Member News: Glencroft launches unique Yorkshire Dales wool project with local farmers

Glencroft Yorkshire Dales Wool

Countrywear clothing brand Glencroft is to launch a traceable ‘Farm to Yarn’ Yorkshire Dales wool collection in 2022

Clapham-based Glencroft was awarded £5,000 in grant funding from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s Sustainable Development Fund to support the innovative project. It hopes to pave the way for the production of more sustainable and entirely traceable wool yarn products.

As part of the Clapdale Wool Project, Glencroft will purchase wool fleeces from local farms within a five-mile radius of Glencroft’s Clapham home at a competitive price. The wool will then be scoured, processed and spun in a variety of local factories and mills in Yorkshire.

The unique high-end and highly sustainable Yorkshire-made yarn, which will be traceable from farm to end product, will be used to make a range of sustainable woollen knitwear, knitting yarn and tweed products, which will be sold online by Glencroft. 

Inspired by a similar project in the Lake District, Glencroft owner Edward Sexton, has brought together a team of British wool and fashion design experts to create a Yorkshire equivalent. The variety will be made using traditional and modern sheep breeds of the area.

By using breeds from the hills which surround us in Clapham, we will produce a wool that relates directly to the economy here in 2021 – not just the traditional rare breeds like the Dalebred, but a combination of the old and the new.
This year we will use wool from two local Clapham farms – Dawsons of Bleak Bank and Whitakers of Bowsber Farm – both of whom farm their sheep in the fields around us.

Edward Sexton, Glencroft
Glencroft Yorkshire Dales Wool

By working closely with local farmers and incorporating them into the value chain from sheep shearing to production of the end garment, I want to ensure farmers are treated fairly for their produce and help them to achieve a better price for their fleeces – particularly those breeds not normally associated with quality countrywear.

Edward Sexton, Glencroft

The Clapdale Wool Project will create a circular economy in the Yorkshire Dales allowing local farmers to be paid more for their fleece, with 10% of profits fed directly back to local farmers.

The Flock, creators of British breed-specific traceable yarn, together with knitwear brand KnitLab North, will also play a role in the feasibility of the initiative which, at a time of plummeting wool prices, is bucking the national trend by investing in this traditional material.

‘By coming together with Glencroft and KnitLab as educators, designers, farming advocates and manufacturers, to create farm-specific, traceable yarns using British breed fleeces at a commercial level, we can elevate this wool above and beyond the greenwashing so prevalent in the fashion industry at the moment.’

Zoe, Co-Founder at The Flock

The design, development and production of the Clapdale Wool collection, which will include jumpers, scarves, hats and flat caps, will be undertaken by British knit design consultancy and fellow Make it British member, KnitLab North. 

The exact provenance of each product will be detailed clearly on labels which will allow consumers to see the exact sheep breeds used in the yarn, their qualities, history and how they relate to the Yorkshire Dales.

Glencroft Yorkshire Dales Wool

Glencroft has already received the first 100 kilograms of raw fleece which is ready for processing from their partnering farm, and it is hoped that the yarn and knitwear collection will be available to buy in the first half of 2022.

Find out more about Glencroft here.

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