Update: Open Letter to The Campaign for Wool

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essay on employee motivation Because of this letter and hashtag takeover we were invited to meet with Susie Stanway, Social Media Manager for the Campaign for Wool, and Bridgette Kelly, the Campaign’s Interiors Director. Earlier this month we travelled to Bradford to meet them at the British Wool Marketing Board, and today we want to report back on that meeting. We learnt a lot about how the CfW is structured and funded; who works on the campaign on a day to day basis; and – most constructively – some potential ways to work in tandem, for the love of wool.

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We also learnt and are keen to pass on that if you produce any sort of wool product you can register for an account free of charge on the onewool.com website and upload an image of your woolly goods. These are then advertised on the website along with your blurb and purchasing details. It is a central repository for wool businesses of all sizes, and the CfW draw on this resource for content to promote on their social media channels. You can help them to find and shout about your own work with wool by placing your products in their gallery there. They also spoke about the Love Wool Map, to which any small scale events anywhere in the world can be added and from there, publicised by the CfW.

We would encourage anyone who, like us, remains unhappy with the CfW’s general tone to use these resources to change the Campaign from within.

types of writing research paper A truly inclusive campaign…

Though the above points are small gestures in the bigger scheme of things they are also some of the more constructive ideas that we have heard from the CfW and are definitely things we wanted to share with you here: last year with our “small producer” focus, we heard from many businesses seeking greater visibility and we feel that the onewool gallery and the Love Wool Map are good places for such enterprises to start.

However, as well as coming away with these small wins, we also left our meeting feeling troubled by our impression of ingrained industry sexism playing a part in the CfW’s image problem. We kept asking each other why are Susie and Bridgette not listed on the CfW website under “team?Relatedly, the Campaign’s director Nicholas Coleridge wrote in an email to Wovember that the Campaign aims to be “inclusive and a big tent group” and he, Susie and Bridgette have directly asked us to suggest some ways in which that aim may be better met; we’ve been thinking about this a lot and have begun drafting suggestions beginning with those listed below; we hope you will add yours as well because this discussion is not over:

research paper grade 8 Our suggestions to the CfW for making things feel more inclusive:

  • Get Bridgette and Susie’s faces on the CfW website – they are part of the team, why are they not represented?
  • Employ someone independent to research and publicise innovations at all levels of the global wool industry, and restructure the information flow so that it is not just big companies with the resources to put out shiny images and press kits who win support
  • As per our blog post of last year, please, for the love of wool, stop involving innocent smoothies in your events
  • Engage more meaningfully with the craft and hand-knitting sectors: come to our events, learn about the ways in which we are publicising and working with wool on a personal and community level and start taking us seriously. The High Street that the CfW is so desperate to influence is constantly copying designs and ideas from independent knitwear designers; if they are listening to this sector then maybe the CfW should do the same

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…the last point on that list requires further unpacking but that is a job for another day’s blogging; we hope that our readership here will catch the gist of what we’re saying. We mean “craft sector” in the very loosest and most inclusive sense: we’re talking about the social enterprises and crowd-funders set up to save wool from being burnt; the independent mill spinners and wool buyers; the hand-spinners and hand-knitters; machine-knitters; weavers, shepherds, shearers, felt-makers and crocheters. We also mean all of you who read this blog then tell your families and friends about wool. We think the CfW needs to listen more to you. Additionally, we are planning to write directly to HRH The Prince of Wales about our concerns, and to speak to his original intentions for the Campaign, because they are very close to the reasons why we created Wovember. We would like to include your views in that letter, if possible.

This year Wovember has been all about taking positive political action and being the change for wool and on that front we feel it’s positive that we’ve begun this dialogue with the CfW.

We’re going to take a break for a few days to recharge our batteries, select competition winners and reflect on everything we’ve shared here but, before we disappear for a wee while, we want to say a really heartfelt thank you for coming with us on this tricky exploration of The Politics of Wool. Thank you for reading and for commenting, for keeping it real and for maintaining an excellent and constructive level of discourse throughout the month, and for all the amazing things that you have made with wool this year in the Wovember WAL. Maybe this is what #beingthechangeforwool looks like.

We hope that you have found this month interesting, inspiring and thought-provoking, but above all we hope you know how important you are – each and every one of you – for the future of wool. To close with these pertinent words:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
― Margaret Mead

One thought on “Update: Open Letter to The Campaign for Wool

  1. Thought provoking and humbling, how little I know about this struggle. Still cannot get my head round why such low value is put on wool.

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