I read today that BWK Elders wool top makers, based in Bremen, Germany, are to close.
This represents a major blow to the Organic wool industry in Europe, as now most if not all major scale production will move to China and other Asian countries.
Apparently Elders havent been profitable in Germany for some time, and that is easy to understand, given the relative costs of labour and infrastructure.
This puts me in mind of my aborted attempt to set up an organic welsh wool enterprise a couple of years ago. I managed to source the requisite wool, and all the links of the chain, spinners, knitters etc. But I couldnt get the spinners to spin the wool to the thickness needed for the knitters – they were only set up to spin for hand knitting.
I had really hoped to produce a line of authentic welsh knitwear, made with organic welsh wool, and spun and knitted in the country, but the costs to set it up were just too high. Ironically, I could have got the woolen wear made in China or somewhere without too much problem.
Sad to see the way the organic wool industry is going.