HRH the Prince of Wales On Why Consumers Should Choose Wool

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HRH the Prince of Wales On Why Consumers Should Choose Wool


On September 2, The Telegraph published an article by His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, titled, “HRH The Prince of Wales: Why we should buy wool this winter.” The Prince has been championing the use of wool for many years now, having launched the Campaign for Wool in 2010, and will take part in the first ever Dumfries House Wool Convention, launched by the Campaign for Wool, and scheduled for September 9 of this year.

In his article, The Prince of Wales explains the many benefits of wool to the reader, from the lack of resources needed to produce the wool, to the numerous practicalities of the material itself. “Imagine the excitement if a new fibre were to be invented with a seemingly miraculous range of properties…” The Prince of Wales wrote in his piece for The Telegraph. “Something that would grow naturally, requiring only grass and water as raw materials; a material that could be crafted into a wide range of the most beautiful and practical clothing, and possessing a natural elasticity that provided great resilience, making it perfect for carpets and other furnishings. Also an excellent insulator that remains warm even when wet; a natural fire retardant, odour-resistant, and absorbent of both shocks and sound. Finally, at the end of its life it would be entirely biodegradable.”

The British royal went on to cite climate change and the need for renewable and ecologically-gentle materials as key reasons to invest in wool over other materials. “Natural materials that do not require fossil fuels to make them and that can be recycled endlessly are going to be more important than ever as we face up to the challenges of climate change.” He performed an experiment himself, in which he buried two sweaters in a flower bed at Clarence House, one of wool and the other synthetic, only to dig them up six months later. The result was that the sweater made from synthetic materials was, “fit indeed to be washed and worn,” while the woolen sweater, “had quietly and usefully biodegraded itself away to nothing.”

Beyond the environmental benefits of wool, the economic and social benefits were made clear. The Prince of Wales explained how during a sharp downturn in the use of wool in 2010, farmers were unable make enough to cover even the cost of producing the wool, much less to continue supporting a farm and a family. The price of wool has gone up since the downturn back in 2010, rising over 35 percent in South Africa and Australia, and over 60 percent in the UK and New Zealand. Additionally, the reduction in sheep population around the world has slowed.

The Prince of Wales concluded his article with a short paragraph encouraging the return to wool as a primary resource for global fashion, and appealing to the “environmentally aware consumer:” 

“These may not be entirely welcome propositions in some parts of an industry that is sadly dominated by mass-produced chemical fibres,” HRH’s article for The Telegraph reads. “And cost is of course also a factor, but today’s environmentally aware consumers do seem to be seeking out quality and durability in fashion, lifestyle and interiors. And that is exactly what wool provides.”


HRH the Prince of Wales On Why Consumers Should Choose Wool

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Written by Lillie Peterson

Lillie is a graduate from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor's in Classics and a lifelong fascination for fashion and art. A freelance writer and artist, her hobbies include photography, design, drawing and blogging.

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