Woolly Collective

Reducing waste of wool

Much shorn wool is burnt by sheep farmers after shearing because they cannot use it or sell it. Mechelen-based entrepreneur Ngaire Takano therefore founded Woolly Collective in 2021. She processes surplus wool from local farmers through a circular process, in various sustainable applications.

The industrial processing of wool consumes an enormous amount of water and energy. Washing 1 kilogram of wool requires 400 litres of water! Not to mention the necessary chemicals. Ngaire Takano therefore developed a process in which all steps of processing are circular. The result: higher-quality wool that is softer and smells less. And 90% yield of sheepskin, compared to only 40% to 60% in the industry.

Wool is also a perfect substitute for other raw materials. Not only is it warm, but it can also be reused and is biodegradable. Ngaire's customers therefore use its wool for a wide variety of applications. From buttons over clothes and packaging, to even ground covering. Because wool regulates temperature, retains water, promotes plant growth and tackles weed growth.

And although more than 100,000 sheep bleat in Belgium, the wool used by Belgian companies usually comes from China or New Zealand. Our wool then travels back to the United States. That's thousands of kilometres of needless transport each time. Ngaire therefore has 3 big goals with Woolly Collective:

  • putting wool back on the map as a local and sustainable product
  • buying wool from local sheep farmers and paying them a fair price
  • introduce its circular processing process in as many places in the world as possible to reduce all those needless transports.

Woolly Collectief