Building awareness from farmers to manufactures. 

Join the Co Operative. Make local.


We are a friendly company set out to make a difference within the knitwear and woollen business.

We want to help educate as many UK companies as possible to bring their knitwear home and made in the UK.

Our main aim is to create a relationship between traditional manufacturers and farmers to add value to a very special primary source, wool. We will do this by building relationships between farmers, shearers, traditional manufacturers and the industry.

We believe in building friendships of skills, talented and passion.

We offer advice. We will assist farmers through the shearing process to bundling, washing, carding & spinning, creating a co-operative between farmers and the industry. The UK brands can use us as a source, a source of yarn to manufacture in the UK.

Our service will be bespoke. Bespoke for each farmer’s needs and also the brand we are working along side. We offer bespoke design packages and also offer initial information and advice on manufacturing that can help both parties in the future.

We give back. Once the farmers donate their fleeces they are part of the journey. They will be part of the co-operative.  They will get a % back on the final sale. They then put that back into their sheep flock.

FOR FLOCK SAKE. 

It’s simple. 

 


THE FARMER - 

CHARLES HARRIS of Clover Hill Farm

Redworth Flock of Charolaise Sheep.



Monkstone: 

Thank you Charles for being the first farmer of the project, please can you tell us more about your flock?  

Charles: I have a small flock of Charolaise Sheep that I keep for breeding and also for showing alongside our Charolaise Ram. I sell the Rams onto commercial farmers and then keep the ewes for breeding myself. I show each year at the Royal Welsh and also other local shows. It’s great to see the farming community proud of their flocks and herds and it’s also a time to see the other great agricultural competitions such as fencing and also growing. We have won Show competition at the most recent show we did and so we are very proud to house a winning flock.

 


Monstone: Please tell us more about your flock.

Charles: The breed originated from France and has been over here for 30 years. The breed has changed to adapt to the climate. Originally it was a sheep that did not have a lot of wool but it has been bred now to have dense wool, based on the climate. They are mainly bred for meat and the wool would then be the by-product.

 


Monkstone: You have a great farming relationship with Trevayne and also the farming community of Pembrokeshire; please can you tell us more?

Charles: I started coming to Trevayne as a 16 year old boy working and haymaking, I have known the family since I was a child and I have known Richard for many years as I have been a contractor on the farm, working on fencing projects and land projects.

 


Monkstone: 

Please can you tell me about what you do when you shear the sheep and what you would have done with the fleeces?

Charles: My wool would have usually gone to the Wool Marketing board in Brecon, but with wool prices dropping over the last decade, I was excited to hear of a new venture I could add my wool too. There was a time when it was costing us more to have the wool shorn than we would actually get back. I am very excited to be part of the  co-operative and to also help make more farmers aware that we can do more to support each other, not only in farming but also in manufacturing. 



THE MAKE & MANUFACTURER - CHRIS JONES of Corgi Hosiery 



Corgi has its roots firmly in West Wales, where Rhys Jones, an enterprising local trader, opened a small shop called Ford Mills in 1893. Rhys concentrated on drapery items, supplying goods by horse and cart, and quickly developed a thriving business. He spotted an opportunity to manufacture and purchased a number of second hand Griswald hand operated circular knitting machines to produce thigh high woollen socks for local colliers. He then followed on with a similar product, but in a finer quality, for men to wear to chapel on Sundays.
From the beginning, Rhys paid enormous attention to detail and quality, and, as the reputation of his products grew, demand spread across east and mid Wales.
Upon his death, Rhys’s son, John Jones, continued to operate the business, and he was succeeded in turn by Rhys’s grand- daughter, Enid Jones. In 1935 Enid married local teacher Glyn Jones, who took up the management of the business along with his wife. This is just the start. Read more
here. 

We talked to Chris Jones of Corgi about why making the UK is SUPER important. 

Monkstone: Please tell me how long you have been running the factory. 

Chris: I came back home to Corgi in 1997, initially working for my father helping to run the production.  I gradually took over the finance side of the business until March 2008, when my father decided it was time to retire. I then took over the full running of the business with Lisa, both of us taking the position of Joint MD.


Monkstone: How important it is to help brands from the UK. 

Chris: My father always impressed on us the importance of helping new young designers, after all they are the future stars of the business. We have always especially tried to help UK brands, all our products are made in Wales and it is important to us that we help champion british designers and british manufacturing.


Monkstone: Why is working with local farm owners like Trevayne important for the Wool industry. 

Chris: Working directly with farm owners is very special, it means that people know 100% the origins of the garments they are buying.  Today it is hard for farmers to get the price they deserve for their wool, with profits being diverted to the wool board,  it is much better for manufacturers to help the farmers bring their own products to market, cutting out the wool board and strengthening the farming industry in Wales.


Monkstone: So Chris, should we bring manufacturing home? 

Chris: I believe many people are tired of cheap, poor quality products made in sweat shops by low paid workers.  Not only do they want products that have been made in an ethically sound way, but they also want products that are of good quality and made to last. The craftsmanship that goes into British manufacturing is second to none,  we should be proud of the Made in UK label which is the best quality mark you can get,  and is what sets our products apart from anything else. We need to encourage people to take pride in the fact they wear the Made in UK label instead of cheap imports.


THE DOER & CREATIVE - LUKE JAMES of Bread Collective


We wanted to thanks Luke for being pretty brilliant since the beginning of this journey. His creative talent and help has helped us bring many ideas to life and we thank him for our branding. We talked to Luke about working his magic for UK brands.

Monkstone: Luke tell us what you do. 
Luke: I draw stuff, film things and design bits an bobs!

Monkstone: Tell us why creating for UK brands is important to you.
Luke: I think it's imperative to support UK brands. Obviously there are environmental and economic reasons for buying British but I also think that society can benefit from the sense of community that's created when you keep it local. Patriotism has, in the passed, been hijacked by the far right but I think people are starting to realise that you can take pride in your country without shaving your head and getting a bulldog tattoo on your face. Part of this is taking pride in what your country produces. There is a greater awareness of the importance of buying local produce, whether that's food or wool and this has to be  good for our wallets, the environment and society as a whole! 

Monkstone: Why is small great?
Luke: It's by no means a level playing field but smaller companies can definitely compete with the big boys. People want that personal touch and that's something that big corporations can't offer. I'm not going to lie, I depend on the big guys just like most other people but where they can be soulless smaller companies can be inspiring. They give you more than just a product, they offer a story and not only do they make you feel something but they make you feel good! There is definitely room for big and small and I hope it will always be this way.

Monkstone: What was it like working with a friend and also fellow creative.
Luke: Sometimes working with friends can be tricky, often you feel reluctant or obliged but when Anna told me about Monkstone I knew I had to be involved. It's not only a great project with a fantastic ethos but I knew that with Anna's talent, enthusiasm and infectious personality there was no doubt that it was going to be a success, a success that I'm honoured to be a small part of!


THE HAND KNITTER- LINDA PICKOVER 

Coming Soon.





THE PASSION & FARMER - ANNA FELTON & RICHARD REED of Trevayne Farm

Monkstone & Trevayne Farm from Anna Felton on Vimeo.

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