Wool regulates your temperature like no other material.
Among outdoor enthusiasts, you’ll often hear the phrase: “cotton kills.” After harrowing hypothermic experiences due to wearing cotton, the gear-obsessed outdoor community has put their trust in wool base layers (if you've switched from cotton socks to wool socks, you know exactly what we're talking about). The problem with cotton is that it readily absorbs moisture and releases that moisture very slowly, which in turn pulls precious warmth from your body. In contrast, wool insulates even when wet and doesn’t technically feel wet until it's saturated with 60% of its own weight in moisture.
Here’s the surprising part of wool’s climate controlling properties: wool keeps you cool in warm climates too. Lightweight wool garments breathe and wick moisture away from the skin, keeping the wearer cool, even in humid climates.
Wool fights odor and climate change.
You may notice that your cotton shirts stink after just one or two wears and require washing. Wool shirts, on the other hand, can go for weeks (or 100 days) at a time without showing signs of odor. How does wool accomplish this? It quickly absorbs sweat which prevents the growth of odor-causing bacteria and keeps your skin dry.
Since wool fights odor so well, wool-wearers go longer between laundry cycles and the earth is happier because of it. 25% of a garment’s carbon footprint comes from how often you wash it, which reinforces the fact that eliminating laundry when you can is one small thing you can do for the environment.
Wool will change the way you think about clothing.
As a society, we’ve been led to believe that buying lots of cheap clothing will help us look and feel good. In reality, excessive consumption creates decision fatigue, undue clutter, and cumulatively creates more stress in our lives. We really only need a few garments that we adore. Owning less allows you to have the best. Or depending on how you look at it, having the best allows you to own less. There’s a reason why guys leading minimalist lifestyles seek out wool clothing.
Let us know if you have anything to add to our merino vs cotton write-up in the comments below: