Just skimmed through this UK Wool Innovation Action Plan. Looks like there will be support for projects around wool innovation from Innovate UK - worth keeping an eye on this - you can sign up for the Circular Economy Innovation Network https://info.ktn-uk.org/p/2VFU-COI/circular-economy-innovation-network. It's interesting that Invest NI are named as a stakeholder but not DAERA. Was anyone on here involved or know anymore about it? @Maureen Kilgore @Edward ADAMSON
Download PDF • 3.98MB
Use an EasyCare.
I won’t hold my breath waiting on funding but will be watching carefully if it appears
Totally agree! I think there is niche but growing demand as consumers get more savvy, I'm regularly contacted by designers interested in linen, not for the heritage but for the low environmental impact. For linen I believe it's all about scale. Very small, handmade means expensive, very large volume in big mills drives the price down. We need to build the industry back slowly and at an appropriate scale so we sell at a fair price to people who value it properly. Does the same theory apply to wool? Is there a Maximum Sustainable Output that we could identify, the point where it works for everyone in the chain?
I have not been involved in this Action Plan but agree with all the sentiments. I am perplexed that wool is not recognised as a great product as was generations ago. We can say wonderful things about the product but I know British Wool and Ulster Wool as a subsidiary are constantly trying to find ways to make wool valuable again. We see large expanses of water polluted with micro fibres and it is frowned upon but how many are actually trying to do anything about it. The carpet industry are fighting the forward march of wooden or wood lookalike products as floor covering, the fashion industry is becoming a wear once or twice then throwaway for something new. Gone are the days when a male or female suit or garment was a once in a while purchase and expected to do a lifetime. Wool scouring is an expensive process and at the end we have a product which no matter how good, efficient or environmentally friendly it is cannot find any lucrative markets. As a quite large sheep farmer producing over two tonnes of wool and the costs involved it getting it off the sheep I am frustrated that it is not recognised for the product that it is! Anyone wanting a fleece to work on them selves are always welcome to collect from the farm and have supplied some for several years but that is a very small amount. Long gone are the days of "The Wool Sack" and any respect for it. Sorry for the rant.