The American Sheep Industry Association was in Washington, D.C., this past week working with a bi-partisan group of senators and representatives to urge the U.S. Navy to retain the iconic wool pea coat.
The coat, made by Sterlingwear in Boston, is currently issued in the Navy’s sea bag. However, despite budgetary and tactical advantages, the Navy has maintained that it will move forward with plans to phase out the pea coat in favor of a polyester cold weather parka. The fact is that the wool pea coat costs less than the cold weather parka, is flame and water resistant and as a natural fiber it is biodegradable, recyclable and sustainable. Moreover, the loss of the pea coat in the sea bag could jeopardize the future of a number of wool related small businesses in the United States and further erode domestic manufacturing.
In coalition with growers and manufacturers, ASI has worked with legislators from western states and the east coast in support of this effort. In addition to other legislative priorities, such as the appropriations process and the upcoming farm bill, ASI is fully engaged to represent sheep and wool industry producers on key issues.