FRIENDS (OF THE EARTH)
Some other good people we know who are doing good things for, and by, the planet…
Amazing Bees is the home of the lovely Christian aka “The Darwinian Beekeeper. A small, independent initiative in The New Forest that is dedicated to doing their bit to secure the future of the honeybee, through entirely chemical-free beekeeping. (We can highly recommend their all-natural lip and body balms too – they’re bee-yond amazing!)
Stroudwater Textile Trust does great work researching, lecturing & publishing information on textile and local history, as well as curating exhibitions and organising events – essentially bringing together textile enthusiasts as members and volunteers. The Trust manages the Dunkirk Mill Museum in Nailsworth, in one of the Stroud Valleys in the Cotswolds. The Mill has an immense working water wheel, and also the Gigg Weaving Shed where you can try your hand at this traditional craft.
The Wild Wool Shepherdess believes it is in her blood to be a custodian of the land as her ancestors before her. Her focus is on promoting animal welfare and being an advocate for the small holder. As a practitioner of traditional, primitive skills, she teaches small holders and individuals – through workshops and retreats – how to bring back value to wool and live more sustainably in harmony and connection with our land, animals and wildlife and Mother Nature. She also creates unique, wild and rugged woven rugs, tanned leather hides and felted sheeprugs with wool harvested from her own flock of organic, heritage breed sheep, which conservation graze hay meadows to help support our declining wildlife and improve soil structure.
The Campaign For Wool officially began in October 2010, with a launch event that saw London’s historic tailoring street Savile Row transformed into a pasture upon which fifty sheep grazed. Since then, they have been at the forefront of celebrating the benefits of real wool. The campaign has encouraged collaboration between an international community of woolgrowers, major fashion designers, retailers, manufacturers, artisans and interior designers, the Campaign has been instrumental in educating consumers about the versatility of wool, and reconnecting them with its myriad uses; from luxurious fine merino knitwear and cloth through beautiful hardwearing interior products to fire-retardant insulation for the home. These efforts have influenced a new demand for wool on an international scale. Indeed its efforts have surely contributed to an incredible threefold increase in the price farmers receive for their wool.
Bellacouche is the enterprise of textile artist and weaver Yuli Somme, who is based just up the road from Wild Wool here in Devon. As well as making many lovely felted items for the home, Bellacouche also exists to promote and help facilitate natural burial – an altogether gentler, benign and completely natural approach that encourages wildlife and provides a beautiful setting for friends and family to visit into the future. the most environmentally benign practice. For ‘green burial’ to be truly green all the materials used should be of natural origin, organic and as locally sourced as is currently possible. And with this in mind, Yuli also makes award-winning soft coffins, pure wool shrouds and wool felt funeral urns.
Green burial is a more natural return to the soil and away from conventional cremation, which accounts for at least 12% of harmful, polluting dioxins emitted into the atmosphere annually in the UK. Many people are concerned there is no more room for burials, so choose cremation instead. However, more natural burial sites are opening throughout the UK every year, and can be used as part of an integrated grazing system for farm animals, or as a way of creating precious woodland that encourages wildlife and provides a more diverse habitat.
Yuli also offers Lifetime Cocoon Workshops – a series of unique workshops for anyone open to exploring their relationship with their mortality through the highly creative medium of needle felting.