Those involved came from all corners of Wales and covered all the sectors.. from Farm to Finish and beyond .. Some were part of a discussion supported by Farming Connect, others part of the Made With Wool Cluster, others alone conducting independent research, or running or establishing businesses with woolly interests .. all had their own projects .. some big, some small, some funded, some built on the love of wool alone.
The common thread was our passion for the potential of this natural sustainable resource .. WOOL
We had frustrations at the decline of the industry beyond fleece.
We wanted tangible actions
A dedicated few then tentatively started sharing our resources and missions.
We realised that we had common goals but needed to focus our objectives and amplify our voices.
We all knew the problems - now we needed solutions ..
we needed to take the sheep by the horns and create change
- image Monkstone Knitwear - creator of the #choosewelshwool tee
welsh wool alliance
In August 2022 one of our members Jacqui Pearce, created a brand and ethos, derived from her Wool Wales project. She recognised we needed a common home, which united the groups and created an umbrella for all, plus clear branding, structure, directives, strategic goals and a common vision - she named it the
WELSH WOOL ALLIANCE .. a home which reflected our individuality but gave us a common voice
The added confidence of the WWA saw change starting to take shape and our vision started to be amplified.
Within a few months:
Each member still has their own projects and businesses but the WWA is a home of support and synergy
We are proud to be members of this circle of trust and action.
welsh wool alliance
The following - dubbed The Wool Circle - are our founding members - who have been instrumental in the formation and initial momentum of the Alliance ..
Our members and Strategic Leads have donated their time for free to date in pursuit of the greater good.
We are now working to establish a more formal structure to take forward to protect our legacy and support the industry within and across our borders
Creative with 30 years experience up to board level within Fashion and Textiles. Jacqui has also started multiple award winning SMEs. She is a mentor on the Made with Wool project and founded Baa Made (wool hub) as well as the WWA foundations & is our strategic lead
Ruth has over 30 years experience up to board level within the large construction industry in the UK. She is the founder of Wool Wales Insulation a commercial construction company and is working on RDD in the sector focussing solely on wool.
Nerys is the founder of Agri Advisor & Welsh Wool for the World group. She holds a doctorate in the implementation and enforcement of law and policy and is a regular speaker on agricultural policy in the UK and Europe. She is also a mentor with Made with Wool.
Anna is the founder of the Welsh Wool Company - the first wool field to finish merchant in Wales. She is also the creative behind Monkstone Knitwear and the #choosewelshwool campaign. An accomplished designer and creative textile educator
An award winning Field to Finish luxury fashion label based in Pembrokeshire. Clare champions farming mental health issues and is passionate about the social impacts of industry rejuvenation & skill gaps
Anne is a partner in the family hill farm in North Wales. She has been actively campaigning for a better understanding of wool, it’s benefits and uses and has built up a good network of agricultural mavericks and potential policy changers.
Olivia is one of the founders of Wool Women of Wales who have campaigned for a Wool First sustainability policy and have a following of over 1000 members. She also founded the field to finish Felting Tree online store alongside her shepherdess sister.
In November 2022, we held our first event at the Senedd in Cardiff to present our vision and goals to Members and Ministers, including the Llwydd Rt Hon Elin Jones MS.
This was sponsored by Cefin Campbell MS, whom we thank for his ongoing support, in addition to those from all 4 parties across the Welsh Government whom attended to support the WWA.
We unveiled our vision for a circular future facing industry alongside individual projects and a showcase of some products from Welsh Wool Businesses from our open call to represent the diversity of opportunity.
Jacqui Pearce - Strategic Lead
At our Senedd event in November 2022 Cefin Campbell MS announced the formation of a formal Senedd Group dedicated to driving commercial change in the Wool Sector. Our strategic lead Jacqui Pearce (WWA), made the initial request on behalf of the industry and lobbied to gain significant cross party support for its formation, from all 4 parties in the Welsh Parliament. Jacqui is delighted to have been invited to sit on the group alongside Senedd Members.
The following members have been supporters and cheerleaders of the Welsh Wool Alliance from the inception and are passionate about wool
Elen is the project lead on the Gwnaed a Gwlan (Made with Wool) project, which is partnered with the WTA and British Wool and funded by the Rural Development Network. She represents the cluster of over 200 members
Hannah is the founder and award winning creative talent behind Hannah Rhian Jewellery, she spins wool from her farm with recycled welsh gold to create masterful final heirloom pieces and has donated her art to embody our vision of #woolisgold
Sara is a founding member of Welsh Wool for the World group and organised meetings with Farming Connect and Agriscope in Aberystwyth for the wool industry. She is a multi generational sheep farmer, who helped support initial group discussions.
Mair is a multi generational sheep farmer based in South Wales and has built a career on sustainable building practises, focussed on public housing. She is a co-founder of Wool Insulation Wales Ltd
Alice runs a successful Mentor and Coaching business and is a campaigner for Women in Agriculture. She is a passionate advocate for the multiple applications of Welsh Hill Wool and has a diverse supportive network of contacts across multiple spheres.
Garthenor Organic was the first ever organic yarn traceable "sheep to skein" brand in the world. Founded by his mother a pioneer organic farmer, Jonny is taking the family business to the next level and is an expert in Spinning and Yarn
Sarah is a shepherdess and Textile Artist who is the founder of Swales. She champions the Swales breed of sheep through her creative initiatives from farm to finish, and by travelling to multiple agricultural shows.
We have outlined our vision and goals for the Welsh Wool Sector and beyond.
A Future Facing clear cut plan to Senedd Members which had overwhelming support and we now are planning a 3 year strategy.
Launched by the Welsh Wool Company at the 2022 Sheep Drive, founder Anna Felton created these iconic tees seen across the media, as well as raising funds for mental health. We support this hashtag #choosewelshwool
The first dedicated independent Wool Industry Hub Resource online. Founded by Jacqui Pearce who has over 30 years experience in Fashion, Textiles and more recently in Eco research. She is researching the Wool Circular Industry with Cardiff University