John Lewis Classic mattress on location at Waitrose sheep farm 2

Source: Waitrose

The move is intended to prevent waste by giving the wool a new purpose

Waitrose farmers are supplying sheep wool for a new John Lewis sustainable mattress range.

The wool that is being used for the new JL range, which is 100% traceable and sustainably sourced, would have otherwise gone to waste due to its current low price tag.

The move is intended to prevent waste by giving the natural fibre a new purpose, as well as drive demand for the British commodity, the supermarket said.

Waitrose senior agriculture manager Jake Pickering said wool had declined in value so drastically that sheep farmers were now “having to dump it”.

“We are in a fortunate position in running a partnership that operates both a supermarket and a home department store, so we saw an opportunity to make a difference to our farmers and the environment by ensuring the quality wool they’re producing is not wasted,” he added.

Farming minister Victoria Prentis said she was “delighted” that Waitrose and John Lewis were making efforts to use an environmentally friendly resource “whilst also supporting British lamb producers”.

According to the JLP, there are currently 22,000 tonnes of wool produced in the UK every year.

However, some of it ends up being burned because the current market value often doesn’t cover the cost of shearing.

The struggling wool market has also been further hit by the halting of exports to countries like China due to the pandemic.

“My hope is this initiative will kickstart a resurgence in interest in British wool,” said one of the farmers involved in the John Lewis Partnership initiative, Patrick Loxdale.

The new John Lewis Classic Wool range – which was developed in partnership with wool processor H Dawson, lamb producer Dalehead and bed manufacturer Hypnos – marks the first time the department store has used wool provided by Waitrose farmers to make its mattresses.

The natural fibre is breathable and has temperature regulating properties. It is also fully renewable and biodegradable. John Lewis is offering a return and recycle scheme if customers repurchase the same bed.