The Wool Generation
In the age of technology and constant stimulation, it is no wonder that we are deprived of human essentials like sleep and nourishment. With our eagerness to create and innovate, we seek answers in far off places, choosing to engineer sleep mattresses that adjust to your back or tuning into counterproductive sleep meditation applications on your mobile phone. Where does this leave us in the end?
It leaves us constantly looking for the next answer, the right answer; it leaves us creating more clusters around us. So, when I set out to find a path for my own life, I decided to stick with what I know: wool, merino wool to be exact. Now, my goal is to spread the word and glory of this soft, natural, superfibre.
I am Rikki, a third generation, passionate and loving advocate of wool. Growing up in my native country of South Africa, brought me an embellished perspective on the positive attributes of wool and how it is a simple, natural, alternative to the things we act deprived of in everyday life. As a textile engineer by trade, I have spent the last eight years in China, endorsing wool and building a science around it for my baby apparel brand, IKKI. I am here to voice a much needed wool generation.
Unfortunately the seventies and eighties saw an increase in the use of synthetic fibres especially polyester. With booming industries, everyone was looking for cheaper, faster solutions. In turn, traditional fabrics like wool became a prop in stories about that one time your grandma knitted a sweater for Christmas. The reputation of wool changed from being a coveted luxurious fibre, to a scratchy, unappealing material.
The truth is, we are well into the age of self-awareness and healthy living. We are slowly transforming the way we take care of our Earth, with the ambition to keep it simple again. Merino wool, when processed to precision, can be softer than cashmere. It is a natural superfibre that can be worn in all four seasons as it has the ability to create a microclimate around the body. During warmer days, wool wicks away moisture from the skin’s surface, creating a cooling affect so you don’t feel clammy. In the winter, it insulates to give you warmth.
In a study funded by the Australian Wool Innovation at the University of Sydney, it was proven that infants who wear wool sleep better due to the comfort of wool’s temperature-adapting qualities and decreased heart rates. This means, that your baby will fall asleep in the clouds experiencing an increased level of comfort when compared to other fibres. Wool will not betray your sense of safety and security.
The silver lining in all of this is that wool exists. It has existed forever and nature itself has created it. We have a responsibility to use our resources wisely, and to contribute to both our planet and our society. Wool is making an exciting comeback as a soft, safe, renewable superfibre. My goal is to create an ethical supply chain for wool production and truly revolutionize the way in which we perceive this luxurious fibre. We may be small now, but we are brave.