Hands-On: Wellen Seawool Fisherman Sweater

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Your new favorite sweater, made from an innovative and eco-friendly material.

When it comes to cold weather clothing, I’m a natural materials guy all the way. Give me your 100 percent merino wool base layers, sweaters, and hoodies; your waxed canvas jackets, your leather boots. I haven’t worn much of anything made of plastic for the duration of my adult life, and I’ve been proud of it.

But after our friends at Huckberry sent me one of Wellen’s Seawool sweaters to try on, I might have to make an exception to my usual “no synthetics” rule.

In this Wellen Seawool Fisherman Sweater review, I’m going to share exactly why I’ve come around to the idea—and why I’m looking forward to making this sweater’s unique material a more regular part of my fall and winter wardrobe.

And to do that, I’ll need to fill you in on what exactly Seawool is in the first place.

Hands-On: Wellen Seawool Fisherman Sweater

Seawool: A New Kind of Cozy

If you have the good fortune to live in or visit one of America’s coastal cities, you’ve probably enjoyed eating your fair share of oysters.

But the sad fact of the matter is, after we’re done slurping down oysters’ briny deliciousness, most of their shells end up in the trash—and then in landfills.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though, as oyster shells are a rich source of natural materials when they’re recycled properly.

With their Seawool fabric though, Wellen takes the idea of a circular, sustainable economy based around the ocean one step further—integrating recycled plastic that’s been pulled from the ocean with crushed oyster shells to create a truly one-of-a-kind fabric.

It works like this: Plastic bottles provide the source material for a durable and wrinkle resistant polyester base, while the addition of crushed oyster shells adds insulation, odor control, anti-static properties, and a soft, luxurious feel.

That means every Seawool sweater truly combines the best of all worlds: Environmentally friendly, entirely sustainable, performance like a technical fabric, and a super comfortable look and feel.

By now, I’m sure you can see why I’m willing to make this hybrid natural/synthetic material a part of my winter wardrobe.

Hands-On: Wellen Seawool Fisherman Sweater

A Perfect Mid Layer

In testing the Seawool Fisherman Sweater, I had the ever-changing Cincinnati autumn weather at my disposal. In a few weeks of wearing it, I’ve seen just about everything—sometimes all in one day—from 35 degree mornings to 70 degree days, rain and shine, and everything in between.

Throughout each wear, I have been impressed at how adaptable the Seawool Sweater is. It really acts like a performance fabric (the kind you’ll find in high-tech workout gear), but with the comfort of a wool sweater.

To me, that makes it a perfect mid layer—a difficult piece to find for any guy’s wardrobe. Even on the coldest mornings I’ve worn it on, this sweater has kept me toasty. But as the sun comes out and the day warms up, it even does a good job of venting heat and letting a cool breeze keep me feeling just right.

Hands-On: Wellen Seawool Fisherman Sweater

High Performance, Low Maintenance

Merino wool is renowned for its odor-blocking and temperature regulating qualities. And from what I can tell, Seawool really is a dead ringer for (more expensive) merino wool.

In addition to the sweater’s performance that I mentioned above, I’m thoroughly impressed at how well the Seawool material both keeps its shape and blocks the development of nasty odors. It feels rugged and durable, and even after weeks of wear, its ribbed cuffs and waists have hardly stretched at all.

And with the exception of spilling hot sauce on it while eating tacos, I haven’t had to even consider washing the sweater yet (and that only required a light hand washing). That’s a good thing, too, because you can’t wash Seawool like a standard cotton fabric. It’s hand wash only in cold water, and then you lay it flat to dry—no dry cleaning, either.

Hands-On: Wellen Seawool Fisherman Sweater

Overall Impression

There’s just one thing that I’m sad about, after wearing the Seawool Fisherman Sweater: It’s that I don’t have even more fall and winter layers made from this material.

The combination of an environmentally responsible fabric, top notch performance, and wear-it-all-day coziness really does it for me. And it’s handsome too, with a classic woven texture and natural color variation that are pleasing to the eye.

So if you’re in the market for a new sweater for the upcoming colder months, Wellen’s Seawool Fisherman Sweater definitely gets my recommendation.

Price: $148

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