This is a story that starts not with sheep but with toothpaste. Yes, toothpaste – Tom’s of Maine toothpaste to be exact as roughly forty years ago Tom Chappell started his initiative to make business a a positive force for consumers, workers, communities and the overall planet. As the eco-friendly business and movement continued to flourish, Tom and his family were lucky enough to travel and one such rambling trip through the countryside of Scotland opened up an entirely new opportunity for him to bring his core values and beliefs to clothing – wool clothing to be exact.
As Scotland is famous for its wool harvesting, sheep farms were more than prevalent. But one specific breed of sheep, the Rambouillet, produced a much lighter-weight worsted wool than any others and, in fact, are the few breeds of sheep that are able to withstand the warmer climate we enjoy here in the United States. The wool produced, when woven, creates a super-fine, next-to-skin like fabric that wears more like a cotton knit than the heavy woolen knits from other breeds.
In 2007, Tom and his family began their new venture with a 75 acre farm, a pregnant ewe and a goal to produce a collection of superfine wearable wool knits entirely here in the United States, from start to finish. And that’s just what they’ve done with the superior product that is Rambler’s Way.
We were just introduced to the line earlier this Spring but Tom’s product and story have added it to our short list of favorites. Entirely American-made, plant-dyed (not vegetable-dyed, which after time will lose its color saturation) knits are not just hard to come by but almost non-existent and to find them in a lightweight-wool product solidifies their value to guys looking to keep in a bit of warmth during those transitional months without having to add on a bulky sweater.
Available in a myriad of rich saturated colors, the collection consists of a couple of dozen styles in a rich color palette. Worn on their own or as a handy layering piece under a jacket or larger sweater, Rambler’s Way pieces aren’t just a smart investment, and eco-friendly, but as damn near patriotic as you can get wearing a wool sweater.
We’ve hand picked a few pieces to have here in our Nashville store but as their line is stocked throughout the year, we’ve added their entire men’s collection to our website. Check out the line here and let us know what you think of this ‘All American Wool’.