Discover our line of unique Beanies, handmade in Italy wit a very short supply chain, in Val Pettorina thanks to the Manifattura Diffusa project! Our supply chain is traceable and sustainable: from merinized wool to the hat you choose to wear.
What does Made in Italy mean in our opinion? It means making our products entirely in our country, but it does not mean using only and exclusively Italian wool. The production of most of the merino wool, in fact, takes place between Australia and New Zealand.
Transparency is one of our fundamental values: this is why we cannot tell you that today we only buy Italian merino wool, because that would be a lie. But we are working hard to make sure we reach our goal of using only Italian wool in the medium term.
Another possible thing is to make conscious and controlled choices, to know the production chain of our raw materials and to make sure that they are made respecting the environment, the animals and, obviously consequently, also the customers who will wear our products. And we do not say it because it is fashionable : we say it because it is just like that.
Where do the merino wools and yarns used by Elbec come from??
As we have already told you, our goal is to be able to use in the shortest possible time only wool from Italian farms.
What we are already doing, however, is manufacture and package our products entirely in our country, and more precisely in Val Pettorina, in the heart of the Dolomites. Thanks to the Diffuse Manufacturing Project, in fact, we collaborate with the locals people to have unique handmade products: they are the ladies of all ages of the valley who, crochet in hand, create real unique works of art. Really, no one Beanies is the same as another!
But what are the yarns we use and where do they come from?
- North African organic cotton: certified organic (no pesticides, herbicides or GMO plants) which is dyed with natural solutions and without the use of chlorine.
- New Zealand merino wool: certified organic by the Energy and Environmental Certification Institute. This wool comes from New Zealand, from extensive farms that do not practice mulesing, do not use pesticides and feed the sheep with organic food, in compliance with the ZQ Natural specifications. Furthermore, the G.O.T.S. (Global Organic Textile Standard) and I.C.E.A. (Institute of Energy and Environmental Certifications) guarantees that no chemical agents are used during the transformation of the yarn and that chlorine is not used as a fixative, reducing the environmental impact for the production of the raw material ready to be processed.
- 100% Italian merinized wool: as we have already said, our goal is to use only and exclusively this type of wool in the medium term, gradually replacing the imported one.
Where does the Italian merino wool of Elbec caps come from?
In the Elbec shop we have highlighted our products made with Italian raw material: you recognize them immediately by the wording “Italian Merinized Wool” on the product sheet.
We purchase the wool material from Apulian, Molise and Abruzzo farms. In particular, for wool from Abruzzo, we rely on farms near the ancient transhumance routes.
The cattle belong to Italian breeds, the Soppravvisana and the Gentile di Puglia which derives from the Spanish Merino, a breed that produces one of the highest quality and finest wools.
It is not enough that the sheep are of selected breeds: we only rely on breeders who are attentive to the quality of life of their flocks, who live in large green spaces and feed only on controlled and seasonal hay.
How is merino wool processed?
In spring the sheep shearing begins, because if the wool protects us from the cold in winter it also does so with the sheep that in the summer I can run out of fleece without getting sick and thus having the time to make it grow again.
At the time of shearing, the wool is classified as “greasy” (an alternative way to define it raw) and is then sent to the spinning mills in the Biella area where it is subjected to carding and spinning. At this point the wool skeins are ready to be dyed with natural or industrial products: this phase depends very much on the lot and quantity of product to be treated.
Have you noticed that merino wool has never left Italy until now? And it will continue not to do so, because at this point it begins its journey up to Val Pettorina. The skeins of wool are ready to be transformed (by hand) into balls, which we then distribute throughout the valley, where the collaborators of the Manifattura Diffusa Project will begin to give life to their unique pieces with knitting needles and crochet hooks!
And this is how our 0 km Elbec Beanies are born, but their journey is not over yet: it will continue with whoever chooses to wear them. And in that case they could even arrive abroad!
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