British duvet company launches collaboration to protect heritage British sheep breeds

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Devon Duvets, the award-winning family owned, family run, British wool soft filled bedding brand has forged an exciting collaboration that will herald the launch of a brand new range of luxury duvets using wool from rare breeds of British sheep, thereby helping to bring value to their wool and protecting their future.

Committed to sustainability and to supporting British sheep farming, the company has been individually handcrafting its natural and sustainable British wool duvets for 15 years, at its workshops on the edge of Dartmoor. They are pioneers in handcrafted wool bedding, making the products 100% in Devon from start to finish and using certified traceable 100% British wool. They are proud to have worked closely with British Wool (formerly the British Wool Marketing Board) to champion the principles of ethical sourcing and fair prices for fleeces by helping to develop and launch the British Wool Traceable Wool Scheme.

The first rare breed chosen to provide wool for the Devon Duvets ‘Limited Edition Rare Breeds Range’ is the Devon Closewool Sheep, a breed that is currently on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust ‘at risk’ list. Almost exclusively bred in Devon, this hardy breed has a history dating back almost two hundred years and is known for the high quality of its wool.

As with all the British farmers who have been supplying the company with wool, Devon Duvets will ensure that the Devon Closewool farmers will obtain a higher than market value price for their wool and will highlight the importance of this heritage British breed. A percentage of the sales of the Rare Breeds duvet range will be donated to the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, whose aim is to conserve and promote traditional British livestock breeds.

Devon Duvets owners, Dick and Pauline Beijen, with UK’s first British wool duvet made using wool from a Rare Breed sheep. Picture: Henrietta LilleyDevon Duvets owners, Dick and Pauline Beijen, with UK’s first British wool duvet made using wool from a Rare Breed sheep. Picture: Henrietta Lilley
Devon Duvets owners, Dick and Pauline Beijen, with UK’s first British wool duvet made using wool from a Rare Breed sheep. Picture: Henrietta Lilley

Pauline Beijen, co-founder and director of Devon Duvets, said: “We founded Devon Duvets on our commitment to helping British sheep farmers, who for many years were struggling to sell their fleeces for a fair price.

“Over the years by making our products, we have helped to raise awareness of the wonderful qualities of wool, leading to a sharp increase in the market share for wool bedding.

“Choosing a rare breeds sheep wool duvet means choosing a piece of history, a connection to the land and supports our continuing commitment to sustainable products and practices.”

John Witheridge, president of the Devon Closewool Sheep Breeders’ Society, added: “We are delighted to be supplying Devon Duvets with the wool from our wonderful, rare breed sheep for this special project.

Devon Duvets seamstress handcrafting British wool duvets. Picture: Henrietta LilleyDevon Duvets seamstress handcrafting British wool duvets. Picture: Henrietta Lilley
Devon Duvets seamstress handcrafting British wool duvets. Picture: Henrietta Lilley

“A company with sustainability at its core, Devon Duvets is helping to raise the awareness of the quality and versatility of this locally sourced natural product and we are very excited to be on board.”

Christopher Price, RBST CEO, said: “Devon Duvets are to be congratulated for investing in this new range. It is wonderful to see a native breed wool being used in this way. Our native sheep breeds were bred to live in particular landscapes and habitats, to meet the needs of local populations.

“The Devon Closewool produces a dense, medium-length fleece, ideal for bedding and is almost synonymous with Exmoor farming, so there could not be a better breed to use to launch the collection.

“We look forward to working with Devon Duvets and fully anticipate this being just the start of a brilliant initiative.”

Devon Closewool Sheep. Picture: Devon Closewool Breeders SocietyDevon Closewool Sheep. Picture: Devon Closewool Breeders Society
Devon Closewool Sheep. Picture: Devon Closewool Breeders Society

All wool used by Devon Duvets is shorn in the traditional way in early summer and from live sheep, who then regrow their wool for the winter.

The wool is gathered, then cleaned and needled in British mills, without the use of chemicals, before being individually handcrafted into duvets by the team of professional seamstresses at the Devon Duvets workshops.

Wool is a wonderful natural fibre and British wool has been especially prized for over 2,000 years for its quality.

Naturally temperature regulating and dust mite resistant, wool has been proven through research to aid in a more restful sleep, helping with sleep disturbances caused by night sweats or allergies.

Graham Clark of British Wool said: “We are delighted to have collaborated with one of our long-term partners Devon Duvets on this exciting new range and we look forward to working together to drive sales for this excellent initiative.”

The Rare Breeds range, handcrafted by Devon Duvets, is available exclusively through the Devon Duvets website www.devonduvets.com.

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