The belay series — elevating sustainability
In our Belay Series, 100% recovered Swedish wool meets recycled polyamide to create insulated garments of the highest functionality
Tierra has always strived to be at the forefront of both sustainability and functionality. As an example, our Belay Series of lightweight insulated garments maintains the highest functionality for serious mountain adventures while pairing 100% recovered Swedish wool with recycled polyamide inner and outer fabrics.
The Belay Series consists of warm, lightweight, wear-resistant insulated garments with a long product life. The usual lining material employed in this type of garment is synthetic or down, but the advantages of wool—light weight and an ability to absorb and transport moisture as well as regulate body temperature—make Belay garments optimal both for adventures in the mountains and tours around town.
Tierra’s product developer, Magdalena Forsberg, scoured the global textile market for a fabric suitable for the design. Finally, she came across a fantastic outer fabric made of 100% recycled polyamide that was incredibly durable in relation to its light weight. Mattias Sahlin, Tierra's designer, then made sure to minimize the amount of material used in each final product to lower its weight even further.
When we began developing the Belay Series, we challenged ourselves to see how sustainable we could make it. The result is that ~60% of every Belay garment is made of renewable material.
Taking care of a precious resource
Wool is a natural and renewable material. And yet, the majority of wool produced in Sweden today—about 800 tonnes—is scrap that is buried in the ground. To make use of this wasted resource we began a collaboration with the Wool Office in Gotland, Sweden, and the German company Lavalan. Together we find and recover wool that would otherwise be thrown out and transform it into a highly functional lining material. The advantages of using recovered Swedish wool are many, among them a reduction in transport costs and carbon footprint—and a guarantee the sheep are treated well thanks to Sweden’s strong animal-welfare laws. The result is sustainably sourced, 100% renewable insulation.
What the pros have to say
Tierra’s test team, which includes qualified professional mountain guides, tested the Belay Series during its development phase. They found that you didn't have to remove and then put back on a Belay jacket as often as you would with regular synthetic-insulated jackets—meaning that the wool lining material better regulated a user’s temperature. They were also impressed by the Belay garments’ light weight and excellent breathability.
A few facts about wool in Sweden*
In Sweden, of the approximately 1,000 tonnes of raw wool produced each year, over half is thrown away [this suggests >500 tonnes is thrown away, but above you have stated 800 tonnes—should we say the same here to be consistent? Someone should fact-check this]. Of the wool that is retained, a bit more than 50% is exported—including to Great Britain. On the import side, 219 tonnes of washed, raw wool with a value of SEK 10.3 million? were brought into Sweden in 2017, mostly from New Zealand.
Gotland’s Ullkontoret is the only major wool laundry in Sweden; washing raw? wool here costs around four times as much per kilo as washing raw? wool in Belgium—transport included. As a result …? In 2017 alone, 1,240 tonnes of carded wool and yarn with a street value of SEK 248 million were imported from about 40 countries, the largest contributors being Norway, Peru, Germany and Turkey.
*Source: Swedish Sheep Breeding Association, Statistics Sweden.