An Evolving Supply Chain

Like their British counterparts, Yankee sheep are not prized for their softness, as they’re mainly raised for consumption. Despite the coarseness of their coats, technological improvements in the process of spinning wool have started to yield softer fibers in tougher yarn. At the same time, small-to-medium-sized businesses have found that outsourcing both the materials and manufacturing is not financially sustainable -- so small-scale mills are beginning to fill the void.

Northern Woolen Mills in northern Minnesota, for example, is providing ranchers and retailers alike a localized and more affordable option, reducing both the time and money it takes to ship the wool. For companies like M&S, though, which require efficient, large-scale production, the supply chain must be further streamlined if a totally local, self-contained manufacturing process is to be achieved.


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