, their biggest interest is to take good care of them.
Please don't ban wool products, but consider buying wool products from smaller, sustainable brands rather than from highstreet brands."
They are holding a fashion show in London for their collection called "Through Another Prism" which is about looking at fashion through a different prism, taking other, more sustainable approaches to textile and fashion design.
The show is organised by the Fashion Designers and Craft Makers Network and is held on Saturday the 28th of October at the Regents Park Suite, the Pullman Hotel St. Pancras in London.
The event is a non-profit event arranged to bring awareness and raise funds for a neuro-genetic condition called Angelman Syndrome.
You can join the event on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1343166245743847/.