Materials that matter: NATIVA™ Regenerative Wool
Discover the traceable material made using regenerative farming practices, designed to support the land, animal welfare and local communities.
Naturally insulating, soft on the skin, long lasting – there’s a multitude of reasons to reach for wool when the weather cools. Thanks to the NATIVA™ Regenerative Agriculture Program, you can now add wool to your wardrobe that works with nature, not against it. By returning to traditional farming practices, it aims to achieve greater water quality and increased CO2 capturing levels measured against individual farm baselines, restoring hope in a system where we can work with nature to thrive.
People, animals and the environment are at the core of the NATIVARegen™ journey: it ensures sheep are raised ethically and how nature intended – they roam freely and graze on native plants, while a management plan ensures farmers assess their feeding, breeding and health to comply with animal welfare standards. Meanwhile, NATIVA™’s regenerative practices work from the ground up, by using farming practices such as planned grazing that helps to restore land, improve soil health and microbiology by ensuring nutrients are kept within the soil matter.
By supporting the NATIVA™ Regenerative Agriculture Program, COS is actively contributing to a more holistic farming system – just one way we’re investing in the now to design for the future. It's part of our commitment to source quality materials that will have less impact on the environment than conventional farming practices, and another step towards our goal of increasing the share of sustainably sourced or recycled materials in our collection.
We spoke to the NATIVA™ team to find out more about regenerative farming, the importance of community and hopes for the future.
‘We pride ourselves in creating long-lasting solutions inspired by nature; keeping people, animals and the environment at our core.’
What is NATIVA™ regenerative wool?
‘The NATIVA™ Regenerative Agriculture Program improves the quality of the soil – resulting in better nutrients, cleaner water and an overall healthier habitat that restores natural biodiversity at farms.
NATIVARegen™ is a robust system with a triple impact – based on scientific research and backed by data. It protects the land by bettering its soil quality, safeguards the animals by ensuring their healthy keeping, and supports farmers and local communities by improving their livelihoods. Over time we will be able to measure the effect this has on water quality and CO2 capturing.’
How is it certified?
‘By working with experts such as Quantis, NATIVARegen™ provides data and metrics to brands, including a baseline and regular reports with progress tracked over the years. NATIVA™ is also aligned and contributes to Textile Exchange's Regenerative Agriculture Outcome Framework.’
What makes NATIVA™ different from existing wool manufacturers?
‘The NATIVA™ Regenerative Agriculture Program goes beyond the material. We comply with animal welfare standards including stress-free shearing and the prohibition of mulesing, but we also give back to the community by providing farmers with training and resources to produce higher-quality product.’
Where did your journey with regenerative wool begin?
‘It all began in Australia, with Prospect Farm, one of our first partners in the region. They had already been researching their nutrient levels and soil quality, and together we started implementing regenerative practices, including planned grazing, rotational cropping, inter-cropping and the use of perennials to improve the quality of the soil and the welfare of animals.’
What are NATIVA™’s core principles?
‘We are inspired by nature; keeping people, animals and the environment at our core.’
What does COS’ investment mean to NATIVA™?
‘By investing in the NATIVARegen™ program, COS is actively supporting farmers in their transition towards a more holistic farming system. Its long-term commitment enables us to execute a solid framework designed to create lasting change.’
How have the Australia and Uruguay farms transitioned from using old farming practices to using NATIVA™? What has the outcome been?
‘NATIVA™ collaborates closely with farmers worldwide, also partnering with leading research institutes, such as Quantis, to measure, monitor and implement regenerative practices. The program includes farms that are either transitioning to Regenerative Agriculture or have been using regenerative practices for years.
One of the practices that has taken place is the use of compost to restore the microbes back into the soil that might have been lost over many years of ploughing, and considering sheep to be integral in fertilising the land, working the soil organically for them.
Other regenerative techniques include eliminating tillage and monoculture; fostering biodiversity through stopping the use of chemical fertilisers; building ecosystem stability through enhanced vegetation, including perennial and tree species where appropriate; and lowering net climate impacts through reduced inputs and carbon sequestration.
‘This restores hope in a system in which animals, plants and people can work together to thrive, and invites us all to be part of a long-lasting change.’
How important is community within NATIVA™’s work?
‘We believe that rural communities are the heart of our industry. Without farmers we’d have no fibre, and therefore their wellbeing is paramount to us. We protect the farmers and their families and work with surrounding communities, supporting holistic methods that keep ancient traditions alive. On the one hand, supporting farmers (via premium on wool price and trainings aimed at improving farmer’s livelihoods) in their transition to Regenerative Agriculture; on the other hand, supporting surrounding communities. For example, in Uruguay, we work with an organisation that helped us map community projects surrounding farms, in areas such as support to rural women, labour insertion and entrepreurship. We plan on creating a similar program in Argentina.’
How do you measure the impact NATIVA™ is making?
‘To measure progress over time, we create a solid baseline that includes the understanding of emissions, carbon stocks, animal and plant biodiversity and identification of areas for improvement. This allows partners to estimate the benefits from implementing practices and evaluate and validate progress in the future. For instance, one of our flagship farms in West Australia measured a 40% increase in soil carbon sequestration compared to non-treated soil – this makes us certain that we are on the right track.’
What are NATIVA™’s hopes for the future?
‘We hope to keep building more sustainable natural solutions and continue to be an ally for brands and supply partners in building a more ethical and mindful industry together. We dream of sustainability being the norm, and consumers using their power for change.’
Discover our first NATIVA™ Regenerative Wool capsule, featuring a tailored jacket, a waistcoat and slim-leg trousers.
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