Everybody loves a fleece, when the weather turns cold and the wind and rain howl at the window there is arguably not a more comforting piece of clothing than the trusty fleece. Whether you opt for a comfy style for in the house or a Polartec model for the streets everyone nowadays has a fleece tucked away somewhere in the wardrobe.
Many of us would be surprised to find that the history of the fleece is relatively new and can be traced back to only the late 1970’s when Malden Mills (the company now known as Polartec) began experimenting with the insulating and lightweight properties offered by polyester. Within a few years the first fleece was launched in conjunction with a new and relatively little known US brand – Patagonia. Since these days in the early 80’s fleece has grown to become one of the most used and loved fabrics around and almost every brand worth their salt has a fleece option in their collection.
What’s the problem with Fleece?
While it’s undoubtably true that the sustainability credentials of Fleece have come a long way since it’s first inception there are still some inherent problems with the fabric. Traditionally a fleece material would be made from a non-renewable resource such as Polyester and to add in any weather protection (wind or water resistance) requires the addition of an extra chemical coating.
The bigger problem with fleece however comes with the washing of this fabric. As traditional fleece doesn’t have any anti-bacterial properties or odour resistance this means it needs to be washed at relatively regular intervals. This washing sheds microparticles (or microfibres) at a rate of around 1.7 grams per wash. These microparticles cannot biodegrade and end up entering our oceans at an alarming rate. Some studies have suggested that microparticles contribute up to 35% of the primary plastic which is polluting our oceans.
The problem of microfibres is one that exists in all ‘traditional’ fleece and even exists in the more modern eco-fleece which is constructed using recycled polyester which will reduce energy consumption during the production process and can also help reduce the number of plastic bottles living in our landfill.
So what’s the solution?
Our love for the warmth and comfort of fleece combined with the desire to make the best sustainable decisions leaves us stuck in somewhat of a catch 22. The good news is however the team at Aclima of Norway have been innovating away in the background to try and revolutionise fleece fabric and create something truly sustainable while retaining all the benefits of fleece.
Fleecewool is a revolutionary fabric and the worlds first ever 100% Merino Wool Fleece. Aclima have used their 100% traceable merino wool in such an innovative way and knitted, cut and brushed the fabric to create a truly sustainable fleece alternative.
Not only is fleecewool the more sustainable choice due to use of natural resources, elimination of microfibres when washing and reduced energy consumption during production – the fabric also offers the wearer all the benefits of Merino Wool.
Merino Wool unlike traditional fleece fabric is odour resistant, anti bacterial, moisture wicking and offers incredible insulating properties. Designed for both the outdoors and those of us who just love relaxing on the sofa in ultimate comfort the fleecewool collection is going to be incredibly hard to take off once you’ve got it on. While the merino fleecewool is designed to last you can rest easy in the knowledge that even at the end of the garments lifecycle the fleecewool material is 100% biodegradable – sustainable to the death!
Aclima Fleecewool Hoodie
The standout item from the Aclima Fleecewool collection is the Aclima Fleecewool Hoodie which is available in both men’s and women’s and in three new colourways. Perfect for basecamp or the sofa the hoodie is constructed from 100% merino wool which is incredibly skin-soft, insulating, and comfortable. With a durable, degradable and environmentally friendly construction one of the most amazing things about this hoodie is that you would never believe it was merino – even the drawstrings on this hoodie are constructed from 100% merino wool. The second generation of the Fleecewool hoodie the new style features a more refined chest logo than the original style. Don’t just take our word for it that this is the best hoodie around – the Scandinavian Outdoor Group described this as the Norwegian Sweater of the 21st Century.
The Aclima Headover is one of the brands most iconic and recognisable products – a 100% merino wool neck gaiter. Versatile by design the Headover can be worn as a scarf, headband and balaclava, and, in the current world the mask can double up as a handy face covering. Traditionally constructed from lightwool, Aclima have reinvented the headover using their most innovative fabric, Fleecewool. Perfect for the winter months the fleecewool headover is available in three colourways and the insulating properties will keep you protected from the elements all winter long.
Where can I buy Aclima Fleecewool?
If you want to upgrade your winter wardrobe to tackle the elements in style then you can shop Aclima Online at Nordic Outdoor or in any of our stores in Edinburgh, Keswick and Richmond. Don’t just stop with fleecewool, rediscover the layering principles of dressing and upgrade your whole winter wardobe by shopping the full Aclima collection online now.