British Wool: sustainability, heritage and provenance
Lindy Head is a woman with many strings to her bow. She’s a British wool producer, keeping a flock of 100 Exmoor Horn sheep at her farm in Tiverton, Devon. She’s a member of the Exmoor Horn Sheep Breeder’s Society, championing the breed and its wool, and also project leader and company secretary of Exmoor Horn Wool, selling verified British wool yarn to consumers across the UK. We caught up with Lindy to talk about sheep, wool and sustainability.
Tell us about your daily motivation – what keeps you going?
I’m incredibly passionate about my local area - we make and sell some fantastic produce. Our yarn is made from our own wool, independently verified by British Wool, so we can talk confidently about its environmental impact and the welfare of the sheep that produced it. I believe today’s consumer is looking for individuality and uniqueness, so being able to talk about the provenance of our yarn adds to the magic of the product.
I’m also passionate about sustainability - throwaway fashion and plastic pollution presents a huge problem for today’s society. Wool is sustainable in every way so we have a fantastic opportunity to tell everyone about its wonderful, natural properties.
Why is Exmoor Horn Wool special?
Exmoor Horns, or Hornies as they’re known locally, are fantastic sheep with very colourful personalities. They live out on our moors in all weathers, and like their own space so can be bolshy if the mood takes them. They’re natural survivors, making the most of the poor terrain around us, and make fearsome mothers too!
Exmoor Horn wool has a softer handle than other types of wool from hill sheep, which makes it very versatile. Our yarns are 70% Exmoor Horn wool, blended with 30% Bluefaced Leicester cross for that extra touch of softness. It’s also robust and hard-wearing, like all British wool, so our socks will outlast the competition by years!
How do you think consumers can help to reduce plastic pollution?
- Buy fewer clothes of better quality and choose natural fibres such as wool. Higher quality clothes last much longer so they’re a far better investment over the longer term.
- Wool beds and bedding are widely available and proven to help you sleep better and longer.
- Wool carpets are more durable and long-lasting than synthetics. They’re also naturally fire retardant, hypoallergenic and help to reduce noise and fuel bills through better insulation.
- Wool loft and wall insulation has wonderful thermal properties and is safer to handle than alternatives.
Lindy and the team sell Exmoor Horn Wool at events around the country including Yarndale in Skipton, WonderWool in Wales, and Woolfest in Cockermouth. It’s also available for sale online - https://exmoorhornwool.co.uk/Back to Blogs