Green by Iceland
Guðni and other people


Only in Iceland – would the president show up to give a special award for innovative uses of wool at Design March, the largest annual design festival in Iceland. President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson presented the winners with awards at the closing ceremony of the Ullarthon!

The theme was tackling sustainability issues with circular solutions made from wool which is versatile and has more uses than keeping you warm on a hike in the highlands!

The winners of the Ullarthon by category were:

1. Utilizing unprocessed wool: The Wool House - Environmentally friendly insulation for buildings, tackling the climate effects of the construction sector by utilizing wool as insulation!

2. Mixing other raw materials with wool: Snoðbreiða – Using wool to create the correct conditions for seedlings to thrive, allowing trees and other plants to grow anywhere.

3. A new product: Cool Wool Box – Eco-friendly packaging solutions for the fish industry, replacing foam plastics in shipping with cooling boxes that have a positive impact on the environment. Learn more about Cool Wool.

4. Digital solutions and traceability: Unikind – A new type of yarn where the colors of Icelandic nature are incorporated and can be traced back to the exact sheep farm where it comes from.

150 tons of wool in mixed colors that are not used for traditional yarn can be repurposed with a circular mindset to create a climate-friendly future. The Ullarthon is held in cooperation between the Icelandic Textile Center and Innovation Center Iceland.

Of course, the textile enthusiasts also gave the president a parting gift, “as a sheep-farmer I really think there should be sheep at Bessastaðir” (the presidential residency), she said and presented him with a tiny woolen sheep, “and, I know you like Daði og gagnamagnið who is competing for Iceland in Eurovision so I knitted some socks for you in his style”. A lovely, incredibly Icelandic present and the president replied by quoting the sagas, “I really appreciate your gifts although I appreciate your friendship even more”.