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Campaign for Wool

  • HRH The Prince of Wales
  • Wool is a sustainable fabric
  • The Prince launches the Mutton Renaissance
  • The Prince gives a speech about the rainforests

The Prince of Wales launched the Campaign for Wool in January 2010 as an initiative to expand the market for British and Commonwealth wool and promote awareness of its environmental benefits.

On hearing about the low prices British farmers were receiving for their wool, The Prince of Wales convened a group of representatives from the fashion and interior design industries to see what could be done. A firm supporter of sheep farmers, The Prince was interested in seeing how the benefits of this material could be better explained to people so that they appreciated the benefits of choosing a natural product.

On a freezing cold day in January 2010, The Prince of Wales launched the Campaign in front of a group of fashion, carpeting and insulation industry experts. In his speech, The Prince highlighted the many benefits wool had to offer. It grows naturally, it is versatile, possessing a natural elasticity, and it can be crafted into a wide range of beautiful and practical clothes, carpets and other furnishings. Wool is also an excellent insulator that remains warm even when wet; a natural fire retardant, odour-resistant, and absorbent of both shocks and sound.  Finally, at the end of its life it is entirely biodegradable. Buying wool helps support sheep farmers around the world. 

As a result, The Campaign for Wool has seen wool growing organizations from the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Norway working together to remind the world of wool’s usefulness.  

In 2010, the Campaign for Wool staged London Wool Week where fifty-five retailers came together to promote wool. Major British retailers supported the initiative which saw a herd of sheep grazing on a newly turfed over Savile Row.

In 2011, support for Wool Week increased further with famous fashion brands and designers including Dame Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith lending their names to the woolly cause. 

The 2013 Wool House was a major highlight of the Campaign. This twelve day exhibition attracted 17,000 visitors, and took over the West Wing of Somerset House. It featured stunning styled wool rooms by seven leading interior designers, and designer Vivienne Westwood showcased the latest in woollen fashion. 

In 2014, guests of His Royal Highness at Clarence House witnessed first-hand the fire-retardant properties of wool and also the wonderful biodegradable nature of the material when a woollen jumper was buried along a synthetic counterpart. When exhumed some months later during the London Wool Week, the woollen garment had biodegraded, whereas the synthetic item remained intact. 

2015 saw the momentum of the campaign continued with a series of high profile international wool weeks across the world including China, Japan, South Africa, France, The Netherlands, and the USA.  When touring New Zealand, His Royal Highness found time to inspect the new 'Wool Shed' at Tawa College to see for himself how wool growing is being promoted to young students. When back in the U.K., His Royal Highness also visited Abraham Moon & Son in Guiseley to view the wonderful furnishings and clothing being designed at one of the few vertically integrated woollen mills in the U.K. 

In September 2016, The Prince attended the first ever Campaign for Wool Conference at Dumfries House. This event brought together the entire wool chain, from key farmers and growers, to buyers and fashion designers. It culminated in the signing of the Dumfries House Declaration, a pledge to all major fashion retailers from across the Commonwealth to support the use of this remarkable fibre.

You can watch a video from The Campaign for Wool's 5th Anniversary here:

 

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