The products you buy for cold weather include many choices. A few of those choices are style, brand, color, and material. Material is the choice that Steez Gear has made for our products. Our material is WOOL. We decided to use wool because it is nature’s miracle fiber. It can take a third of its weight in water and still insulate (keep you warm), it’s breathable, resistant to bacteria and holds dye very well which allows for vibrant colors. We could have used specially produced forms of polyester that attempt to mimic the properties of wool, but in the end they are more of a cheap scapegoat than anything. Polyesters are derived from PET, plastics coded 1. Some of these polyesters have wicking functions and many are used for athletic apparel; however, what drives its use is not its functionality but ultimately is the price point. Polyester is cheap. Wool is more expensive because it’s the real, natural, deal. We at Steez Gear will keep using quality materials to build quality products. Our vibrant wools make us the quality choice. Steez Gear strives to maintain a more responsible environmental stance by reducing the amount of plastic that gets dumped into the ground.
Once at an expo a man approached the Steez Gear booth and asked those of us in the booth what our facemasks were made from. We told the man that they were made from Merino wool. His next question was why don’t we use plastics. Without waiting for our response he began to relate that plastic was the best moisture wicking material for staying dry on the mountain. Before any of us could make a rebuttal the man had walked away. We were stunned for a moment and laughed our heads off immediately after we recovered. This story pops up all over the industry, people more and more these days are being brainwashed to think that if a garment isn’t made from one plastic or another it isn’t functional. This is sad, wrong, and continues to help producers make cheap products for people who are looking for a cheap fix. But as anyone who rides more than ten or twenty days a season knows when it comes to the mountain and staying warm, good gear isn’t cheap and cheap gear isn’t good.
The next segment of this blog will compare wool to plastic on a more detailed level so we can explain why we refuse to use plastics