According to research from Dalhousie University, approximately 50% of wool in Atlantic Canada goes unused
Waste Not, Want Not
The Canadian wool industry is at an all-time low; About 30% of the wool collected by the Canadian Co-Operative Wool Growers Limited went unsold in 2019.
We once had over 1 million sheep in Canada in 1920. Now we hover around 325,000. Experts point to synthetic materials (such as acrylic yarn and polyester fabrics) and their cheap cost as a large part of the downfall of the Canadian wool industry.
Canadian wool farmers are faced with difficult choices; to sell the wool for a lower rate, spend the money to get it milled to be usable, or simply compost it on their farms to make way for more wool.
It is such a shame that a beautiful, natural, soft fibre is being thrown away in exchange for plastic fibres made overseas! We have an abundance of wool here in Canada, but there is little demand for it.
I hope to help change that.
I've purchased approximately 25+ llbs of Canadian wool in the past year and I hope to purchase much more to help support Canadian farmers and the wool industry. It's a drop in the bucket, but I hope to be able to continue to purchase wool yarn and stuffing to help Canadian farmers and mills make ends meet.
It is my goal to purchase 100 lbs of Canadian wool in 2022. That's a lot of plushies. But I think it is doable! I believe that bringing manufacturing and sustainable products to Canada is worth it. And we get adorable, natural, sustainable plushies. Win-win-win.
Please join me in this journey to support Canadian farmers and mills!
You can help support our goal in a few different ways:
- Buy a plush (or two or three!) from Atelieh instead of ordering mass-produced polyester plushies from big box stores
- Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and sign up for our Newsletter
- Be aware of what you are purchasing! Take a look at what your fibre products and plushies are made from. If the yarn says Acrylic, this means it is made from plastic. Polyester? Plastic.
- Check for Made in Canada products and support local businesses. Many Canadian farmers now have websites where you can directly purchase from them. You can find the list of farmers I work with here!
I know-- shopping Canadian AND natural can be expensive. If you cannot do both, at least try to purchase natural fibres.
- Keep the conversation going.