English · Français
Forum Synergie

Linking sustainable practices throughout Europe

[EXP] Ardelaine: a cooperative project based on wool-processing becomes a driving force for local development.

Rural topic(s): (Agri)-tourism and rural heritage, Local food Chains, Rural entrepreneurship and diversification of activities

Type: Success story

Date of writing: September 20, 2009

Author(s) of this page: MG

Organization(s): Ardelaine


Located in an old spinning mill built in 1860, Ardelaine was established in 1982 and processes local wool for the manufacture of bedding and clothes.

The wool comes from 250 sheep farms representing some 45,000 sheep and is processed by means of old - and nowadays rare – machines acquired when the old spinning mills were shut down and used for the production of small quantities. Every stage of production is carried out in-house using traditional processes: sheep shearing, wool washing, centrifuging, drying, carding, spinning and so on. The company (a cooperative employing 25 people) also designs and makes clothes and bedding. The products are sold in the shop on the production site, on the Internet and at biological fairs and exhibitions

The company was established as a result of the directors’ determination to preserve the cultural and historic heritage associated with wool in the Ardèche. In the same spirit, two museographic routes were created to show how wool-processing techniques have evolved since Neolithic times.


See the full text in French for a more detailed presentation [EXP] Ardelaine : un projet coopératif devenu moteur de développement local à partir de la transformation de la laine.


Scale of intervention : Regional

Keywords: locally-based economy, local supply chain, local partnership, local food processing, crafts, local community initiative, wool processing, social and solidarity economy, sustainable tourism, rural heritage, safeguard of knowledge, rural entrepreneurship, job creation, organic farming, solidarity customers, fair price, territorial project, higher added-value products

Places: France

Actors: self-governing social enterprise (cooperative)

Methods: partnership, facilitation