// Unwanted wool from lambs for Waitrose to be turned into sustainable mattresses for John Lewis
// Waitrose said farmers were struggling to find buyers for their wool
// John Lewis said the tie-up with Waitrose would reduce waste and create demand in wool products
John Lewis is set to launch a new range of sustainable mattresses, as it seeks to address the declining value of wool provided by its Waitrose-serving sheep farmers.
Sister company Waitrose said farmers were struggling to find buyers for their wool, with the price paid often not even covering shearing costs, leading to the material sometimes being burned or buried.
John Lewis said the initiative with Waitrose would reduce waste and create a demand in wool products.
The tough market conditions have been made worse by the pausing of exports to China, a key buyer, during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Wool now generates as little as 20-30p per kilo, which has led to hundreds of thousands of tonnes of British wool being wasted.
The new own-brand John Lewis mattresses will start at £600, while the “luxury” version made by the bed manufacturer Hypnos costs upwards of £900.
The mattresses will use wool that has naturally temperature regulating properties and is traceable from farm to store.
Waitrose senior agriculture manager Jake Pickering said the group will be able to prevent “quality wool being wasted”.