For warmth in the colder months, nothing beats the warmth of wool, and it is also a good sustainable textile to include in your wardrobe. Not all wool is made equal though, on the sustainability stakes nor on the ethics.
Generally, if the wool comes from small artisanal farms, traditional farming methods, or certified organic farms, these are the best ways to ensure that your wool stacks up the best on ethical and sustainability scales.
Alpaca is generally more sustainable than wool, and more likely to be ethically raised than wool from sheep. But there are many wool options that are genuinely ethical and sustainable.
Of course, if you are vegan, you may prefer not to wear wool at all. But I have a vegan friend who keeps rescued battery hens among many other things on her farm, and she also knits with wool she combs from her cashmere goats. There are ways to choose wool that is cruelty-free too. For a full understanding of the considerations in relation to wool, you can read the textile review of ethics and sustainability of wool, or check out the Guide to Sustainable Textiles.
Here in Australia we are in our second month of Spring, yet the cold has come back so fiercely that there is even snow on the mountains surrounding Canberra. Considering that this happens only occasionally in Winter, this says lot about the wild weather that is happening. (Year-by-year the effects of climate change are becoming more pronounced.) So I am still thinking about winter woollies, even though we should be heading into summer. In the northern hemisphere, now is a good time to assess your wardrobe and plan ahead for winter.
If you are in need of some new winter warmth for your wardrobe, here are some of my favourite options, along with a few other woolen goodies that I’ve found: