The Campaign brought wool in all its finery and versatility to an unexpected beach venue in Porthtowan, Cornwall to highlight innovation and unexpected wool products. Hosting a summer event jarred a little with the expectations of what wool can be, and allowed people to see and feel wool in the softest of next-to-skin products sat alongside rigid and robust wool and bio-resin chairs, next to surfboarding shorts, the space allowed us to showcase wool in all its guises and to ensure that those who came in, walked out knowing a lot more about wool’s natural benefits, and that it wasn’t just a fibre for the winter jumper and coat season.
The Wool Beach Lodge opened for press on the 2 and 3 July and consumers from the 4 July to the 13 July.
With over 47 participants displaying products in the Wool Beach Lodge, the space was dressed from head to toe, wall to wall in wool interiors, accessories and soft furnishings along with wool garments, innovations and developments from:
A New Sweden; Abraham Moon & Sons; Adidas; Allbirds; Alternative Flooring; Anderson & Sheppard; Athletic Propulsion Labs; Armadillo Merino; AW Hainsworth; Brintons; Camira Fabrics; cdbdi; Celtic & Co; Core Merino; Dashing Tweeds; Devold; Felted Sheep Skins; Finisterre; Glenbrae; Hardvark; Harris Tweed Hebrides; Icebreaker; Jessica Dance: Johnstons of Elgin; Luna Textiles; Margo Selby; McNair; Nagnata; Outerknown; Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli; Raeburn Design; Real Shetland; Rewoolution; Sheep Inc; Smalls; Sofa.com; Solidwool; Tetrad; Thermafleece; The Wool Room; Tullibee; UrbanBosk; Vita Boheme Studio; Woolaid; Woolcool; Wool&Prince.
The venue provided the ideal space to reference wool’s natural ability to biodegrade in the ocean as well as in land, and how wool can contribute to the reduction in plastic use, as well as the issue of micro-fibres found present from man-made products in the food and waterway systems. Making wool a key fibre in the reduction of excessive washing and laundering.
Consumer discussions included the benefits of wool for skin health and sleeping, the natural benefits and care of wool carpets and cleaning. Wool’s natural dirt and odour repelling properties were discussed, especially important for performance wear, and highlighted through the Wool&Prince 100-day shirt – worn for 100 days without washing or laundering to prove these factors. Making wool a key fibre in the reduction of excessive washing and laundering.
We are seeing a number of brands working on a sheep to garment strategy, and the concept from Sheep Inc to adopt the sheep that subsequently provides the wool to make your jumper was well received due to its sustainable and carbon-negative messaging.
Innovations were prevalent – from a wool-lined wet suit from a Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli collaboration with The Woolmark Company, Solidwool chairs and surfboard-fin, wool band aids/plasters from Woolaid, the 3-D knit award-winning innovation from Devold and seam-free ultra-fine knitwear from Glenbrae. High-performance garments for sports and athleisure were showcased from brands including Nagnata, APL, Smalls, Icebreaker and Devold. With safety aspects in an overshirt on display from Dashing Tweeds for cycling/outdoor walking with a reflective fibre for night-time protection. We also screened a short film featuring the Woolight surfboard by Paul Barron which is a new development using New Zealand wool and a bio resin to create a sustainable surfboard.
The importance of wool innovation and its development into new products that try and contribute to a healthier planet for the future, and how each and everyone one of us can make a contribution by choosing some wool garments or products as alternatives to man-made.
Visitors, Experiences and Supporters in the Wool Beach Lodge
With 11 press and influencers and over 650 consumers passing through the doors of the event space and over 70 attending the consumer experiences and talks, they could experience wool for themselves in yoga/stretching by the see, take a surfing lesson and see how wool is being used in wool-lined wet suits, and in Solidwool surfboard fins. Each participant in the outdoor activities experienced wearing wool for themselves with products from Finisterre, Devold and Icebreaker.
Some of the Campaign for Wool supporters joined us for the press days including Icebreaker, Solidwool, Tetrad, Finisterre, Felted Sheep Skins, and Celtic & Co.
Live discussions from Deborah Luffman, Finisterre, which focussed on the use of wool within the Finisterre brand, its importance and new developments with wool and wool blends, and how they offer a repair and recycle service to maximise on the investment, as well as reducing fast fashion/waste. And showcased new developments Finisterre are launch in the Autumn. A talk from John Hudson, the military survival expert, and book signing, followed a taster survival hike session, experienced whilst wearing wool from Core Merino.
John highlighted his experiences with wool over his career as a military survival expert and tutor, as well as general survival tips for extreme situations and in day to day life.
With daily screenings of Wimbledon, and a nod to the tennis balls on display, as most consumers were not aware that they are made of a wool blend, and always have been, for consistency of bounce and durability.
Consumers could book onto yoga and surfing classes daily and were given a wool t-shirt or wool socks to get a true wool experience