SPIN CYCLE: Britain’s annual Wool Week, which runs until Oct. 21, always sets out to quash misconceptions about the fabric, and this year they didn’t disappoint, unveiling an installation of stacked, colorful washing machines in London’s Covent Garden. Dubbed The Wool Care, the installation is meant to demonstrate the fact that wool is washable, durable — and cool.
“We always thought this was the last frontier. A lot of people think you can’t throw wool in a washing machine, but you can, and when you wash wool, you’re not creating micro-plastics. Wool biodegrades naturally in the sea,” said Peter Ackroyd, chief operating officer for Campaign for Wool.
Hackett, Vivienne Westwood, Marks & Spencer and Adidas are among some of the retailers who took part in the launch earlier this week. “Vivienne Westwood has spread the message of wool extremely well, she talks about buy well, buy less, buy wool,” Ackroyd said.
Jeremy Hackett of the men’s wear brand Hackett unveiled the installation with his dog Muffin and his Aston Martin, which has bespoke wool interiors. Among the other retailers who are preaching the gospel of wool is the outdoor apparel brand Finisterre, which is changing the perception of wool as an “old-fashioned and stuffy” material.
“It’s cool clothing, it’s youthful clothing, it’s not about suits and carpets,” said Deborah Luffman, product director of Finisterre, which is unveiling its new puffer jacket that’s stuffed with wool instead of down feathers. “Wool is great for the British climate and for sportswear, it’s antibacterial and has natural thermal regulating properties.”
Adidas has also been innovating with wool. The brand recently launched a limited-edition lineup of wool sneakers, which, according to Patrick Reinhardt, global senior product manager at Adidas, has informed future projects. “It was an amazing education process of how much craft and hand work went into the trainers, the whole journey was amazing.”
Reinhardt added: “I was fascinated by the cloth itself and we were able to bring unexpected elements together, using the modernity of our technology and the traditional craft of wool. I think retailers underestimate wool and it’s a good chance to bring it back on the map.”