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Wool Month at Salts Mill

Some of the UK’s most important brands and retailers have participated in this year’s Wool Month as part of a series of national and regional events and special collaborations. The first of these took place in the historic Salts Mill, Saltaire on 29 September.

To mark this, the first regional event for Wool Month, M&S previewed their special ‘Campaign for Wool Edit’, a specially curated selection of key wool separates for men that will sit as part of a special limited-edition range that was launched in October; ‘The M&S Originals AW22 Collection’.

The M&S Originals collection offers thoughtfully designed, responsible Menswear. Taking inspiration from archival pieces and reinventing them, the range pays homage to their unique British legacy. The Campaign for Wool Edit will champion the natural renewable and biodegradable benefits offered by wool as a fibre. Each product within the collection is proudly named after a location within Yorkshire, the county in which they launched in 1884 and where their Leeds based Company Archive resides.

For 2022, The Campaign for Wool sets out to remind industry and consumers ‘Why Wool Matters’, encouraging us all to ask more questions about the products we buy and, most importantly, where they come from. Putting the focus firmly on wool’s natural attributes, Wool Month highlights wools renewable, biodegradable and natural benefits and why it is one of the most widely reused and upcycled fibres today.

The theme of this current Campaign is significant as the world battles with climate change and issues around overconsumption, emissions and non-biodegradable waste.

Many industries are rethinking how they will design and manufacture products in the future, as well as how they will interact, inform and educate their customers in ‘buying better’ and using fibres, such as wool, that have longevity and durability. As such, Wool Month offers a platform for the Campaign for Wool’s network of valued retailers, brands, designers, manufacturers and farmers who come together and share new ideas and technological advances, as well as networking for positive cross-industry collaborations. This parallels the Campaign’s on-going commitment to inform and inspire new generations of consumers and designer-makers and retail buyers.

Peter Ackroyd, COO of the Campaign for Wool says: “Woollen and worsted mills in the UK are witnessing a welcome return to pre pandemic levels of business at a time when interest in brick and mortar in store shopping seems to be eclipsing online activity. The return of weddings, fetes and festivals over the summer contributed to the phenomenal rise in sales of formal wear throughout the UK and similar increases in Europe and North America.

In addition, domestic interior textile sales also experienced significant increases during the pandemic, as consumers confined to their own four walls, sought a number home improvements, particularly in carpeting. Whilst this positive trend during a depressing pandemic was warmly welcomed by the industry, it was not until the virtually dormant market for contract carpet and furnishing recently began to move, did the industry start to feel more positive about the future. Despite current encouraging trends, the wool textile industry is well aware of headwinds and turbulence ahead, as rising energy prices affect both consumers and producers in equal measure.”

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