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Like many raw materials, including cotton and down, wool is often overlooked when it comes to the manufacturing, harvesting and dyeing process. Duckworth is looking to change that. While the average consumer may be aware of terms like “organic” and “sustainable," most of us still choose to ignore the greater manufacturing processes used to create the goods we purchase. As the world’s only source-verified, single-origin, 100% made-in-the-USA wool apparel company, Duckworth pays close attention to both the quality of its wool products and the entire production process required to manufacture its goods.
The attention begins with the wool itself, where two philosophies help Duckworth stand apart: “where your wool is grown matters” and “where your wool is made matters.” It starts with flocks of open-range Montana merino sheep, which live between 5,000’ and 9,500’ in elevation. The specific conditions of their setting in the Northern Rockies results in a rare wool; soft and durable with exceptional loft and breathability. From there, the process of sorting, spinning, knitting, dyeing and finishing is carefully managed by the Duckworth team.
Where most wool is shipped around the world several times before it reaches the final customer, Duckworth partners with certified cooperative growers to keep everything local. This process not only helps reduce environmental impact, it also creates value for local economies. From Montana, Duckworth’s wool travels to the Carolinas, where it’s spun, knitted and dyed. While the US textile industry has been on the decline, Duckworth’s Sheep to Shelf™ supply chain helps bring jobs to small communities, keeps technical knowledge close to home and maximizes life-cycle sustainability.
In the days of farm-to-table dining and local, organically grown food, it’s great to see similar attention paid to our clothing and textiles. Duckworth is proving that it’s possible to produce high-end garments in the USA without cutting corners to keep prices down. Whether through a soft, cozy merino first layer or wool active layer, take comfort knowing where your wool came from, who made it and the responsible, sustainable journey it took before ending up on your body.