What is Ecowash Yarn?
Ecowash is an alternative process to superwash that has a lower environmental impact and results in a washable wool. Developed by the Schoeller Spinning Group in Austria as a more sustainable method to produce machine washable wool, naturally occurring salts replace chlorine as the oxidizing agent that removes and smooths the scales on the surface of the wool fibre. The waste products are less toxic to dispose of than those from traditional superwash processes, and because the yarn is processed in a European facility, the strict environmental and labour standards of the EU apply.
The finished yarn feels woolier than some superwash bases do, but is still comfortable next to skin. It tends to be less slippery and have more grip than superwash yarn, making it great for colorwork projects. The 2-ply fingering base plumps up and knits into a cozy fabric and the 3-ply sport/dk and 4-ply worsted are extremely round and springy.
What does GOTS certified organic mean?
The fibre used in the ecowash process is GOTS certified organic. According to www.global-standard.org, "The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibres, including ecological and social criteria, backed up by independent certification of the entire textile supply chain." Some aspects considered during certification, in addition to the fibre itself, include transport of the wool from the organic farms in New Zealand to the processing facility in Europe, waste management within that facility, and labour conditions and employee rights.
The ecowash fibre is considered GOTS certified organic; the final spun and dyed yarn is not.