Clare’s calling is to put Welsh wool on the map. She wants to develop a strong identity for Welsh wool. Starting with her brand in Pembrokeshire.
Clare wants her Welsh wool brand to be completely made in Wales and to produce her entire collection within Pembroke Dock.
Clare has learnt the whole process herself and has fallen in love with it.
She is passionate in sharing this knowledge with others and wants to play a part in shaping a better future for her community.
Pembroke Dock is a deprived area in terms of jobs but it has a rich history and tradition. In the 1960s, there was a mill in Pembroke Dock, and there are ladies who live locally that still know the skills.
Reviving and carrying on these traditional weaving skills will provide opportunities for others to learn them, creating fashion career opportunities in Pembrokeshire and showcasing Welsh wool worldwide.
Welsh wool and tweed is making a comeback
What makes Wales and wool the perfect match?
There is an abundance of sheep in Wales. More sheep than people. And wool is a beautiful product that should be used.
Welsh wool is natural, sustainable and versatile.
Wool and tweed used to feature a lot in how the people of Wales used to dress. It’s a still a popular rural and down-to-earth style. With Welsh wool and a Clare Johns twist, it’s also fashionable and functional.
Effects of Fast Fashion
Putting Welsh wool on the map starts with educating consumers about the impact of fast fashion and how woollen products made in Wales are different.
Fast fashion may be cheap and keeps you on trend but it comes at a cost. Poor quality and a negative environmental and social impact. They bring up questions:
- How are the clothes made?
- Who by?
- Are they paid and treated fairly?
- How long will the clothes last?
- What damage is done to the environment?
You may look good, but how does it make you feel?
Why Welsh wool is better
Wool garments are thought to be expensive but this isn’t actually the case. They’re an investment. You know exactly where they comes from and what you’re paying for, they:
- Can be worn over and over and is always in style
- Last longer and work out cost-effective in the long run
- Are made with skills and craftsmanship with sustainability in mind
- Come from local wool where farmers are paid a fair price
- Are made by local people
So you’ll look and feel good.
From reviving to thriving
Clare hopes to start Crowdfunding to revive the local weaving industry and needs support of £500k - £1m to help achieve this goal.
With a revived weaving industry in Pembroke Dock, it would:
- Carry on the tradition that would otherwise be lost
- Provide skills, training and employment for future generations of local people
- Allow big designers to use the fabrics
- Raise the reputation of Welsh wool
- Keep the local farming industry alive, paying a fair price for their fleece
- Boost tourism and overall local economy
Clare could start linking up with local colleges and universities where the new generation of designers could use her fabrics, be offered internships, and have funding for innovative ideas and projects.
It would be a springboard of possibilities where Welsh wool could be used in other areas, such as plasters, furniture, shoes, and many more.
The boost in jobs and local economy it would bring would be phenomenal. But best of all, Wales and its wool would be known worldwide.
Welsh wool has endless possibilities.