The Origin of Fleeces (by Means of Careful Selection)

Carbon neutral? So yesterday. New fashion brand Sheep Inc says the future needs to be carbon negative.

Many great brands are born of frustration. In the case of Sheep Inc, that existential angst stems from the fact that the fashion industry is one of the world’s largest polluters. Hence, the ZQ-certified, Merino wool wares produced by new clothing brand Sheep, Inc are not only produced with transparency and sustainability at the top of the agenda, but also biodegradable and designed to last a lifetime. Perhaps most importantly of all, the carbon footprint of every sweater is off-set ten-fold, the label says, by investment in biodiversity projects.

So with most of the luxury world focussed on alleviation of carbon output, why is Sheep Inc dedicated to reversing it? “The challenge of preventing the Earth from warming more than 1.5˚C is huge,” explains Mark Maslin, who sits on an advisory panel of climatology experts which advises Sheep Inc on the most impactful biodiversity projects. “We must reduce our global carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and then for the rest of the century we must suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.”

The founders: Michael Wessely, Edzard van der Wyck and Gavin Erasmus 

Sheep Inc’s investment policy is based on what Maslin describes as a two-fold approach to climate change. “First we must do everything we can to reduce our carbon emissions. Second we need to restore and rewild vast areas of the world vegetation because we need to increase the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by encouraging more growth. Reforestation, restoration and rewilding also have other positive effects – they have been shown to reduce soil loss, stabilise rainfall, reduced the impact of flooding and consequently increase the productivity of the adjacent agricultural land. Many of these essential restoration projects will also help to alleviate some of worst impacts of climate change.”

As if the clear-conscience consumption were not incentive enough, Sheep, Inc’s garments, with their muted colour palette inspired by nature and ribbed collar and cuff details, are as stylish and elegant as they are ethical. And if you’re wondering what that company name is all about, a real-life sheep, from one of the farms that provides the sweater’s wool, is included with every sweater too…



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