For a lot of reasons actually, but high among them is that a long decline in worldwide wool production has been slowly crushing wool growers in rural communities around the world. This is also bad news for the environment. He is so concerned about the plight of the wool industry that he launched a worldwide campaign, aptly named, "The Campaign for Wool" to raise awareness about the amazing properties of wool. You can watch him explain why he took on this mission and expound on the amazing qualities of wool in this video and visit the website here: http://www.campaignforwool.org/
Followers of this blog know by now that the incredible growth of petroleum based synthetic fibers, (polyester, Nylon etc.) in the clothing industry has quietly replaced superior natural fibers like wool.
Other than being a bit cheaper, these synthetic fibers are no match for the qualities of wool. However, for some reason, people just didn't really notice or care as the fiber content of their clothes shifted more and more to synthetics. Maybe because it was happening during the same time clothing production was being outsourced overseas so people accepted the change in quality because everything got so much cheaper. Or maybe people were a little blinded by our society's assumption that everything new is always better, so they just accepted the change without question. It was after all gradual. A fabric with 80% wool fiber and 20% polyester isn't immediately noticeable if you don't pay attention. But now you find 100% polyester fabrics that look and feel terrible, not to mention they fall apart!
Whatever the reasons, people started treating clothes as a much more disposable good than before. Clothes became so cheap that they didn't care if it was good quality because they might only wear it for a season anyway.
That sounds a bit extreme, but actually selling these customers such low quality that they either have to buy a new wardrobe every year or they would do it anyways to stay in style, is the only way these super cheap brands can make any profit. God forbid they didn't replace their clothes so often, how would all the cheap brands stay in business? And what about the environmental impacts or labor conditions needed to produce so cheap? For a bit more on that you can check out: Fashion Revolution
But this blog post is about why HRH The Prince of Wales is so excited about wool. So, I've pasted from his campaign the following list of amazing qualities of wool. Enjoy!
As always I'd love to hear from you so the comment section is open, uncensored and free.
NATURAL Wool is a protein fibre formed in the skin of sheep, and is thus one hundred percent natural, not man-made. Since the Stone Age, it has been appreciated as one of the most effective forms of all-weather protection known to man, and science is yet to produce a fibre which matches its unique properties.
RENEWABLE As long as there is grass to graze on, every year sheep will produce a new fleece; making wool a renewable fibre source. Woolgrowers actively work to safeguard the environment and improve efficiency, endeavouring to make the wool industry sustainable for future generations.
BIODEGRADABLE At the end of its useful life, wool can be returned to the soil, where it decomposes, releasing valuable nutrients into the ground. When a natural wool fibre is disposed of in soil, it takes a very short time to break down, whereas most synthetics are extremely slow to degrade.
NATURAL INSULATOR Wool is a hygroscopic fibre. As the humidity of the surrounding air rises and falls, the fibre absorbs and releases water vapour. Heat is generated and retained during the absorption phase, which makes wool a natural insulator. Used in the home, wool insulation helps to reduce energy costs and prevents the loss of energy to the external environment, thus reducing carbon emissions.
BREATHABLE Wool fibres are crimped, and when tightly packed together, form millions of tiny pockets of air. This unique structure allows it to absorb and release moisture—either in the atmosphere or perspiration from the wearer—without compromising its thermal efficiency. Wool has a large capacity to absorb moisture vapour (up to 30 per cent of its own weight) next to the skin, making it extremely breathable.
RESILIENT & ELASTIC Wool fibres resist tearing and are able to be bent back on themselves over 20,000 times without breaking. Due to its crimped structure, wool is also naturally elastic, and so wool garments have the ability to stretch comfortably with the wearer, but are then able to return to their natural shape, making them resistant to wrinkling and sagging. Wool therefore maintains its appearance in the longer term, adding value to the product and its lifespan. Wool is also hydrophillic—it is highly absorbent, and retains liquids—and so dyes richly while remaining colourfast, without the use of chemicals.
MULTI-CLIMATIC/ TRANS-SEASONAL Thanks to its hygroscopic abilities, wool constantly reacts to changes in body temperature, maintaining its wearer’s thermophysical comfort in both cold and warm weather.
EASY CARE The protective waxy coating on wool fibres makes wool products resistant to staining and they also pick up less dust as wool is naturally anti-static. Recent innovations mean wool items are no longer hand-wash only. Many wool products can now be machine-washed and tumble dried.
ODOUR RESISTANT Wool is far more efficient than other textiles at absorbing sweat and releasing it into the air, before bacteria has a chance to develop and produce unpleasant body odour.
A SAFE SOLUTION Wool is naturally safe. It is not known to cause allergies and does not promote the growth of bacteria. It can even reduce floating dust in the atmosphere, as the fibre’s microscopic scales are able to trap and hold dust in the top layers until vacuumed away. Thanks to its high water and nitrogen content, wool is naturally flame-retardant, and has a far higher ignition threshold than many other fibres, will not melt and stick to the skin causing burns, and produces less noxious fumes that cause death in fire situations. Finally, wool also has a naturally high level of UV protection, which is much higher than most synthetics and cotton.