Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em Challenge: Wool sold to the wool pool in the Northeast in 2016 brought between $0.60 – $0.85 per pound. During the same period, raw wool sold directly to consumers through specialty markets, such as Etsy, sold for remarkably higher prices, from $8 – $40 per pound. Interest in fiber arts is high, and this represents a valuable market opportunity for heritage breed wool.
Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em is a challenge campaign for the promotion of rare breed wools to engage both producers and consumers. Educational blogs, videos, and tip sheets help breeders build their capacity in order to develop and meet a demand for heritage breed fibers. Milestones, prizes, and an online community encourage fiber artists to use fiber from sheep breeds on the Conservation Priority List.
Sheep breeders benefit as they improve their wool quality and marketing practices, leading to greater farm revenues. Fiber artists benefit from more information about the form and function of many diverse wool types, and connections to local sources, expanding the palette of fibers from which to work. Endangered sheep breeds benefit from increased use of their products and awareness of consumers.