EUROPEAN WOOL OBSERVATORY
Welcome to the EWE Foundation
In the English language the word ewe is used to name the female sheep, the “partner” of the ram and the mother of the lamb. The pronunciation of the word ewe is exactly the same as the one of the personal pronoun you, so a number of nice and funny word puns have been created, particularly in Ireland, playing on the double meaning of the same sound: how are ewe? Nice to see ewe!
When our group of friends of the wool started to meet from different corners of Europe, ewe became quite soon our password. Contrary to its equivalent in our other languages, oveja in Spanish, mouton in French, ovca in Croatian, pecora in Italian, probato in Greek, etc, ewe is a very simple and easy to pronounce word and, most importantly, can be the acronym of our mission: European Wool Exchange.
With due respect with the many Mr Rams, in fact, the centre of our attention is Mrs Ewe, because she gives us very nourishing milk, she delivers lambs (to preserve the species) and she generates every year, in average, 1,5 kilos of wool.
It is calculated that more than 100 million sheep (mostly ewes) are currently grazing the grass of several countries of the European Union and of the UK. Some are expressly bred for their milk, some for their meat, some for their wool. They all need to be sheared at least once a year but most of the resulting tons of wool are sadly abandoned or buried or burned because there is no market for this important natural resource and no coordination for its processing with a re-cycling attitude.
EWE (European Wool Exchange) is a philanthropic foundation, established in Cyprus, aiming at a better coordination of the many associations and groups that in Europe are interested in the circular economy of wool and in its return to our society as a precious resource for many uses rather than as a neglected organic waste.
We are big fan of knitting, one of the most ancient manual skills, capable to transform spun wool in useful and sometimes artistic objects. In particular we believe in what we call “therapeutic knitting” to indicate the extraordinary potential of knitting to calm the mind, reduce anxiety and pain, facilitate social integration.
EWE supports the European Wool Observatory and European Wool Bank concepts, to improve the existing knowledge in the field and to promote the circular economy of wool in Europe.
Ewe (you) are very welcome to EWE!
Dr. Alberto Costa
The signatories of the Malpenga Declaration met in Biella, Italy, on 10th October 2019, hosted by the Panza di Biumo family in their historical house, La Malpenga, to share their experiences in the use of local, autochthonous wool in therapeutic knitting, crocheting and felting in health and various social projects.