Historic honour for Woolcool® founder Angela

Josie Morris. Insulated Packaging. Naturally.

Woolcool® was launched in 2008 and the innovative, sustainable design has scooped an impressive haul of awards in the packaging, business and environmental arenas.

November, 2023

Woolcool® CEO Angela Morris joins ancient company of Woolmen.

At Woolcool®, we’re proud to have been honoured by all kinds of accolades over the years. Since being founded in 2009, our packaging company has been recognised with numerous awards, as founder Angela Morris’s ‘eureka’ moment was transformed into an innovative company.

That flash of inspiration was back in 2002, when the highly respected packaging consultant realised that Natural Wool – a ‘super fibre’, developed through millions of years of evolution – was the perfect material to insulate chilled food products while in transit.

Since then, our ground-breaking approach to creating a sustainable solution to temperature-controlled packaging has consistently won industry plaudits, from ‘B Corp’ status to awards for the ‘family’ ethos we proudly work so hard to foster.

Earlier this year, Angela was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by Family Business United (FBU), a global organisation which champions family firms, seeking to celebrate the contribution they make.

And there has been Royal approval too. In 2018, Woolcool® was recognised with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the Innovation category, and then remarkably won a second Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development, in 2022. It was a historic moment for our company.

But now founder Angela has added an ‘historic’ accolade of her own – by being invested into an ancient guild which traces its heritage back almost 900 years.

Angela was honoured and delighted to be accepted into The Worshipful Company of Woolmen, an ancient Guild dating back to the twelfth century, when wool was worth its weight in gold!

Angela’s continuing focus is on further development into the optimisation of wool fibres to create innovative products within other sectors, including horticulture and agriculture.

Josie Morris MBE

Managing Director, Woolcool®

The Worshipful Company of Woolmen is one of the oldest of the Livery Companies of the City of London. It grew out of the ancient Guild which regulated the wool trade. The first record of its existence was in 1180, when the Guild was fined by King Henry II for operating without his licence.

Originally, it was the body that oversaw woolpackers and wool merchants to ensure consistent standards throughout the wool industry. It now combines its ancient heritage and traditions with an active role within the $80 billion global wool sector.

As a member of the Guild, Angela will also be granted Freedom of the City of London, in one of the oldest surviving traditional ceremonies still in existence today, which is believed to have been first presented in 1237.

In medieval times, a ‘freeman’ was someone who was not the property of a feudal lord but enjoyed privileges such as the right to earn money and own land. Town dwellers who were protected by the charter of their town or city were often free – hence the term ‘freedom’ of the City.

Today, the Worshipful Company of Woolmen famously celebrate the Freeman’s ancient right to bring sheep to market over the Thames. Each September they hold an annual Sheepdrive and Livery Fair, all in aid of raising funds for The Woolmen Charity and The Lord Mayor’s Appeal.

This year’s 2023 Sheep Drive took place on Southwark Bridge in the capital, led by top chef Richard Corrigan.

The Sheep Drive & Livery Fair showcases the important enduring contribution of London’s livery companies, from the formation of the City of London in years gone by through to modern times, both in respect of the continuous evolution of sustainable trades and the important charitable endeavours in support of the various challenges we face today.

Angela joins a remarkable list of ‘Woolmen’ down the centuries. From its earliest days, many distinguished people have been members of the historic Company. Among the earliest was Martin Box, who was the capital’s sheriff 1283, while the company has also produced at least three Lord Mayors of London. Most members have been active in the wool industry, a tradition that continues to this day. Perhaps the most distinguished member of the company is HRH the Princess Royal, who was Master in 1994-5.

Membership of the Company is a fitting honour for Angela, whose work has done so much to unlock the potential of wool. After all, at Woolcool we try our best to support the UK’s wool farmers, who have been a crucial part of the UK’s economy for centuries, while also driving research into the future, sustainable uses of wool.

Angela’s continuing focus is on further development into the optimisation of wool fibres to create innovative products within other sectors, including horticulture and agriculture.

By investing in research and working with the UK Government KTN Wool Initiative and leading universities, Angela and the Woolcool® team continue to ensure that innovative new uses are identified for this versatile, sustainable super fibre, enabling future generations to recognise its true value, just as generations of Woolmen have, over nearly 900 years.

We’re proud to be living up to the ancient Latin motto of The Worshipful Company of Woolmen, Lana Spes Nostra – Wool Is Our Hope.

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