‘Regenerative Wool’ Gives Apparel Second Life, New Twist

Beringia is bringing Japanese design to technical outerwear in North America. But the most intriguing element may be the brand’s sustainability score: regenerative wool.

Capitalizing on a cult-like following of Japanese brands, Beringia just launched its performance-based apparel in North America.

Beringia-Tsurugi-Jacket-Khaki

The outerwear brand is the brainchild of Bozeman-based Robert “Bernie” Bernthal and Tokyo’s Nori Suzuki. Since 2007, the duo has been behind the scenes designing beautiful but functional clothing for exploring outdoors.

Now, Teton Bros. is bringing Japanese textile technology and craftsmanship with a mountain-life twist to America.

The Tsurugi Jacket, an anorak, as well as the Bering Down Jacket, a 1,000-fill hybrid down puffy, will be of interest to design-minded Americans.

Old Wool With Fresh Style

But Beringia’s immediate standout is its Masters of Bishu collection, a “regenerative” wool line the likes of which we’ve never seen.

Beringia Mens Farallon Shirt Red

“Regenerative” is a fancy word for wool that’s recycled from scrapped clothing. But at Beringia, knitters custom-blend it for a fresh look in central Japan’s Bishu region, which has been in luxury wool production for 300 years.

Yes, there are other brands upcycling wool already. But the brand goes beyond simply recycling wool. To make regenerative wool, Beringia hand-selects thousands of individual fibers from reclaimed garments. It puts them into the production of all-new textiles. The result is a brand-new garment made of post-consumer fabric.

And according to the brand:

To qualify as “regenerative,” products and practices should not only be sustainable but contribute meaningfully to improving soil health and the environment; and the services that go into their production must also be life-enabling, not life-destroying. Not just preserving the world, but making for a better world.

The brand leverages recycled wool fibers (70-89 percent of the garments), a special fiber-smoothing bath rather than harmful chlorine, and local specialty spinners, knitters, and finishers to add performance features to the clothing.

Beringia women's merino wool Diomede Snorkel Hoody
Beringia women’s merino wool Diomede Snorkel Hoody

The Farallon Plaid Shirt is one example of how the regenerative wool can look in Beringia’s hands. Another is the waffle-stitch Diomede Merino Wool Snorkel Hoody, a more technical mountain piece.

Most Beringia clothing is unisex, but there’s a small women’s-specific line. Prices range from $40 for a wool beanie to $350 for an insulated cropped onesie to $500 each for the St. Elias men’s ski bib and jacket.

Julie Kailus
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Associate editor Julie Kailus has spent a career covering people, places, and products in the outdoor industry. Julie can be found testing the latest and greatest in her favorite activities — trail running, mountain biking, swimming, snowboarding, and the underrated endurance sport of chasing two sons around the mountains.

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