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Animal welfare | Kari Traa

Our Wool Production

When you buy Merino wool products from Kari Traa, you can always be confident that the sheep we get the wool from are treated well.

Kari herself grew up on a farm with sheep and has a great love for animals. So great that in 2016 she took over the care of two bottle lambs that she looked after at her home in Voss until they were able to manage on their own. In other words, it is a matter of course for us to look after animal welfare — including the sheep we get Kari wool from.

Animal welfare | Kari Traa

SHEEP MOTHER: In 2016, Kari looked after two bottle lambs at home in Voss, which she raised until they could manage on their own.

Why We Use Merino Wool

To get the softest and best quality wool products, we use wool from Merino sheep in New Zealand and Australia. The reason we don't use wool from Norwegian sheep is that Norwegian wool is thicker and can feel itchy on the skin.

It is the thickness of the wool fibers that determines whether wool itches or not. This is measured in microns, and the "itch threshold" for wool is 27 microns. Standard Norwegian wool has a thickness of around 28 microns and up. This makes Norwegian wool very durable and sought after as a fabric for furniture and carpets. However, because it is above the itch threshold, it can feel uncomfortable directly on the skin. Therefore, we use merino wool in the range 17.5–20.5 microns in all our wool underwear. This is far below the itch threshold of 27 microns and why Kari Traa wool garments feel silky smooth on the skin.

Itch Free Merino Wool | Kari Traa

ITCH-FREE: The merino wool we use is between 17.5–20.5 microns — a super fine quality well below the itch threshold of 27 microns.

Mulesing-Free Wool

Merino sheep have folds around the breech, where skin larvae thrive and can cause ailments and infections in the sheep. In some countries, the skin folds on the sheep are cut away to prevent this. It is often done without anesthesia, which is very painful for the sheep. The procedure is called mulesing and is something we strongly dissociate ourselves from. You can be sure that wool from Kari Traa is always mulesing-free.

We make sure of this by only trading with farms that have passed the strictest controls we have internationally. The certificates below are the best assurance we have to protect animal welfare for sheep today.

IWTO Test Certificate

IWTO Test Certificate ensures that all partial deliveries of wool come from certified suppliers who oppose the mulesing technique.

Certificate of Origin

It is not enough to ensure that the suppliers we trade with produce mulesing-free wool; we must also ensure that all shipping is traceable. This way we ensure that the wool shipped to us actually comes from the certified suppliers we have ordered it from.

Merino Wool and Animal Welfare at Kari Traa

RELIABLE PRODUCTION: At Kari Traa, we ensure that the wool is mulesing-free by only trading with farms that have passed the strictest controls we have internationally.

Animal-Friendly Production of Down

At Kari Traa we only use certified down from the food industry. The certification ensures that the down does not come from live animals and that the five freedoms (established by the Brambell Commission in 1965) for animals are upheld. They are:

  • Freedom from hunger, thirst and malnutrition: By ready access to fresh water and a diet to maintain full health and vigor.
  • Freedom from discomfort: By providing an appropriate environment including shelter and a comfortable resting area.
  • Freedom from pain, injury and disease: By prevention or rapid diagnosis and treatment.
  • Freedom to express normal behavior: By providing sufficient space, proper facilities and company of the animal's own kind.
  • Freedom from fear and distress: By ensuring conditions and treatment that avoid mental suffering.

Every year, millions of animals suffer as a result of the fur industry. To us, this is senseless when there are so many beautiful faux fur alternatives. That's why all the "fur" you see on our products is amazing faux fur — which does the job just as well!

Animal welfare | Kari Traa