We’re composting our new Dancing Daisies blanket at Loop Growers

We’re composting our new Dancing Daisies blanket at Loop Growers

With the help from our friends out at Loop Growers – just 25km from Meanjin (Brisbane) – we are testing the compostability of our new 100% merino wool Dancing Daisies blanket. After a successful composting test last year with a sample blanket, we want to confirm that our own product is also compostable. 

Loop Growers is a closed loop farm using cafe yields to make compost rich enough to grow veggies that is then sold back to the cafes. We love the Loop crew and have already featured them on our blog.

So we cut up one of our Dancing Daisies blankets (it sports different colours to the final design as it was in the yarn test phase) and got composting! The plan? To see how the blanket decomposed in two environments, a worm farm and a commercial compost pile.

Our co-founder Sammy went out to Loop in mid-February to work with farmers Alice and Phil, and intern Brodie, on building the commercial compost and ensuring the blanket was prepped for its composting journey. Here’s what building a commercial compost and a thriving worm farm looks like.

The commercial compost 

Building the commercial compost was a fascinating process with many stages and materials. 

First we collected a few wheelbarrows of last year’s compost:

Pile of compost on a tarp

Then we collected other materials from around the farm to enrich the compost. Here’s some ash collected from the firepit:

Buckets of ash collected from the fire-it

And some decomposed leaf matter from the creekside: 

Creek matter ready for the compost
We also collected some manure: 

Wheelbarrows of manure at Loop Farm

Other materials were worm juice, freshly cut green matter and seaweed...

Then we prepared the wire cages for the compost to go in:

Wire cage to build the compost pile in

Next, it was the blanket’s turn (and our 100% organic cotton label) to be readied for composting:

Dancing Daisies wool blanket ready to comportLabel for composting

And even though it felt strange, that meant cutting the blanket up:

Scissors, blanket and label

We cut it in half so we could use one half for the commercial compost, and one for the worm farm, and then into strips:

Blanket cut in halfCut up Dancing Daisies blanket

Then we used chicken wire to create a cage for the blanket halves so we could easily dig it out of the compost to see its progress:

Alice making the wire cage

This is the blanket ready for composting:


Then the building of the compost itself began:


We layered fresh cut greenery, with manure, soil, ash, creekside wet matter, juice from the worm farm, and even eggshells, all the while hosing it down:

Loop_Growers_Seljak_brand_Making_compost Loop_Growers_Making_compost_Seljak_Brand_Wool

We dug sticks vertically into the compost to assist in aerating the composting:

Seljak_Brand_Loop_growers_aerating_compost_bambooSeljak_Brand_Loop_growers_aerating_compost_for_wool_blanketAnd then it was time to put the blanket in:  

selajk_brand_composting_wool_blanketselajk_brand_2023_composting_blanketAnd before we knew it, it was covered with the rest of the organic material:


Finally, we wrapped the compost in tarp to encourage as much heat as possible, and composting to occur faster. The temperature in a compost such as this will reach upwards of 60 degrees celsius. 

Next it was time to do the worm farm…

The worm farm compost

The worm farm at Loop is in a couple of old bathtubs. Usually, the yield is processed (washed) on top of this so the excess water is used to keep the worm farm moist. Nothing at Loop is wasted and we love that!

loop_growers_worm_farm_Seljak_brandThe worm farm at Loop

Alice turned over the worm farm to show me the worms. In the foreground is half of the Dancing Daisies sample blanket, cut up and ready to compost!

loop_growers_tending_worm_Farm_Seljak_wool_blanket_compostworm_farm_loop_growers_Seljak_wool_blanket_compostWe placed the test blanket in the worm farm and covered it with worm farm compost:


You can see the worms in the soil ready to start eating the wool fibres in the blanket:


Then we covered the worm farm with damp hessian sacks and then shade cloth to protect it from the sun.


And now we wait for the composting magic to happen!

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