We often get asked how we came up with the idea for Solidwool.
If the truth be told, long before we thought of working with wool, we simply wanted to find ourselves new jobs.
We were noticing people who were doing great things in their work. Using their skills for good, creating products with purpose.
We got inspired. Super inspired. How rewarding would it be to have jobs that were working towards a greater good? The inspiration kept coming. It was in print, all over the internet, there when we browsed Twitter and Instagram.
But then it started having the opposite effect. It was almost inspiration overload. We started to feel discontent. After all, what’s the point in inspiration unless you do something with it?
We had jobs in product design and marketing. We knew how to create, make and sell. But where to start?
Buckfastleigh. Our home.
An ancient woollen town, located on the southern edge of Dartmoor National Park.
A small market town, (pop. 3,300), often overshadowed by the wealthier neighbouring towns of Totnes and Ashburton, yet with a strong identity and fighting community spirit.
Once a thriving hub of the UK woollen industry, the town had grown quiet as manufacturing had left. Taking the heart of the town with it.
We had an idea. If we could find a new and modern way of working with wool then perhaps we could bring some of this industry back.
And, as well as creating jobs for ourselves, maybe we could create some in our community.
“Perhaps the best things we as designers can do for good is to put people to work. Designers make things. But don’t focus just on the object that comes in the box. Designers make jobs. We design cars and car factories make communities.”
Via Core 77
So we got some wool and started playing. We didn't know what we would end up with, but knew that if we just started, something would happen.
The end result is Solidwool. A strong, beautiful and unique composite material. Think fibreglass, but with wool.
We've been fine tuning the material and manufacturing process for a couple of years now. We use wool from upland, hill-farmed sheep, historically used in the UK carpet industry. Demand for this wool is in decline and is considered almost worthless, a by-product of sheep farming. We combine the wool with bio-resin.
We believe in creating beautiful, soulful products, designed to last. We are developing our own range of furniture. There’s the Hembury Chair and we are just about to launch a side table.
We also work with others who see a use for Solidwool in their product range. Great people like Artifact Uprising, Blok Knives and Fan Optics. Really it’s an excuse for us to work with people we admire. There’s more collaborations on the way, which we can’t wait to share.