Sublime: Tell us about how you became interested in producing wool bedding products?
Urban Wool: We love all things natural so the choice to get involved with wool bedding was easy. However, the question of ‘how can we improve on what is already out there’ was our catalyst to actually do something truly different.
We wanted a lovely, soft, natural product that had been treated with care and attention to ensure that our items would be labelled as luxurious rather than farm-like.
S: What are the health benefits of using organic wool and in bedding?
UW: Health benefits of organic wool bedding are immense. Firstly, wool is naturally hypoallergenic so anyone suffering with allergies can be sure of a sound nights’ sleep with pure wool. We supply Allergy Best Buys, who are one of the leading allergy websites in the UK.
There is a direct correlation between man-made fibres and ill health, including some forms of cancer. We were recently approached by Cancer Research UK to write a blog about natural things for their latest campaign.
A huge portion of our loyal customer base comes from those struggling with temperature regulatory issues such as those on certain medications and menopausal women. The list is endless.
S: What challenges did you face during the initial set-up and development of your company?
UW: Wool is a great, hardy product but it can be seen as just that – it isn’t recognised as the most luxurious bedding in the world – yet!
Our two biggest challenges were sourcing reputable suppliers and pricing. We wanted a high-end product that is affordable to most. Initially, we had many sources for our hard materials. Now we are delighted to have formed relationships with a couple of excellent quality organic suppliers. The result is a luxurious product that is kind to the environment and the end user.
Hopefully, we can see it at some point in the future as the word spreads and it will become more popular, especially in the UK. We seem to be behind many countries who are already enjoying the benefits of wool bedding. Countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Spain, all with varying temperatures, appreciate quality products.
S: How have your own personal beliefs and values contributed to Urban Wool?
UW: Our company ethos is simple: we want to change the way the world sees wool products in the home. We are passionate about the benefits of pure wool bedding – we want everyone to have the best nights’ sleep possible and wool does just that at a lower cost than other ‘luxury’ products.
I truly believe our honesty and integrity have got us to where we are now. Other bedding retailers offer down with varying types and price points which can be way out of reach for many people. Besides, there is silk which is lovely in the summer but not always enough in the winter. Ultimately a wool duvet will take you through all the seasons with no need to change. Our bedding is washable and, as long as treated as you would a pure wool jumper, you will get many years of quality bedding at a fraction of the cost elsewhere.
S: How do you support and promote local craftsmanship?
UW: We like to work with small and local companies which is not always easy. We live close to Kidderminster which was once the home of carpet manufacturing and have been fortunate enough to have a lovely seamstress who, together with her team, ensures all our items are finished off to a first class standard.
S: What are your best-selling products?
UW: We have two best selling products. The first is our fully adjustable pure wool pillow. The reason for this is that many people like to try before committing to a larger purchase. Our latest design allows you to adjust the pillow to suit your personal requirements. It’s the perfect pillow for everybody! At the moment, we are struggling with demand which is a great position to be in. We also have huge volumes of orders for King Size light weight duvets, even at this time of year!
S: What are your futures plans for Urban Wool?
UW: The future for Urban Wool is to go international. We haven’t maximised the global delivery yet as we continue to build our brand here at home. Ultimately we need to get the UK to fall back in love with wool and then we can relook at the plan.
S: And, finally, what is the secret to a good night’s sleep?
UW: The secret of a goods nights’ sleep is to have your bedroom a couple of degrees below body temperature, an open window and no electronics an hour before going to bed. Of course, pure wool bedding ensuring no artificial fibres are in your nightwear or bed clothes.