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Circular design guide to strengthen the use of Swedish wool

Circular design guide to strengthen the use of Swedish wool

Used correctly, Swedish wool fiber is a natural and sustainable alternative – but today more than half of the wool produced in Sweden is thrown away. Now the collaborative project the Swedish Wool Initiative is launching a circular design guide, developed by Science Park Borås, which will help companies that want to use Swedish wool in a sustainable and circular way..

Lena-Marie Jensen. Photo: Mattias Björlevik

The textile and fashion industry is in a transition to a circular economy, and from a circular system perspective, Swedish wool is a valuable resource. The purpose of the new design guide from the Swedish Wool Initiative is to share insights and give inspiration to everyone who wants to work with Swedish wool. As design, materials and business models are closely intertwined, the guide covers both practical steps related to design and product development, as well as generic aspects of circular business models.

“Everything starts in the design phase, where a lot of choices are made that will affect the quality and durability of the product throughout its life cycle. The goal of the guide is to help designers use the right fiber for the right application, in order to ensure that the products last longer and can be included in circular cycles even after the last use,” said Lena-Marie Jensen, project coordinator at Science Park Borås, and author to the guide together with colleague Linda Nydén.

Collaboration across the entire value chain

The Swedish Wool Initiative has been run since 2020 by Axfoundation and aims to create the conditions for Swedish brands and suppliers in fashion, outdoor and home furnishings to gain access to competitive, high-quality Swedish wool.

Johan Sidenmark. Photo: Axfoundation

In 2023, the initiative launched Sweden’s first common classification system for Swedish wool – Swedish Wool Standard – and with the newly released design guide there is now yet another practical tool that makes it easier to take advantage of Swedish wool..

“We want to create real change through collaboration across the entire value chain. Through new working methods and processes, unexpected alliances emerge that are crucial for the transition to a sustainable and circular textile industry. Investing in regional raw materials such as Swedish wool requires openness to innovative product design, and this is exactly what is exemplified in our design guide. It is a goldmine of concrete tips from those who use the fantastic Swedish wool,” said Johan Sidenmark, project manager for the Swedish Wool Initiative at Axfoundation.

Swedish brands at the forefront

The guide also shares valuable lessons from leading Swedish brands. Participating companies include Filippa K, Fjällräven, Klippan Yllefabrik and Tiger of Sweden, all of which are partners in the Swedish Wool Initiative and actively work with Swedish wool in their products.

“The project has been very innovative and exciting to be a part of. Our goal is always to tailor the product so that it fits the qualities of the Swedish wool, rather than shaping the fiber so that it conforms to the product,” said Madeleine Kawasaki, sustainability and innovation manager at Tiger of Sweden.

Download the design guide here

Text: Science Park Borås
Photo: Anna Sigge/Science Park Borås


The Swedish Wool Initiative is a broad collaboration between actors from the entire value chain – from sheep owners to Swedish brands in fashion, outdoor and home furnishings. The goal is to make it possible for Swedish brands and suppliers to easily get access to competitive Swedish wool raw material of high and consistent quality. Through practical solutions, strengthened infrastructure and improved logistics, the initiative contributes to the vision that zero percent of Swedish wool is wasted.

Partners: The Swedish Wool Initiative is a collaboration between around 20 organizations. Axfoundation manages projects and collaborates with, among others: Filippa K, Fjällräven, Tiger of Sweden, Klippan Yllefabrik, Smart Textiles/Science Park Borås, IVL Swedish Environmental Institute, Chalmers Industriteknik, Circularista, LE Ullkonsult, Norrby gård, Västkustens Ullinsamling/CC Wool, Ullcentrum, Ullkontoret, Svenska Fårklipparförbundet, LRF, and TrusTrace. The expert group for the project includes Animalia, Norilia, Hushållningsällskapet Halland, and the Swedish Fåravelsförbundet. The project is carried out with support from Vinnova’s Sustainable Industry area.

Läs mer om The Swedish Wool Initiative