Joma® New Zealand Wool is simply washed (scoured) with a Hunstman® biodegradable detergent (detailed below) that meets stringent EU standards, then washed using chlorine-treated water, before being rinsed again and steamed.
The following information is from Huntsman® with regard to early stage wool processing:
HYDRAPOL® surfactants are readily biodegradable detergents appropriate to the scouring of raw wool and wooly sheepskins. The rapid biodegradability and low aquatic toxicity of these high performance surfactants makes them ideally suited as replacements for the alkylphenol ethoxylates (which should be avoided) traditionally used for raw wool scouring. HYDRAPOL® RP series surfactants are sufficiently advanced in their design technology to exhibit the complex phase behaviour necessary for the efficient scouring of raw wool, a feature previously almost unique to the nonyl phenol ethoxylates.
The highly efficient wetting kinetics of the HYDRAPOL® RP Series surfactants renders them well suited to the re-wetting of dusted carbonized wool. Their stability in non-oxidising mineral acids and the retention of their excellent wetting characteristics in this environment makes them ideal wetting agents for use during the raw wool carbonizing process for the destruction of desiccated vegetable matter.
The following information is from Huntsman® with regard to biodegradability:
HYDRAPOL® RP Series surfactants biodegrade to greater than 70% in 28 days when evaluated according to the international test protocol ISO 7827, and therefore can be classified as Readily Biodegradable. Further testing, using the ISO 14593 :1999 protocol, confirms that HYDRAPOL® surfactants are indeed readily biodegradable. This latter test determines the ultimate aerobic biodegradability of organic compounds in aqueous medium, by a procedure which addresses issues of possible chemisorption of the candidate and its metabolites during the degradation process.
A Note on Chlorine-Treated Wool
Chlorine-treated wool does not pose any health risk from the finished material. However, the wastewater produced as a result of the chlorine treatment process is not environmentally-friendly and does pose a health risk. As a result, we are currently exploring chlorine-free alternatives for our wool, to lessen our environmental impact.