The Value of Domestic Finewool
The demand for finewool is soaring both at home and internationally, as consumers worldwide rediscover the benefits of wearing, crafting, and living with wool. In order to meet this demand sustainably, the cost of domestic finewool has risen multiple times this past year, as have the labor costs at other stages of the supply chain in textile manufacturing (shearing, baling, and scouring).
This is good news for our wool growers, who are now benefiting from a market in which the labor and care they devote to preserving and furthering the traditions of the American sheep industry are reflected in and compensated fairly by the higher prices they are able to receive for their domestically grown wool.
This is also good news for our partners at other stages of the textile supply chain. It enables more skilled workers to be employed in the wool industry, ensures that their skills are fairly compensated, and, at a larger scale, supports the viability of our remaining domestic textile infrastructure.
Of course, the rise in domestic wool prices also has an impact on companies who choose to create products with American-grown, breed-specific finewool. For example, the price per pound of the Targhee-Columbia fleece we use for Shelter, Loft, and Quarry has increased by more than 40% since we sourced our last clip. The prices of the Targhee, Rambouillet, and Merino fleeces we use for Arbor, Vale, and Peerie have also increased by an average of over 20%.
Sourcing 100% American and breed-specific wool, developing and producing close to home, and supporting and reinvesting in our domestic textile industry has always been and continues to be important to us a company. In order to stay true to this commitment and keep up with our rising production costs, we have increased the prices of our core yarns — Shelter, Loft, Quarry, Arbor, Vale, and Peerie, as of September 10, 2018.
Thank you so very much for your support throughout these years — it is what allows us to do what we do: design and produce yarns that reflect our values in traceable, reproducible, and sustainable ways; support this industry of which we are a small part; and provide a meaningful experience to makers all over the world.