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Keeping it Closer to Home: The Challenges and Rewards of Sourcing Sustainably

Keeping it Closer to Home: The Challenges and Rewards of Sourcing Sustainably

At WoolTribe, our goal is to provide our customers with the highest quality, ethically sourced products possible. Our hearts are tied to domestic supply chains because our family history is too.  Generations ago we had wool farmers, wool merchants, and needle crafters in our family.  We still have some of the things they made - and we cherish them.  

As a result of many changes in global markets over the last several decades, building entirely domestic textile supply chains within the United States became a pretty tricky proposition.  Years ago, for an entirely different business, when we set about trying to source entirely American made yarn with all the qualities we wanted {softness, high quality, and verifiable sources) we found it very difficult. After a number of years, we found a source for just the wool we were looking for.  As luck would have it, we were doing freelance writing for a side hustle, and it gave us the opportunity to interview Jeanne Carver, the founder and fearless leader of Shaniko Wool Co.  After an incredible interview with her, we tucked away her contact information - we knew we would want to reconnect with her.

Fortunately for us, we are now part of what is actually a HUGE group project we call WoolTribe.  Why do we call it a group project?  Because the number of collaborating organizations and people it takes to create just one beanie is absolutely awe-inspiring. And being able to tell you that all of those collaborators are in the United States makes it even better. The products we make travel a MUCH shorter distance during manufacturing, dyeing, and shipping to you than they would if they were made overseas.  Why does that matter?  Because the farther an item has to travel during its journey, the greater the carbon pollution it creates!

At WoolTribe, our commitment to sustainability is at the heart of everything we do. We believe that luxury and sustainability are not mutually exclusive, and it is possible to create beautiful products while respecting the environment and the people involved in the production process.  All of that begins with a domestic supply chain.  

We carefully select suppliers who share our values and prioritize ethical practices. From the wool ranches to the wool processor, to the yarn spinning company - all are certified under the Responsible Wool Standard, and we’re proud to say we are able to tell you the people, animals, and land associated with the creation of our beanies are treated with respect - cared for as they should be.  How do we know this?  Our suppliers undergo regular audits to ensure that they meet the highest standards of sustainability, and we actively collaborate with them to continuously improve our practices.  Most recently we had a call with Jeanne Carver herself to talk about the Responsible Wool Standard and begin planning our own certification journey.

At WoolTribe, sustainability is not just a buzzword. It is a guiding principle that has led us along a journey that not only shapes every aspect of our business, but who we are as people too.  We believe that by creating luxury products that are sustainably sourced, we can make a positive impact on both the planet and the lives of the people involved in our supply chain.

At WoolTribe, sourcing with people in mind is a fundamental aspect of our commitment to sustainability. We firmly believe that every product we create should not only be of the highest quality but also produced in a way that respects and uplifts the individuals involved in the process. 

To ensure this, we work closely with our audited suppliers who share our values and prioritize ethical practices. Our suppliers are carefully selected based on their commitment to fair wages, safe working conditions, and overall employee well-being. This means that when you purchase a WoolTribe product, you can trust that it has been created with care and consideration for the people who have brought it to life. By sourcing with people in mind, we not only ensure the sustainability of our supply chain but also honor the human element that makes each WoolTribe product unique.

It’s pretty simple, really.  When it comes to sustainability, we believe in keeping things close to home. That's why WoolTribe takes pride in having a completely domestic supply chain. By sourcing all of our materials from within the United States, we not only support local businesses and communities but also reduce our carbon footprint, and ensure we can talk openly and honestly with our suppliers about every aspect of our shared business ventures.

Our commitment to a domestic supply chain goes beyond just convenience and environmental factors. It's about supporting the incredible talent and craftsmanship found in the United States. We work with skilled artisans and manufacturers who are dedicated to creating high-quality products. By choosing domestic suppliers, we are able to support local economies, fair wages and safe working conditions for all those involved in the production process. With a domestic supply chain, WoolTribe can guarantee that every product we create is not only sustainably sourced but also contributes to the growth and prosperity of our local communities. In the end, supported communities are more likely to be supportive communities! You know, kind of like our tribe - WoolTribe!

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