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Beyond the Bale : September 2014
To celebrate the fifth year of the Campaign for Wool in the UK, campaign patron HRH the Prince of Wales held an event at his Clarence House residence to highlight the natural benefits and eco-credentials of wool to the media. Celebrating wool and how it contributes to global fashion and interior textiles, the lawns of Clarence House were dotted with models showcasing a wide variety of wool apparel, alongside key textile industry guests including Marks & Spencer CEO Mark Bolland, Ermenegildo Zegna chairman Count Paolo Zegna, Loro Piana chairman Pier Luigi Loro Piana and Campaign for Wool chairman Nicholas Coleridge CBE. A woolgrower himself, HRH the Prince of Wales understands the importance of educating and raising awareness amongst consumers about the unique benefits of wool – the ultimate natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre. The event sought to highlight two particular benefits of wool: firstly, that it is a safe fibre thanks to its natural fire retardant properties; and secondly, it quickly biodegrades when in soil compared to other fibres. FIRE RETARDANT Of the commonly used textile fibres, including cotton, rayon, polyester, acrylic and nylon, wool is widely regarded as the most flame resistant, and it will neither melt nor stick to your skin or furnishings. The day before the event at Clarence House, the Campaign for Wool patron, along with the Campaign for Wool chairman Nicholas Coleridge CBE, conducted and filmed a flammability test on wool in a specially constructed fireproof stage. Put to the test was a wool duvet, a wool jacket and wool carpet, along with their synthetic counterparts. The flammability test film was screened at the Campaign for Wool celebrations, showcasing the different results achieved between wool and synthetic fibres, with the aim to change the way consumers choose to furnish their homes and ultimately increase the demand for wool home textiles such as carpets and bedding. BIODEGRADABLE Keen to also demonstrate the biodegradability of wool, HRH the Prince of Wales cast the first shovel of soil into a flowerbed at his Clarence House residence during the event in June. Buried side-by-side in the plot was a sweater made from wool and another made from a synthetic fibre. “I am pretty sure we will discover that wool does no damage to the earth, simply replenishes it, whereas the masses of synthetic material we put in the ground simply stays there and eventually leeches many damaging chemicals,” explained HRH the Prince of Wales during the Campaign for Wool celebrations. The two items of apparel are to be dug up four months’ after their burial during the UK’s Wool Week in October, to illustrate what – if anything of the wool sweater – is left in the soil. AWI Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Rob Langtry said the Campaign for Wool continues to gather momentum. “Patron HRH The Prince of Wales reinforced his commitment to the campaign and his belief that, for the benefit of future generations, choosing wool is both a safer and more environmentally sound decision. “In the presence of global leaders of the fashion apparel and interiors industries His Royal Highness drew attention to the compounding problem of synthetic fibres ending up in landfill. He also drew attention to the fact that in the interest of family safety, choosing wool lowers the everyday toxic risk that flammable synthetics made from petroleum products represent. It was heartening to see such a positive response from the media and industry.” HAS BENEFITS IN SPADES WOOL Campaign for Wool patron HRH the Prince of Wales holds aloft the royal spade that was used to bury a wool sweater during the biodegradability demonstration at his Clarence House residence. • HRH the Prince of Wales held a special event in June to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Campaign for Wool. • The event sought to highlight in particular the fibre’s fire retardant and biodegradable benefits. • The Campaign for Wool aims to educate consumers that choosing wool is both a safer and more environmentally sound decision. MORE INFORMATION www.campaignforwool.org