|Not a member? Sign up now!|
Researchers have found that nine months is all it takes for merino garments to biodegrade. The discovery gives consumers another reason to buy garments made from merino and adds to the environmental advantages, comfort and performance benefits of the fibre, all of which have led to the popularity of brands such as Icebreaker.
Discerning customers increasingly insist on information about the environmental impacts of products. This consumer demand prompted The New Zealand Merino Company to commission trials comparing the biodegradation behaviour of merino and synthetic fabrics. Whole garments and fabric samples, including an Icebreaker merino base layer, were buried in soil and excavated at various intervals to assess the rate of biodegradation. The results came out strongly in favour of merino fabrics, which lost around 36% of their mass after only two months burial in soil and up to 99% after nine months. In comparison, the polyester knit fabrics did not degrade at all during the course of the nine-month trial period.
View a video of the biodegradation trial and results