Wool School Launch at the Royal Academy
On Monday 14th October, the great and good of the Wool World gathered to celebrate in style at the Royal Academy. As if the start of Wool Week 2013 wasn’t a good enough reason to celebrate, the day also marked the launch of all of the Wool School Jumpers into national retailers. Wool School returned in 2013 for it’s second year, giving textile students across the country an opportunity to design a woolen jumper for some of the top designers and renowned retailers in the country. This year prestigious names included; Albam, Barbour, Brora, Christopher Raeburn for Harvey Nichols, Folk, Hobbs, Jigsaw, Lyle & Scott, M&S, Pringle of Scotland, Topshop, Topman and Margaret Howell.
The evening was a celebration of not only the students’ hard work, but also an opportunity to thank the retailers and all involved who have dedicated so much time and effort to the process. Above all, the evening was a celebration of wool,
Nicholas Coleridge, Vice-Chairman of the Campaign for Wool, took a moment to thank the audience for their continued support of wool saying;
“Today, as I say, we are particularly pleased to welcome the students, retailers and Colleges that took part in Wool School 2013. Wool School is one of the more interesting initiatives of the Campaign, in which our top 14 retailers work with a dozen Fashion Colleges, and students design to a brief – this year ‘knitwear traditions of the British Isles’ – and then the winning designs are manufactured and sold across the country in all those shops, all made from the finest, renewable and biodegradable wool.
“This is the fight back. It is the mission of the Campaign for Wool to do everything possible to support and promote this vital worldwide sheep industry and natural wool.”
John Thorley, Chairman of The Campaign for Wool, took to the stage to speak about the progress of the Campaign over the past years;
“On behalf of the Campaign and everyone who is a part of it may I express my heartfelt thanks.
“It seems like only yesterday that Our Royal Patron HRH The Prince of Wales challenged us to take action which would get wool repositioned so that it would take its rightful place as the leading natural fibre available to mankind.
The date was February 2008 and from those very early days when we looked at whether the challenge was feasible and realistic to the present time when we are beginning to see the fruits of our labour it has been an incredible journey of interminable discussion, hard decision making but most of all of commitment to a concept that with the correct approach wool could be returned to its rightful place as a fibre of real consequence in the world of fashion, upholstery and floor covering, as well as all other areas where wool has traditionally had a role to play.
“Amongst a number of key conclusions arrived at, before we could even call it a “Campaign” was the seminally important decision to take the opportunity to bring in the wool producers of the World; but most of all to get the backing of the Commonwealth countries. That decision has played a vital part in the success of the Campaign to date for it has brought a degree of critically important unity into the wool business from producer to end user while having a significant effect on all parts of the business in between.
“It is partly as a consequence of that decision that we find ourselves here at The Royal Academy tonight where the Campaign has made its first foray into the world of art by supporting The Royal Academy’s AUSTRALIA exhibition. I’m certain it won’t surprise you to learn that like The Campaign for Wool, AUSTRALIA (the Exhibition) is supported by the patronage of His Royal Highness and serves as the finest showcase of Australian art ever seen in the Northern Hemisphere, and significantly,one which all our guests are invited to view tonight.
“In addition and in recognition of the uniqueness of The Campaign for Wool, The Royal Academy Fellowship has allowed a small flock of Bowmont Merino sheep to grace the courtyard of The Royal academy this coming weekend on 19th and 20th of October. A truly fitting end to Wool Week 2013 and a clear expression of its international support and appeal.
“We have some distance to go to achieve our ultimate ambition of getting sheep and wool back into their rightful position as important contributors to the wellbeing of man without any damage to Mankind. But the journey has begun. It will take some time to complete but with the global support of all the participators already on board, the goodwill and active participation of everyone with a real interest in conserving and harnessing the massive and unparalleled benefits derived from the humble sheep, the future is in a much better place than it was when we started at the beginning of 2008.
“With those few words, on behalf of myself, Nicholas and the entire team may I extend my most sincere thanks to everyone involved and very best wishes for a truly successful Wool Week.”
Wool School Stockist AddressesAlbam 23 Beak St, London W1F 9RS 111a Commercial Street, Spitalfields Market, London E1 6BG http://www.albamclothing.com/product/18898/navybarracuda/wool-school-cable-sweater.asp http://www.albamclothing.com/product/18898/cliffpiccalilli/wool-school-cable-sweater.asp Barbour Covent Garden
E1 6BG Monks Way, Bede Trading Estate
Tyne and Wear
NE32 3HL 21 Frederick Street
EH2 2NE 5 St Ann’s Passage,
M2 6AD http://www.barbour.com/uk Brora 48 Frederick Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1EX 2 Prospect Crescent, Harrogate, HG1 1RH Sloane Square, 6-8 Symons Street, London, SW3 2TJ http://www.brora.co.uk/wool-week/
SW3 4LY Jigsaw Argyll Street Store 9 Argyll Street
W1F 7TG Jigsaw Kensington Store 65 Kensington High Street
W8 5SF Jigsaw Dover Street Store 43 Dover Street
W1S 4NU Jigsaw Westbourne Grove Store 190-192 Westbourne Grove
W11 2RH Jigsaw Leeds Store23 King Edward Street
LS1 6AX http://www.jigsaw-online.com/products/eve-honeycomb-sweater-7523 Christopher Raeburn at Harvey Nichols 109 – 125 Knightsbridge
SW1X 7RJ http://www.harveynichols.com/mens/categories/designer-jackets-coats/casual/s475554-limited-edition-unisex-wool-bomber-jacket.html?colour=NAVY+AND+OTHER Folk 53 Lamb’s Conduit St London, Greater London http://www.folkclothing.com/