New York City’s Bryant Park is not new to hosting elaborate social events such as outdoor movies, ice skating and even massive yoga classes, but this fall spectators truly will be seeing something that hasn’t been there before- sheep! In effort to garner publicity and increased production of this sustainable fiber, The Campaign for Wool, which is supported by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales himself, is unleashing a flock of sheep to graze freely in Bryant Park. Passers-by can enjoy other draws of the event while counting sheep, such as wool art installations high in the trees, and a luxurious “Wool Salon” in the center of the fountain terrace.
Announced September 7th by the American Sheep Industry Association, the event unveiling date is still under-wraps, but is planned to come at a prime time for the city, chasing the tail of a wool-rich Mercedes Benz New York fashion week. Wool in fact, took center stage at the GreenShows reports Melissa Breyer from Treehugger.com, in a review of the sustainability focused segment of fashion week debuting at Lincoln Center just this year. The sustainable benefits of wool – natural, renewable, biodegradable – makes it a popular choice for eco-conscious labels on the runway and off, from womenswear designer M. Patmos to the New Zealand based ethical-merino wool activewear company, Icebreaker.
While wool is certainly a more environmentally sound choice over say, polyester, like any other “sustainable” material, the entire process must be revealed to truly appreciate its entire impact. The US based Textile Exchange (formerly known as Organic Exchange) provides resources and materials to anyone interested in learning more about eco fibers, and hosts an annual conference in Hong Kong for industry insiders to connect. For the rest of us however, we’ll have to settle for sheep in Bryant Park, which is pretty exciting, especially for a city that is hardly used to seeing anything ewe, I mean new.