The first two weeks of this month have once again been dedicated to Wool Week, a campaign which aims to highlight wool’s natural performance qualities and ecological benefits, and the FUW took the opportunity to encourage consumers, politicians, the construction, craft and fashion industries to make wool their first choice, writes Bryn Francis.

Every year our sheep will produce a new fleece and they will do so as long as there is grass for them to graze on, making wool an excellent renewable fibre source. That is especially true if compared to synthetic fibres, which require oil and refineries and are a non-renewable resource for fibre production.

Sheep farmers actively work to safeguard the environment and improve efficiency in livestock production. The pull on natural resources and reductions required in the use of fossil fuels means that consumers should really look at their own longer-term choices.

Our sheep farmers feed the nation with sustainable and well cared for lamb and they take their responsibility to look after the environment seriously. Fabrics such as polyester, nylon, acrylic, and other synthetic fibres are all forms of plastic and make up about 60 percent of the material that makes up our clothes worldwide.

The tiny plastic particles shed from our clothes take a very long time to degrade in the soil and are ingested by fish and other animals. We, therefore, need to make choices on an individual level in terms of what we consume – be it food or clothes.

Whilst it is encouraging that the Welsh Government has pledged to consider more British wool for insulation in public buildings, it has to be more than just a pledge.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had disastrous consequences for the wool industry, especially the export market. But we believe that if there is a will and full commitment by Governments to do the right thing, the benefits will be felt by our entire environment as well as sheep farmers.