Prince Charles Announces Project Wool

January 26, 2010 BY CAPSULESNEWS

ROYAL Charles 135531 The Royal Family has had some memorable fashion-related moments of late, but the plan launched today by Prince Charles -- that's HRH the Prince of Wales, to you -- in support of Britain's wool industry has the potential for far-reaching effects both within fashion circles and beyond. Citing the slumping price of wool worldwide (down to 66p per kilogram from 93p in 1997) and the eco-friendly qualities of the fabric, Prince Charles is seeking out the country's top image makers and influencers to make wool fashionable yet again in an effort to boost sales of what has historically been a major British commodity. As The Times notes, "top designers and labels such as Burberry, Jasper Conran, Paul Smith, Alice Temperley and Savile Row tailors such as Gieves & Hawkes are already using wool. The key is to boost its use in the middle and value retail markets." Wool also lasts longer than synthetic fiber and is fully biodegradable. The plan notes how vital the wool industry is in to Britain's rural economy, and how closely tied it is to wool producers in Commonwealth countries like New Zealand and Australia. Many UK heavyweights have already signed on: Conde Nast managing director Nicholas Coleridge has been instrumental in enlisting influential figures to back the plan, and retailers Marks & Spencer and John Lewis have pledged their full support. Kicking off Project Wool will be a special Wool Week in advance of the growing London Fashion Week festivities this September. (Steve Dool)