Patagonia has launched new fleece jackets for the current season which use “woolyester,” a material which blends micro-polyester with recycled wool from the Prato region of Italy, in partnership with Calamai. Thanks in large part to the recycling process, the production of woolyester fleece is said to use 23 percent less water than its synthetic counterparts, and emits 37 percent less carbon. Recycling wool also helps keep clothes out of garbage dumps. The Calamai family collects unwanted blankets, sweaters and fabric scraps, which are then shredded and bundled into monochromatic bales. The Calamais pioneered the art of reclaiming materials well before the growth of contemporary environmentalism. The family started back in 1878, when the young Calamai brothers, aged 15 and 18, began collecting second-hand wool garments, which they shredded into strips and sold to factories to be re-spun into yarn. The boys later acquired the mechanical equipment that they could use to re-process the wool themselves, and opened their own reprocessing factory. Today, the company is run by the fourth generation of Calamais. Patagonia decided in 2015 to temporarily halt the use of virgin wool due to concerns about animal welfare and land management. Another reason why Patagonia has opted for recycled wool is because it eliminates the need for dye, and the toxic chemicals and water waste that often come with it. According to Patagonia, Calamai's color experts can create almost any tone of color without using pigment. They pluck a variety of colors from the spectrum of fiber bales, then run them through a mechanical blending process to render an entirely new shade, said Patagonia.