We live in a world of artificial and mass produced products. Our shelves stock cheap synthetic shirts and our closets have shoes produced in assembly lines in China. Further, Amazon and Walmart have so captured the American wallet that we no longer question how our goods are produced, what they are made with, nor who is producing them, instead, focusing only on prices and convenience. “Authentic” goods have been replaced with “Automatic” goods.
However, at The Woolshire we care about the meaning and intention behind what we make and what we use to make our pillows. We care about imbuing our pillows with authenticity, craftsmanship, and connection to the natural world. In a sentence, we want out pillows to symbolize more than just functionality, we want them to symbolize a deeper reality that’s missing in many of our modern lives.
Made By Hand, and by Real People.
At The Woolshire our pillows aren’t made in a factory and they aren’t drop-shipped from China. They are designed and crafted by my wife and I. We make each pillow one at a time with our own hands. The reason this is important isn’t that it just ensures the quality is excellent, but that we have a connection to each of the products we make. It matters to us that you and your family sleep on a pillow that wasn’t produced on a far flung assembly line.
We live out this value by making sure the materials we buy for our wool pillows are also produced sustainably. For example, the 100% virgin wool we use to fill our pillows is grown from Montana sheep, right across the border from us. When we are running low on wool, we drive out to sheep country and pick up the wool ourselves. The same goes for the cotton pillow shells we use as the outer part of our pillows. We source 100% organic cotton from family farms in Texas. Sure it would be easier and cheaper for us to buy the wool and cotton in bulk from an international dealer, but it’s more important for us to know the people we buy from and work with.
One of the main reasons so much of our economy has moved from the cottage economy to the corporate economy is because of the value of profit over quality and connection. Here at The Woolshire we are doing our part to reverse the normative value structure by creating wool pillows made by hand and in concert with other small businesses. It is at the heart of who we are.
Made With Real Material.
As I mentioned above we use 100% virgin wool to build our pillows. Instead of making pillows from synthetics like polyfill (memory foam) or artificial down, we use something that is real. Wool has been used in clothing for thousands of years and is widely applauded for its unique properties (moisture wicking, mold resistant, etc.).
What does it mean for something to be real? There are two tests that can serve as a rule of thumb for this. Is what you're using produced in a laboratory or in a field? Is what you’re using reusable?
If what you’re buying, or in our case, sleeping on, is produced in a laboratory then it’s not a “real thing”, but instead artificial, made by chemicals and large factories. There is also a decent chance it was made with the corporate, and not the cottage economy in mind. Second, if what you’re buying isn’t reusable then it’s likely that it’s synthetic. The reason real things can be reused and fake things can’t is because of all the chemicals and processing that goes into synthetics. Plastic doesn’t just return to its component parts when it gets thrown out, instead it takes hundreds of years for them to break down and usually end up in our landfills and oceans.
One of the themes worth noting about the difference between real and artificial is that of cultivation. Real things are often cultivated, stewarded, grown, and planted, whereas synthetic things are produced, synthesized, or chemically modified. The distinction is subtle yet important.
In conclusion, wool pillows are real pillows, and that means more than just the functionality of the pillow. It means that the pillow was made with care, real organic material, and with inputs that are produced by small businesses. When you choose one of our Woolshire pillows you are choosing to support the cottage economy that focuses on stewardship of the environment and the flourishing of families.