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VIDEO: Consumer engagement vital to increasing wool demand

British Wool was connecting directly with consumers to get them to demand more UK sourced wool products in carpets, bedding and more.

Prompting consumers to ask more questions when buying carpets and homeware was the way to unlock more demand for British wool.

 

British Wool was at Grand Designs Live during Wool Week, looking to engage the public, after switching to a more consumer focused campaign, working closely and acquiring leads for manufacturers and retailers.


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Stands at the show showcased alternatives, including a stall dedicated to Merino wool, so it was important British products were also on display.

 

Prices

 

Haldi Kranich-Wood, British Wool product manager, said: “Increasing demand hopefully means the prices will go up.”

 

But many of the consumers they spoke to presumed when they bought a wool carpet, it would be British, highlighting the need for more education.

 

 

“They do not really know how much cheap and lower quality wool is brought in.”

 

She said they were working with retailers trying to create useful point of sales displays, rather than distribute small leaflets which were easily ignored.

These were large displays, with pictures of traditional British sheep breeds, showcasing the benefits and making it clear to buyers, which was often missing in carpet shops.

 

“Young families are drawn to this display, with the sheep on it,” she added.

 

And they also had a new licensing scheme, allowing retailers to use a silver British Wool logo for products at least 50 per cent of the wool used was British and a gold logo for 100 per cent.

 

Ms Kranich-Wood said there was a wide range of carpets available using British wool, from high end brands such as Brintons, to Alternative Flooring a company creating feature styles as well as affordable ranges.

 

She said there was a perception of British wool ‘only being good for socks or carpets’ but with so many different breeds and crosses, native wools were ideal for a wide range of products.

 

The display also featured an open mattress filled with British wool, allowing the public to feel the materials with their own hands, thermafleece insulation and Woolcool packaging.

 

Sustainability

 

She added there were also discussing the benefits of choosing wool over synthetics.

 

“It used to be in front of a fireplace, you would only have a wool carpet because it is fire resistant. There is a safety message there,” she said.

 

And young people in particularly were ‘really hungry’ for products which were environmentally friendly.

 

“It has a full life cycle and is biodegradable at the end of it.”

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