Wildling Shoes x Chiengora® by YarnSustain is the result of a partnership between two companies that are taking creative approaches to sustainability. The result is new accessories that invite people to get to know the animal suffering-free wool Chiengora® – and complement the Wildling Shoes autumn/winter 2022/23 range.
Admittedly, it is not always true that good solutions for not-so-small problems are within reach – even when they are urgently needed in terms of resource-saving and ecologically responsible consumerism. Fortunately, there are creative minds like the creators behind the start-up YarnSustain. The two founders Ann Cathrin Schönrock and Franziska Uhl have already found a way to produce high-quality textiles by using unexpected sources in 2020. The association Rohstoffe retten - modus intarsia e.V. (i.G.) (translates to "Saving raw materials") offers dog owners the opportunity to donate the combed out undercoat of their beloved four-legged friends. The dog wool is then sold to YarnSustain, where it is de-burred (separating the fine undercoat from longer, coarser topcoat hairs) with the help of a special machine, and washed within the European supply chain and processed into high-quality yarn – which is extremely soft and provides plenty of warmth: Chiengora®. The name is not a coincidence, because the material has similar properties to angora, but contrary to angora it is free of animal suffering. How Ann Cathrin came up with the idea and what the challenges were – especially for her and Franziska as founders in a male-dominated business world –, she shares in the interview from August 2021. In the meantime, there have been exciting new developments – in the form of two joint products with Wildling Shoes (Hooray!!!).
Wildling Shoes x Chiengora® by YarnSustain present…
Yes, the good is so close. For example, when the ankles are to be kept a little extra warm in the cold season and one is wearing a pair of the new Wildling Shoes x Chiengora® by YarnSustain leg warmers! In limited edition, the accessory is a result of the partnership between Wildling Shoes and YarnSustain and is just right for teens and adults who like it minimalist and cuddly at the same time.For smaller – strictly speaking: the smallest – people, we have come up with something completely new as an alternative to the leg warmers. The baby sock is a first for both Wildling Shoes and YarnSustain and ensures that the little ones' feet stay nice and warm even in winter. A soft cuff and the knitted band help to optimally fit the socks to the small feet. The baby sock is available in size 15-18 for a foot length of eight to eleven centimeters and in size 19-21 for a foot length of eleven to fourteen centimeters.As is usual with wool, the two cuddly accessories made of Chiengora® spun in Portugal should be washed either in the wool program or as a hand wash (with wool detergent) and dried lying flat.
The result of a long partnership
Yet it is not only the fluff factor of the two Chiengora® additions to the Wildling Shoes range that makes for good feelings. By donations of the undercoat from dog owners and dog salons, not only the waste production is reduced, but there can also be no fluctuating raw material prices. And speaking of finances: Per received, voluntary undercoat shipment, the association itself in turn donates to an animal welfare organization. A very well-thought-out principle that the minds behind YarnSustain have come up with in terms of ecological responsibility. It was precisely this ingenuity that convinced Wildling Shoes founder Anna and her team to support YarnSustain with mentoring on all matters relating to the individual phases of the company's founding as well as with a loan. Because the idea behind the product is so compelling, Wildling Shoes took the risk without investing any shares. In the end, this type of funding means: If a loan cannot be repaid, the money is gone. “The Limited Edition is the result of a long collaboration. Anna believed in the idea of Chiengora® early on and supported us with this venture investment as well as her knowledge and network”, Ann Cathrin emphasizes. “The fact that we are now jointly launching products dedicated to a future-proof footprint feels like a natural next step of our partnership.”
Cover image: Photograph: www.sandsackfotografie.de | Graphic: Wildling Shoes