Last month, Wool Week took place in the UK. It was the ninth event of its kind and sought to celebrate, educate, inspire and promote the benefits of wool. Wool is central to British textile heritage and approximately 40,000 sheep farmers live and work in the UK, supporting this industry. At the other end of the production process are cherished brands that produce quality woollen clothes in the traditional manner; brands such as Peregrine and Country of Origin.
Peregrine Clothing was established as a distinct brand in 1956, however, its roots are over 220 years old. The Glover family, which still owns and runs the company, started a manufacturing enterprise eight generations back. Despite other British manufacturers feeling the pressure of a changing market, Peregrine has managed to survive and thrive. The company's brand rests upon adapting traditional knitwear by experimenting with new weights and shapes - whilst still being inspired by a quintessentially British look.
Country of Origin is a much more recent label - launched in 2014 by partners Ben Taylor and Alice Liptrot. However, it too respects a long and proud tradition of British knitwear. Each Country of Origin garment is knitted on flatbed machinery and linked together by hand in a South London railway arch, keeping the manufacturing process entirely on British soil. The brand combines a modernist aesthetic with a traditional approach to manufacturing - resulting in collections that will stand the test of time. With a considered approach to manufacturing an integral element of Country of Origin’s ethos, the brand is committed to crafting its collections in Britain.
Both Peregrine and Country of Origin have proven, by their success in Britain and elsewhere, that an alternative to throwaway fashion can prevail, even in the current economic climate. People like to invest in homegrown products and support traditional industries, whilst valuing quality clothing that is made to last.
Blog post by Jessica Edney