The Dumfries House Wool DeclarationClick here to download the Dumfries House Wool Declaration
The Campaign for Wool and the International Wool Textile Organisation today presided over the signing of The Dumfries House Wool Declaration, witnessed by HRH The Prince of Wales, Patron of The Campaign for Wool.
The “Custodians of The Wool Industry” declaration has been created to ensure that key players from shepherds to shop owners commit to protect the environment and uphold the best possible practices for sheep welfare, commerce and industry.
The Dumfries House Wool Declaration agrees, amongst other things, that the major wool growing countries conform to the strictest standards of animal welfare as embodied in the IWTO Specifications for Wool Sheep Welfare.
The IWTO Specifications are premised on the Five Freedoms of Animal Welfare as set forth by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE): freedom from hunger and thirst, freedom from discomfort, freedom from pain, injury or disease, the freedom to express normal behaviour, and the freedom from fear and distress.
The signing of the declaration was the culmination of the UK’s inaugural Wool Conference held at Dumfries House, in East Ayrshire, Scotland.
The conference was the largest and most prestigious international gathering of wool experts ever to be held in the UK, and was organised by The Campaign for Wool and the International Wool Textile Organisation with M&S support.
The conference, attended by around 250 wool trade delegates, included speeches by The Prince of Wales, M&S CEO Steve Rowe, the designer Sir Paul Smith, Nicholas Coleridge CBE, the President of Conde Nast International and Livia Firth, the founder and creative director of Eco-Age.
Allan Savory, president and co-founder of The Savory Institute, also gave a speech on livestock and its impact on its environment.
Prince Charles, who used the conference to announce that he would give a further five-year commitment as Patron to the Campaign for Wool, spoke of being “encouraged” by what had been achieved since the campaign launched eight years ago.
HRH said “It is never easy to be entirely clear about cause and effect, but during the life of the campaign there has been some encouraging progress in the overall situation.
“In general terms, wool prices are higher; sheep numbers are stable in most markets; designers are using more wool and there is a greater appreciation of wool’s many excellent qualities.
“And all that has led to generally higher morale in the wool industry. So despite some remaining storm clouds and challenges, the overall picture is considerably positive.”
To read The Prince of Wales’s full speech visit https://www.princeofwales.gov.uk/media/speeches/speech-hrh-the-prince-of-wales-the-dumfries-house-wool-conference
M&S CEO Steve Rowe said that the company had been committed to wool for more than 90 years and would continue to in the future. “M&S is fully committed to supporting HRH The Prince of Wales’ campaign to encourage a greater awareness of the benefits of wool,” he said.
He continued: “M&S has been using wool for over 90 years, and throughout this time we’ve strived to keep innovating and expanding our wool offer, from when we introduced wool socks in 1926, to when we brought machine washable wool to the high street in 1972.
“Today we are one of the leading retailers of wool items, this season alone we’ve bought over three million wool products and will use over 3,500 tonnes of wool throughout the year, confirming our commitment to championing wool as a preferred fabric across our collections.”
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 to promote awareness of its environmental benefits.
It has been successful in increasing wool prices and promoting the unique qualities of wool over other fabrics, particularly oil-based manmade fibres.
Nicholas Coleridge CBE, the Campaign for Wool chairman, said now that the challenge was to encourage lesser users to adopt wool.
Representatives from Amazon, Ikea and ASOS attended the event.
Other representatives included shepherds, growers, farmers, designers from the worlds of fashion and interiors, traders, processors, manufacturers, retailers, environmentalists and politicians who will debate and analyse the issues facing the wool industry today and in the future.
Livia Firth said: “I would say that, in essence, we are disruptors. And our mission is to get in there – between the fast fashion system and the consumer.
“If we can seize that opportunity, we get to liberate the ‘consumer’ back into being an active citizen.”
For questions regarding The Campaign for Wool and Wool Week, images or social media please contact:
Lucy Hirsch, Senior Account Manager
0207 845 7800
Notes to Editors:
1 Referred to by HRH The Prince of Wales in his video address to the IWTO Congress in Sydney in February 2016, recorded at St Jame’s Palace on 16th February 2016.
The Campaign for Wool was launched in 2010 to educate consumers about the benefits of wool, to promote wool-rich products to a national audience and to help to support and to grow the wool industry. Run by a coalition of industry groups convened by HRH The Prince of Wales, the campaign works to engage consumers through exciting fashion, interiors, artisan and design lead activities centering around Wool Week each year.
The Campaign for Wool is jointly funded by the world’s largest wool organisations which represent sheep farmers across the globe. Key nation partners include the British Wool Marketing Board, Australian Wool Innovation/The Woolmark Company, Cape Wools South Africa and Campaign for Wool New Zealand. All have shown incredible support and contributed to the global success of The Campaign for Wool since its inception.
Wool is a fibre of infinite potential with a vast array of benefits. Campaign for Wool wants to make consumers aware that wool is completely natural, sustainable and recyclable, and that this superior fibre is both versatile and durable with many unique performance properties.
Dumfries House was saved for the nation in 2007 by a consortium led by The Prince of Wales. Dumfries House has led the way in providing ‘heritage-led regeneration’ for the local community and has become a hub of charitable activity.
For more information about The Prince of Wales visit www.princeofwales.gov.uk or contact:
Miss Eva Omaghomi, Deputy Communications Secretary to The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, Clarence House, London on 020 70245832.