BBC Countryfile – Listen to what’s being done to raise the profile of this fantastic natural fibre
Aired on Sunday 11th July on the BBC’s Countryfile, The Campaign for Wool’s COO Peter Ackroyd met with Adam Henson, Cotswold Farm Park & BBC Countryfile Presenter to discuss the issues wool has faced due to Covid and highlighted a number of innovative products that are using the wonderful fibre wool.
“I’m a big fan of wool, but I find it very depressing that price is so low, why is that?” Adam Henson
Covid has affected wool in the price depression with the lack of orders in the interior contract market, due to the restrictions of travel and hotel closures.
“It’s such a wonderful natural product, is there hope for it in the future?” Adam Henson
Wool has a distinct advantage, with its natural, sustainable, biodegradable, flame retardant, thermo-regulating – keeps you warm when it’s cold, and cool when its warm and people are thinking more about where they go and what they buy and how they buy things.
To gain advantage wool needs some investment and innovation in the wonderful properties of wool, these are happening and the ones featured on the show are highlighted below:
- Insulation packaging used for fresh food products and pharmaceutical medicines
- Products mailed or couriered are kept at constant temperatures
- The fibre can be repurposed and used for other things, in the garden, pipe insulation or craft
- Wool plasters, taking a historic wool use and turning it into an innovative new product
- Historically walkers would take the wool found snagged on fences and walls and put it in their socks to prevent blistering and sores. The wool helps to pull water away from the skin and reduce friction
- 58,000,000,000 plastic bandages are cast into ecosystems annually which is an issue for the environment, Wool+Aid are breathable, sustainable and biodegradable
- Launching in the UK in the next couple of months, there are two options….’everyday’ range is perfect for scrapes & scratches, and ‘sports & adventure’ perfect for sporting challenges and available in sports stores and apparel retailer
- Lanolin from the wool helps the skin healing process and also used in make-up, medicine
- Did you know – wool is also used in the ‘points’ of ballerina shoes, and padding or a general wrap to protect toes and feet, it can also be used for chilblains and to give relief from pressure, amputee and bed sores?
- AllBirds use wool’s breathable properties to development a range of footwear, enabling a less ‘sweaty’ and odour reducing environment, providing more comfort.
- Allbird shoes are also washable in a washing machine to refresh them, and can be worn without socks
- Recent developments have been introduced with the launch of wool garments
- Adidas and Nike have also successfully produced trainer style shoes with wool fabrics of varying types in collaborations with fabric mills, Savile Row Tailors and Dashing Tweeds
- Wool Rope and Twine for gardening and accessories including dog leads, collars, hats and caps
- Twool products are made from rare breed Whiteface Dartmoor wool so promotes and protects one of Britain’s ancient breeds of sheep. The breed are indigenous to Dartmoor and have been grazing the land since Saxon times
- The wool is collected at source from farmers who practise regenerative agriculture. Good land management promotes the environment and rotational grazing promotes higher growth rates in grass increasing the organic matter of the soil this, in turn captures more carbon
- Every manufacturing process is carried out here in Britain, supporting additional British heritage manufacturing businesses
- Using low impact dyes, means less water is required in the rinse process due to the higher rate of absorption, therefore, the dyes have a lower impact on the environment
- RHS Garden Product of the year 2020
“With all these innovative ways of creating woollen products, do you think there is hope for the British sheep farmer?” Adam Henson
There is hope for the farmers, once the contract market reopens and travel restrictions are lifted, people should realise buying wool has a good return on investment with its versatility and longevity, and that it’s making a huge contribution to the environment.
Watch the full episode on BBC iPlayer