What’s on the wool horizon for 2023? Wool’s natural versatility means there is always something new on the market, while sheep have stepped up in perhaps surprising ways to meet our collective need for more sustainable, earth-friendly practices.

From farm to fashion, take a peek at five wool/sheep trends for the new year.

Five Wool Trends for 2023

1. Regenerative Farming

Case studies confirm: improving the natural capital of farms through holistic management pays off.

This article in Suston magazine  shares recent case studies from Australia, Uruguay and South Africa showing how the wool industry’s emissions reductions, regenerative practices and community-building are helping to build a more resilient world.

Through regenerative land management practices, wool farms are sequestering carbon and improving biodiversity.  Equally, community wool farming projects are empowering subsistence farmers to create new livelihoods along with healthier ecosystems.

2. Hand Knitting

During lockdown, many young people turned to knitting as an outlet for creativity.

This trend shows no sign up letting up!

“Custom-made and sustainable, this past-time is indicative of two larger trends of Generation Z,” says a recent Vogue magazine article. “What’s more, upcycling and self-made clothing folds into the sense of environmental awareness and social consciousness that also dictates the generation’s buying decisions.”

3. The Power of Grazing

From wind and solar farms to the ruins of Pompeii, sheep are the latest trend in landscaping.

In the case of Pompeii, Gabriel Zuchtriegel, the park’s director, told The New York Times that he came up with the idea of bringing in the sheep after seeing them maintain the land on top of dikes in the North Sea.

The Pompeii sheep chomp down invasive vegetation, destructive roots and wild terrains that could lead to the city’s reburial under landslides.

4. The Knitted Suit

The next stage in suit evolution is a fully knitted Merino wool-blend suit.

The Woolmark Company worked closely with fashion giant BOSS and STOLL (a leader in flat-knitting machine technology), using yarns from Südwolle Group, to develop this game-changing innovation.

The suit was knitted in Germany before being made in Italy. BOSS launched the suit in their global flagship stores late in 2022 and quickly sold out.

5. The Difference Wool Makes

People are discovering what synthetic fibres are made from, and the difference they can make when they choose wool.

In September 2022, AWI’s marketing arm The Woolmark Company launched a powerful marketing campaign highlighting to consumers that synthetic fibres are made from oil, whereas wool is a 100% natural, renewable and biodegradable fibre.

The global campaign features a series of powerful images showing people struggling to escape from an oil-filled swimming pool, symbolizing the fact that every 25 minutes, an Olympic pool’s worth of crude oil is used to produce more synthetic clothing (amounting to almost 350 million barrels a year).

Now read: From Fleece to Fabric, Wool & Sheep Facts