When professional packaging designer Angela Morris was asked by the National Trust to help its tenant farmers by finding a more environmentally friendly means of keeping their home deliveries chilled during transit, her answer was nothing short of revolutionary.
The main option available to the farmers was polystyrene or polyethylene insulation, both man-made oil-based products not easily disposed of. It was vital, however, that any alternative be effective in keeping produce at low temperatures during delivery.
Morris's idea was to use sheep's wool, an abundant and sustainable natural resource - there are over 22 million shearable sheep in the UK. She identified that sheep's wool is a 'smart fibre' with hygroscopic properties that absorb and release moisture from the air to create consistent temperatures. Following detailed research, Morris developed woolcool(TM), a system of eco-friendly insulated packaging that is now marketed by the Wool Packaging Company and has been taken up by suppliers and retailers such as Daylesford Organics, Abel & Cole, and DHL. Not only does it compete on cost, but woolcool keeps chilled contents below 5 degsC for at least 24 hours, performing better than equivalent polystyrene packaging.