Rethinking the (Wool) Economy

Tone Smith*, Maria Ehrnström-Fuentes, Sophia Hagolani-Albov, Ingun Grimstad Klepp, Tone Skårdal Tobiasson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter examines the limits to changing the current economic system through policy measures like green growth and the circular economy. We examine the biophysical aspects of the economy and the huge amounts of materials and energy the global economy consumes to achieve growth. Thus far, governmental responses have been incapable of addressing the underlying structural issues of the global textile industry and the accompanying exploitation of natures and peoples. While the necessary deep structural transformations are difficult to achieve through governmental policy change, we suggest that re-localization of wool production-consumption networks are an expression of how engaged citizens can build more sustainable textile and fibre alternatives in place. Drawing on local food research, this chapter highlights the dangers of conflating local solutions with sustainability. Instead, we argue that assessing these emergent wool ventures based on how they are organized in the living landscape in specific places will enhance the understanding of what kind of socioecological impacts they can achieve. This includes how organizing/connecting the activities and visions of wool entrepreneurs in place is essential if these ventures can overcome the barriers set by the dominant growth-based system of global trade.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLocal, Slow and Sustainable Fashion : Wool as a fabric for change
EditorsIngun Grimstad Klepp, Tone Skårdal Tobiasson
Number of pages38
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date2022
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-88299-0
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-88300-3
Publication statusPublished - 2022
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter


  • 512 Business and Management
  • the global textile industry
  • wool
  • degrowth
  • biophysical economy
  • social movements
  • grassroots innovations

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Responsible organising


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