Cumbria based company, Chimney Sheep Ltd has started its annual wool sourcing project, Operation Wool for the third year in a row. This year, the company will be collecting approximately 22 tonnes of Herdwick wool throughout August directly from Cumbrian farmers which will be used to create its bestselling chimney draught excluder, the Chimney Sheep®.
The financial support Operation Wool provides to the farmers comes at a crucial time due to the declining wool industry since the COVID-19 outbreak. The global wool market closed in February resulting in vast volumes of wool lying unsold in depos, causing the price of wool to crash and making it financially unviable for farmers to sell their sheep fleeces.
Sally Phillips, Chimney Sheep Ltd’s founder, has spearheaded the project for a third year, increasing the company’s wool collection from 16 tonnes last year to a record 22 tonnes. This equates to the wool from just over 20,000 Herdwick sheep which is 20% of the UK Herdwick population and will fill five lorries.
Now unable to viably sell the wool through British Wool, Chimney Sheep will buy the Herdwick wool directly from Cumbrian farms, benefiting both parties; the farmers will be paid a better rate compared to selling the wool to British Wool whilst making it more cost effective for Chimney Sheep Ltd by cutting out several sourcing steps.
Sally Phillips stated: “There has been no better time than right now to support the British wool industry and the farmers that supply it. It is so important to me that we buy this fantastic material because if we don’t it will either get thrown away or burnt which is a heartbreaking thought and will of course negatively impact the environment.
“Herdwick wool in particular has such brilliant properties like durability and breathability which makes it perfect to use for making our Chimney Sheep® draught excluder. Due to wool’s versatility, I would encourage more manufacturers and producers to look to it as an alternative material and in turn, help get the industry to grow again in the UK.”
Once the wool has been collected from local farmers it will be transported to Yorkshire to be scoured and will be shipped to an Austrian processor where the wool is treated with a unique ionic protect plasma. This makes the wool 100% moth proof and aids with the longevity of the Chimney Sheep®.
For more information please visit www.chimneysheep.co.uk