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Theory Wants To Create The Most Sustainable Wool Suits In The World

“If we don’t worry about the fate of our universe, I won’t have people to clothe,” says Andrew Rosen, founder and CEO of Theory, who launched the iconic brand exactly two decades ago with the goal of creating better-fitting workwear by incorporating Lycra into every garment. It’s an idea that was very high-tech for its time. Rosen designed collections of sleek, minimalistic clothing that was very comfortable and always looked perfectly tailored, a winning concept that transformed Theory into a global billion-dollar powerhouse. As the brand was nearing its 20th anniversary, people kept coming to Rosen to ask whether he wanted to have a big party, but the forward-looking founder wasn’t interested in looking backward. “I didn’t want to celebrate our 20 years,” Rosen says. “I wanted to start over and think about our next 20 years.” Which is how Rosen started thinking about the fate of the universe. Over the last few years, we’ve seen a growing awareness about how damaging fashion is to our environment. By some estimates, it is the second most polluting industry in the world, after oil. To prepare for the future, Rosen has embarked on an ambitious strategy to develop the Earth’s most Earth-friendly workwear. Today, Theory is launching Good Wool, its most sustainable collection to date. To create it, Theory’s head of product development, Wendy Waugh, went deep into the supply chain to find the most environmentally conscious farms, mills, and sewing factories in the world. Every aspect of these garments, from the traceable wool, to the biodegradable lining, to the recycled buttons is made in the most sustainable way possible. The clothes are priced on par with everything else Theory makes: Pants are $275, dresses are $325, and blazers are $395. Theory decided to focus on wool first because it is a staple of workwear and is heavily used in the brand’s garments. It’s also something that consumers don’t often think about. While there is now more awareness about the polluting effects of cotton and denim, most people don’t know much about wool besides the fact that it comes from sheep. (And probably Australian sheep, since 90% of the world’s wool supply comes from Down Under.) In fact, many clothing manufacturers aren’t even aware of where their wool comes from. Farms around the world sell their wool to middlemen, who combine it and then auction it in global wool markets. Spinners buy the wool to turn it into yarn, then mills buy the yarn to make fabric. Fashion labels then go to annual fabric fairs, where mills display their most recent fabrics. They then buy the materials they need for their next collection, which are shipped to factories, where they are cut and sewn into clothes. But sheep farming, if not done in a responsible way, can be catastrophic for the environment. Breeding sheep, and cultivating food for them, consumes a lot of natural resources

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Theory Wants To Create The Most Sustainable Wool Suits In The World

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