Speaking to a meeting of the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB) earlier this week Prince Charles said his interest in wool started with tenants on his estate telling him about the ‘poor return’ for the shorn fleece.

The prince was keen to point out how wool can be used sustainably in homes as carpeting or as a renewable source of clothing.

He said: “The future of the fibre was looking very bleak indeed.

“The sad truth is that around the world farmers are leaving sheep production because the price they get for their wool is below the costs of actually shearing it.”

He urged people to think hard about the ‘seemingly trivial decision’ about whether to buy a wool carpet or its manmade alternative, or purchasing a wool coat as opposed to a polyester jacket.

The fire safety aspect of wool is, he continued, another major asset overlooked by the everyday consumer – well-known to the contract and hospitality industry, where wool is considered the safest fibre for carpet due to its natural flame retardant qualities.

The main wool organisations from around the world have also joined together to back The Wool Project and to promote wool generically.

BWMB chief executive, Ian Hartley, said: “Wool clearly needs to be better understood, regardless of its brand or origin and wool prices have suffered globally.”

The Wool Week will be held during September and the Wool Project will release further plans during the coming months.

Luke Walsh

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