More than 300 cyclists participated in the Campaign for Wool’s inaugural Wool Ride.
Under the patronage of HRH the Prince of Wales, the Campaign has gone from strength to strength since it began five years ago. The 2014 Wool Week was the most memorable yet, with a host of exciting events held from the 5th-12th October.
The Campaign for Wool in the UK is part of a global endeavour initiated by its patron, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, to raise awareness amongst consumers about the unique, natural and sustainable benefits offered by wool.
"This year's Wool Week is our biggest and boldest to date, with the added excitement of the Campaign for Wool Collections for Fashion and Interiors, which showcases the very best of wool and innovation," said Nicholas Coleridge, Chairman of The Campaign for Wool.
"And then we have the Great Wool Ride – a bicycle safari following the route of the Week Week participants and their storefronts. If you love wool, if you love the environment, if you believe in a better world where natural fibres are chosen every time over synthetic ones, if you love fashion, decorating, wonderful carpets – and you want to support the world's sheep farmers…I urge you to join the ride, join the Campaign."
On 5 October, to mark the start of Wool Week, The Campaign for Wool debuted the inaugural Wool Ride. More than 300 wool-clad cyclists descended upon Potters Fields for a once in a lifetime cycling experience with a 13.4 mile cycle ride around central London.
The cycle ride passed by historical London sites such as London Bridge and Buckingham Palace as well as a prominent focus on areas made famous by the wool industry such as the famous Jermyn Street.
Acting as a hub of entertainment for the friends and families of those partaking in the Wool Ride, Potters Fields hosted woolly installations galore, a pen of sheep to promote the benefits of wool, and models wearing some amazing wool designer creations from The Campaign for Wool Collection contributors Wilson P.K and Jaimee McKenna.
Cycle brand Look Mum No Hands were on site to keep everyone refreshed and energised with food and beverages whilst live music, a bicycle duo, speeches and a prize giving kept attendees entertained throughout the afternoon. The Best Dressed Team went to Jigsaw for their beautiful striped Merino cycling jerseys.
Edinburgh's Harris Tweed hosted its own version of the Tweed Ride in the Scottish capital, with guests setting off from Harvey Nichols in St Andrew’s Square. The event attracted a variety of chic ladies and gents in the finest Harris Tweed.
Keen to make a real impact this year, The Campaign for Wool launched the 'Wool Collections: Fashion' with brand partners nominating their favourite wool items from their AW14 collections. Each brand promoted their contribution to the collection online and in store and the Campaign for Wool website hosted a digital exhibition of 'Wool Collection: Fashion' to offer fashion lovers a selection of the best coats, knitwear, tailoring and accessories to wear this coming winter.
Participating womenswear brands include: Brora, Christopher Raeburn for Barbour, Daks, Harvey Nichols, Christian Wijnants, Jigsaw, Jaeger, John Lewis, John Smedley, Johnstons of Elgin, Pringle of Scotland, Richard Nicoll, Sibling ,Viyella, Wool and the Gang and Caroline Charles.
Participating menswear brands include: Austin Reed, Brora, Barbour, Daks, Gieves & Hawkes, Jigsaw, John Lewis, John Smedley, Johnstons of Elgin, Lyle & Scott and Richard Nicoll.
Many of the apparel items were featured in the recent photo shoot with Wonderland, Rollacoaster and Man About Town magazines.
To complement the 'Wool Collection: Fashion', The Campaign for Wool partnered with celebrated stylist Anna Foster to showcase the versatility of wool within fashion. Anna handpicked an eclectic selection of pieces from established and upcoming designers across the globe, including Derek Lawlor, Everlasting Sprout, Holly Fulton, Ioannis Dimitrousis, Jaimee McKenna, Julia Ramsay, Moschino and Wilson PK. The chosen mix of vibrant and quirky pieces was shown in a digital exhibition on the Campaign for Wool website to show the adaptability of wool and how versatile the fibre is at helping drive innovation and conceptual design.
As well as celebrating the use of wool in fashion, 'Wool Collections: Interiors' was launched at London's Southwark Cathedral. The 'Wool Collections: Interiors' is a curated selection of more than fifty woollen interior pieces including a selection of specially commissioned items from emerging and established designers.
The collection showcases interior pieces from high street and online brands as well as the Wool Fringe showcasing a small selection of student design concepts from the UK and New Zealand.
Highlights from the 'Wool Collection: Interiors' include a recreation of the Tirra Ling painting by Gillian Ayres in wool tapestry by Weftfaced, an Edward Fields Desert Rose design by Tai Ping Carpets and a new woollen art installation from Angela Wright.
To complement the Wool Collections, The Campaign for Wool also celebrated the launch of the One Wool online gallery. One Wool is an international promotion to celebrate the beauty and diversity of wool throughout the interior sector and products. Featuring fabric, furnishings, floorings and art, the gallery is the largest online collection of wool interior items in the world. The One Wool online collection launched at The Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour during Wool Week.