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Is Bison Wool the Next Big Innovation in Outerwear?

New innovations in outerwear don't come around all that often, so it's a big deal when a company brings something original to market. This year, we've been impressed by United By Blue, a sustainable company that's pioneered the use of bison fiber in technical outdoor gear. Last year United by Blue produced a bison "down" hiking sock that sold over 15,000 pairs, and more recently the company has expanded to jackets. Read on for why bison down just might be the next big thing when it comes to keeping warm outside.

So what's up with using bison? The American Bison knows how to stay warm in freezing cold temperatures. Bison have one of the world's best forms of natural insulation, and United By Blue uses this fiber to make a bison-based insulation that's almost twice as warm as a traditional ski jacket. This proprietary insulation, called B100 Fill™, is built into the center of a jacket, making the item incredibly warm.

No bison are killed for their wool. Instead, United By Blue uses animals that are sustainably raised on an open pasture for their meat. Harvesting the bison's wool coat not only uses more of the animal after slaughtering takes place, it also helps to support small independent ranchers. Another major plus for the company: for every product sold, United By Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways through company organized and hosted cleanups.

United By Blue currently has a few days left on Kickstarter for their bison wool jackets. The Ultimate American Jacket features a removable wool fleece vest and is going for only $298. The Bison Snap Jacket is a bit more lightweight and asks $178. Head over here for details and to get in on the early savings.