ARDELAINE is a cooperative created in 1982. The founders’ aim was to restructure and develop the local wool industry on the site of a derelict wool mill. At the end of October 2014, there were 52 employees, 33 of which were members. There were also 83 members who are not employees. We are currently working with 250 breeders who provide 70 tons of wool a year. ARDELAINE is involved at every stage of the manufacturing process: shearing; washing; carding; knitting; designing; mattress, quilt and bed linen making; clothe making. ARDELAINE products are sold on site in St Pierreville, via Internet with a team based on site and also on trade shows and exhibitions all over France. Over the years ARDELAINE has developed major cultural and tourist aspects of its activity: 2 museum tours on the history of wool; 1 tour of the production site; workshops for both children and adults; 1 coffee/book shop. In 2010 a restaurant opened on site, as a sister SCOP of ARDELAINE, as well as a food preserving association.
We organise both daily visits and annual events. Our 2 major annual events are the Fête de la Tonte (Shearing Fete in April) and the Fête de la Laine (Wool Fete in August). Both include guided tours of the site and the museums, as well as a large range of creative workshops. The 2014 Fête de la Tonte was very successful, with over 700 visitors, creative workshops for all ages and 12 guided tours.
How we promote cooperatives’ values and culture
ARDELAINE has been famous all over France for many years. With over 70 000 clients in France and abroad, communication is essential. We work with local and national media : press, television and radio. Last year France Inter (one of the main national French Broadcasters) contacted us to take part in the most-listened-to morning show. They chose ARDELAINE as a perfect example of a very successful SCOP in a rural area. The focus was on the development of a deprived area thanks to a well thought cooperative model. They highlighted the fact that ARDELAINE had turned disadvantages into strengths, offering to organise seminars in a quiet atmosphere for example. ARDELAINE is also often presented as a prime example of a cooperative which has been able to share and put into practice its ethics through high quality guided tours.
Car (good road connection)
Airport in the proximity
recreation and entertainment facilities
Facilities for Disabled people
ramps for wheelchairs
reserved parking spaces