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Wool and its advantages as a sustainable fibre

Wool and its advantages as a sustainable fibre

Wool is commonly referred to as the hair of sheep, which is obtained by a sheep's shearing. It is most commonly used animal fiber and has been perfected by evolution for millions of years. It is the only fiber that can be felted together, as in our boiled wool, forming a homogenous tangle of fibers that emphasizes the positive qualities of the wool. Wool has a natural layer of fat that prevents water in liquid form from entering. As a solid material, the fibers thereby form a water-repellent surface from which rain and water splashes off. Unfortunately, this natural effect doesn’t apply to chemical fibers, they have to be additionally impregnated. Of course, the material is not completely waterproof. By friction or mechanical movement, the drop-shaped water can migrate between and through the fibers. Again, this is the case with fabrics made of chemical fibers, it is counteracted with a coating or a membrane to be waterproof. However, our body also produces constantly (and depending on the level of activity) a certain amount of water vapor (sweat that evaporates), which needs to be transported from the body. Both the loose structure of the milled fabric, as well as the fiber properties of the wool provide a very good absorption and passage of water to the outside. In contrast to fabrics made from chemical fibers, which can only transport or absorb a small amount of water vapor through their coating or membrane and their structural composition. When it comes to thermal properties, the wool benefits from its curled shape. Heat is created by insulation and this is achieved by the highest possible inclusion in air. The more air a fabric can contain, the better its thermal properties. This is achieved with fabrics made of chemical fibers only by an additional feeding with down or man-made fibers.

With all these features in mind, we now find that a cardigan made from only one type of fiber has similar properties to a multi-layered manmade fiber jacket. Of course, the wool has disadvantages in terms of permeability to water (rain), in all other respects, however, distinct advantages. The lack of protection against rain is often an argument against woolen clothing, especially for children. Understandable, because nobody wants to walk around in a wet garment. However, it is disregarded that mud pants and rain jackets have a very poor water vapor transport and thereby keep sweat on the body. This is known, for example, when children who have played in rubber boots: They usually have sweaty socks and rain jackets are quickly clammy from the inside alter extensive raging. That's why good shell jackets for extreme athletes also like to cost about 600 €, because they have expensive membranes with very good throughput values ​​for water vapor. A balanced climate creates only the wool, but also warms just by its water-repellent property when wet. Their antibacterial properties additionally prevent the formation of odors.

From a sustainable point of view, wool is also beneficial for cleaning, repair and recycling. A jacket has to be dried and shaken out after an intense day outside, brushed once in a while and very rarely washed, a jacket made of chemical fibers needs to be regularly washed, dried and impregnated from time to time. Holes in woolen items can be stuffed without leaving a trace and can now easily be recycled without much effort. A chemical fiber jacket with coating and feeding is a medium-sized disaster in the recovery, they often end up in the incineration plant.

The keeping, breeding and shearing of the sheep is for good reason a problem of wool production. It generates a lot of CO2, consumes a lot of water and is also ethically questionable. For our products, we only use wool from certified organic animal husbandry, which, in contrast to the alternative chemical fiber, is only the lesser evil. But just because of the elaborate extraction, it is our responsibility that makes sense and with the smallest impact on the environment, but the maximum benefit for the humans who use it.

Why do become a midwife noaways?

Why do become a midwife noaways?

I asked my colleague Nina, who is a midwife in training, to write something about her view on birth and the struggle society have to face even before and after giving birth. This will be the first one of some guest articles for our blog.


Why do become a midwife noaways? They are needed, that is for sure. The requirements are currently overwhelming, the hurdles as well as the prospects, well.... ;) For me, it was still the right way and I have to say: the more you dig in to the topic, the clearer it becomes – the shortage of midwives doesn’t only result in a demotion for my future profession, it results in a disadvantage for all of us, the ones that are, have or want a family. Anyone who wishes for an integral and extensive care during their pregnancy, birth and postpartum period and also wants to freely choose the place of  their childs birth, has to be fast. For many, this is an extreme demand in a situation that actually requires security and structure and, above all, time for familiarization.

However, what I have witnessed: What is missing in humanity in our current health system, many midwives try to make up with by personal dedication. I try to take this example to heart, but you also notice that it is very hard for many midwives tilting such a big windmill. Midwifery doesn’t end in childbirth, but it has been the linchpin in my decision-making in becoming a midwive. Birth chances everything, that’s a known law. So what resonates when you get the trust of the family at this important stage in their life is not only the responsibility for a smooth process, but the responsibility to prioritize intimacy and trust about the current situation. Personally, I am at the beginning and can only begin to realize how valuable it is to help women to feel strong. But I also realize that a self-determend birth is an incredibly high value that has been severely threatened in recent years.

I am sorry to see in which situation young families often find themselves nowadays. The birth rate is rising and that's a nice thing  – but the costs of birth and insurance are rising too… I think most of you know about the problem. Midwives have been trying for years to give their rights and the right of women a voice. It is difficult, but I want to be hopeful. Because in my (our) generation, I can observe the desire and the pursuit of mutual improvement and the urge to be informed in many areas. Let it be that, or the fact that the trust and gratitude that you receive as a midwife (without trying to sound too romantic) is indeed worth every effort. It is clear that things can be different. That’s something you can witness in smaller birth centers or in many of the heavily congested clinic midwives, who despite the hurdles and the enormous burden give all they have for a dignified, self-determined birth. I think that's a very important thing – pointing out the shortcomings is crucial, but being hopeful is as well. I can only recommend to all expecting parents, inform yourself. Find out about your rights: the right to choose the place of birth, to 1: 1 care, to a respectful, non-violent and self-determined birth. In my opinion, it always pays out to stand up for what one recognizes as his right. I am determined and I hope to have many like-minded people by my side – for the profession and for expectant / growing families.

The pros and cons of being self employed

The pros and cons of being self employed

Somehow I always knew that I wanted to "do something on my own". It was more of a subliminal feeling. Working in a suit, sitting in the office, that was always absurd to me. Sure, I’ve been employed before and it was not the typical nine to five job, but  still I couldn’t find satisfaction in it. Money was never that important to me, or let's put it this way: the money I need for a living is so little that any career plan wouldn’t be bothered by it. If something annoys me or if I find something meaningless, I analyze the problem and try to solve it. Of course, this is not always possible with some things, but paired with my "I can do it better anyway" attitude unfortunately often leads to megalomania and in this case to founding Manitober. In this case I use the phrase self-employed as a synonym for self-responsible, because I'm not a classical freelancer. While some can immerse as an employee and can pretend to make their work look hard, when you on your own it’s rather : You can’t get something from nothing!

And who knows that he is not getting paid for doing nothing prefers a job that doesn’t feel too much like work. Of course you can spontaneously go on holiday, drink beer at lunch time or take some time off whenever you want, but I can say from my own experience, it’s not that easy and already requires a certain amount of preparation. That's probably the difference: As a self-employed person you try to optimize your position, get better jobs, improve the portfolio, build something up. You can then feed on this later, while as an employee, you are only slowly ascending the ladder and somehow always dependent on many others. I just like the combination of freedom and the feeling to realize your own idea. I can understand, if one quarrels with self-responsibility to work, be it because of the financial security, not wanting to give up the developed situation or the continuous bureaucratic effort.

But the most important reason for me to think about it is the fact that you always work, even when you think you’re not. I have to admit, I may have underestimated that, and while some employees may enjoy their time off now, I'm sitting on the couch in the evenings, typing these lines. So if you can’t switch off very well, have a pretty perfectionist streak and are rarely satisfied with yourself, then you should become aware that being a founder is a bigger part of your everyday life than a nine to five job. All other worries, on the other hand, will soon turn out to be a "right decision".