DeFeet Launches First Fully Traceable Ranch to Retail Wool Socks in the United States
October 30, 2023
Third party certification guarantees products made from fully traceable Merino wool from ranch to retail in partnership with Shaniko Wool Company
HILDEBRAN, NC — October 30, 2023 /OUTDOOR SPORTSWIRE/ – DeFeet, the world’s first manufacturer dedicated to crafting sustainable, pro-level performance socks, has launched the country’s first-ever Merino wool versions of its Woolie Boolie™ and Wooleator™ Pro socks with the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) logo on the packaging. The double RWS and NATIVA Regen-Shaniko certification guarantees sustainable practices from farm to finished product and a commitment to improve soil and water quality and protect biodiversity.
“Our partnership with Shaniko Wool Company marks the most sustainable benchmark for wool that has been grown, milled, spun, dyed and knit, right here in the U.S.,” said Shane Cooper, DeFeet founder and CEO. “There is no higher standard of certified wool than RWS, and for us to be able to ship socks with the RWS logo on them aligns with our mission to prioritize sustainability and reduce our environmental footprint.”
Established in 2018, Shaniko Wool Company is an Oregon-based farm group overseeing ten farms across the West. They are currently the only U.S. wool producer to receive the RWS certification from the Textile Exchange. The company is also part of the groundbreaking NATIVA Regenerative Agriculture Program committed to supporting regenerative farming practices as well as US-based farmers and communities. “We are going beyond the highest standards in American Merino wool production, delivering a fully traceable and 100% transparent wool that ensures we are building on regenerative farming practices that promote healthy ecosystems for current generations, and those to come,” said Jeanne Carver, owner of Shaniko Wool Company.
DeFeet spent two years consciously developing this new line of RWS-certified wool socks to ensure that the entire supply chain met their high standards for sustainability and transparency. “Much of the global wool production process comes at a great expense to the sheep, the land and the greater ecosystem,” said Cooper. “With Shaniko Wool as our partner, we are assured that the wool meets the leading benchmarks for land and animal care.”
Wool is nature’s performance fiber whose importance and relationship to humankind goes back 10,000 years; 6,000 years longer than any other fiber. Wool has natural antibacterial properties and pulls moisture away from the body, keeping feet warm/cool and dry in all kinds of weather. After nearly a century of use, wool nearly disappeared from the sport of cycling as synthetic fibers and modern printing rose to prominence in the 1970s. “DeFeet re-invigorated the use of wool fibers in the cycling market in the early 1990s with the introduction of cycling-specific wool sock designs,” said Cooper.
The new RWS-certified Merino wool cycling socks include:
- Woolie Boolie™ – a DeFeet favorite, the Woolie Boolie is padded throughout the footbed and on the cuff, keeping cyclists warm in any season without getting too hot in mild weather. As a thicker sock, the Woolie Boolie has a mid-density padded fit profile for the rigors of mountain biking and endurance for hiking.
- Wooleator Pro Socks – the Wooleator is a thin, low-bulk sock equally comfortable for cycling or casual wear, designed to keep feet warm and dry in winter, but thin enough to keep feet cool and dry in summer. The Wooleator Pro features a no-feel flat toe seam.
In addition to the new RWS-certified cycling socks, DeFeet continues to prioritize its sustainable efforts, including a commitment to producing a long-lasting durable product that doesn’t get thrown away after a few months, as well as maintaining a US-based supply chain. They also use Repreve, a high-quality recycled fiber to pair with their USA-grown Merino wool.
DeFeet was founded in Hildebran, North Carolina in 1992 by Shane and Hope Cooper. The world’s first manufacturer dedicated to the craft of knitting cycling socks and accessories, DeFeet quickly found success at the highest levels of sport, including the Tour de France. The race became embedded in the culture and heritage of DeFeet. Today, DeFeet and its unique Custom Shop creations are still made in the original location and sold worldwide. For more information, please visit www.defeet.com.
ABOUT SHANIKO WOOL COMPANY
Shaniko Wool Company is the first farm group in the United States to be certified under the Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) Certification and delivers a fully traceable product that gives back to the earth and its ecosystems. It currently consists of nine farms in the American West committed to the practice of regenerative farming. Shaniko Wool Company is scaling sustainable wool practices and expanding its scope toward apparel brands with a commitment to land management and biodiversity preservation. For more information, please visit www.shanikowoolcompany.com
Lisa Hill| Weinstein PR
Paul Willerton| DeFeet