Sustainability is one of those words that is regularly misused and often abused. It seems to excite and anger in equal measures and yet the pursuit of sustainable development benefits every one of us.
In spite of the wealth of intellectualising that has taken place, exploring the finer points of what truly sustainable development might look like, the basic principles are actually very simple.
Sustainability requires us to look at three broad areas of our activities, our environmental impact, our social impact and our economic impact. By doing our best to minimise negative and maximise positive impacts on these three areas, whilst maintaining a balanced approach, we can start to work towards a sustainable business model.
From the first day of our existence the Woolly Shepherd has only ever used 100% UK grown wool and has taken in fleeces from farmers and smallholders across the South West of England.
We do this because we believe that it is vitally important to do what we can to contribute to the rural economy
British wool is a sustainable, natural product involving minimal processing. It is grown naturally on the backs of sheep, most of which live outside and eat grass, keeping the countryside well cropped in a way that minimises the use of carbon fuels.
Although most sheep in the UK are now farmed for meat, they have to be shorn for their own comfort, because most of the breeds were originally developed for wool.
Our products are made from only UK wool, much of it collected and paid for in Somerset and Devon. The wool is cleaned in Bradford and felted in Yorkshire and in Somerset. This feeds back into our rural economy, providing fair trade for farmers and fair pay for local people.
Manufacturing in the UK is important because it keeps alive skills that are historically important to these islands. It also means fewer road miles and we can guarantee that our processors are operating in a well-regulated environment that is cleaner than many.