Ramblers Way wool button down. Photo: Ramblers Way
Organic wool comfort wear company Ramblers Way founded by Tom and Kate Chappell, of Tom's of Maine fame has come a long way since their first collection, comprised of natural blonde wool jersey knits in undergarment basics such as long johns and camisoles.
For fall 2011, the Kennebunk, Maine-based fashion label incorporates color from natural plant dyes in neutral tones like heather and charcoal and go beyond undergarments with casual wear. Notable is a 100% wool French terry hoodie. And while sleepwear as outerwear is a trend, I'm happy to see more wearable separates.
100% wool French terry. Photo: Ramblers Way
Ramblers Way introduces French terry to their collection with, what they call, unlike anything else on the market: a 100% wool hoodie using two-ply wool and four times the amount of yarn than their traditional four-ounce jersey knit. The impressive sweatshirt boasts a high-quality, Swiss-made Riri zipper, which is more costly than one sourced from China, as well as silk thread. The hood is lined with their wool jersey knit and it retails for $398. Also worth mentioning are the wearable button down and women's rib tank and for men, the short sleeve polo shirt.
Putting the price tag aside, I'm reminded of something Tom Chappell said in our sit-down interview December of 2010: "The market does not tend toward quality, markets tend toward mediocrity." Ramblers Way is creating quality garments that will last a lifetime and further defining sustainable luxury.
Women's wool rib tank top. Photo: Ramblers Way
The goal for next season is to have a more affordable option and one that drapes better. Even so, I can't wait to get my hands on this fabric. Unique to their brand is their accomplishment in creating wool garments that don't create an itchy feeling. "Fibers are parallel to each other when turned into a yarn, as compared to a normal wool yarn that is criss-crossed and has edges poking out that makes the surface scratchy," Chappell says.
The line continues to be entirely made in America. And another great initiative on the carbon footprint side of the business is that they have pledged to be carbon neutral by 2013.
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More Ramblers Way
Tom's (of Maine) New Company: Ramblers Way, Organic Wool Undergarments
Tom's of Maine Founder Shows us How to Produce Ethical Wool Undergarments (Slideshow)
Interview with Tom Chappell, Founder of Tom's of Maine and Rambler's Way