“Sustainability” may be a worthy goal, but the word has become cliché, now typically deployed in its adverbial form to modify various nature-exploiting activities like “logging” and “fishing” or the catch-all “development.”
So let’s quit talking about “sustainable” this or that and face the overarching question about the future: Can we create a durable civilization in which humans become good neighbors in the community of life? Where our society is embedded in a matrix of wild nature that allows all creatures — from microorganisms to blue whales — freedom to pursue happiness and raise their progeny in a secure habitat?
When I have the option, I prefer wool.
There must be hundreds of times that I’ve touted the unparalleled odor-mitigating and moisture-wicking qualities of this wonder material. I stand by the endorsement: For all their capabilities, man-made synthetics are merely trying to mimic what wool does naturally. And for all our technology, nature still does it better. Yet while wool is natural, the myriad ways outdoor companies process, futz with, and incorporate it into apparel can be overwhelming.