Whether for yarn production, printed patterns, or the running of its warehouse and offices, Brooklyn Tweed strives to be as energy and environmentally conscious as possible. In the production process Brooklyn Tweed’s fleeces are handled gently; while cleaned thoroughly, our wool is never subjected to the harsh chemical treatment called carbonization which obliterates plant matter but can also damage the wool itself. As a result, our finished yarns can still contain a few flecks of flora, small reminders that the wool comes from real sheep that spend active lives in the great outdoors.
Brooklyn Tweed currently works with two different dye houses, G. J. Littlewood & Sons in Pennsylvania for Loft, Shelter, and Quarry; and Maine Dye & Textiles in Maine for Arbor, Vale, and Plains. Both dye houses select their dyes by choosing options that yield the best color results at the best dollar value while still adhering to the standards set by the EPA. Littlewood uses an acid dying process while Maine Dye & Textiles uses petroleum-based dyes. Regardless of the type of dye used, each dye house is able to correct the pH of their resulting waste water, as well as monitor for proper temperature, before releasing the excess water into the respective local waterway.
Maine Dye & Textiles is an especially good example of environmental consciousness as they are the only organically certified yarn dyeing operation in the U.S., focused on environmental sustainability by reducing the usage of water, chemical dyestuffs, and energy during their production process. Maine Dye & Textiles purchases offsets to address their impacts for carbon emissions, natural gas consumption, waste water treatment, and freight.
Additionally, Franklin Printing in Maine — the printing company that Brooklyn Tweed uses for books, yarn labels, and shade cards — is powered by 100% renewable energy. To boot, at least half of BT’s core employees commute to work by bicycle. Three cheers for Portland’s numerous bike lanes!