Natural Isn’t Enough
I come from a land where there are many more sheep than people; a land untouched by Europeans until only 150 years ago. As you can imagine when I left New Zealand seven years ago as a carpet designer I had spent my life working and living with natural fibres like wool. I designed and exported beautiful wool carpets all over the world. When you do something well it gets noticed so I was then asked to come to the UK to show the rest of the world how to create a business around excellence in wool product development.
The UK like New Zealand has a long history with wool, cotton and other natural fibres. It was textile manufacturing that sparked the industrial revolution in Manchester which shaped the world as we know it.
For centuries man has been using wool to warm his cave and shelter his family. The benefits of natural fibres were pretty obvious.
Roll on to 2013 and we live in a world where 97% of Americans are living on synthetic materials made from oil. Today only 30% of Brits are living with wool and even in New Zealand, I am ashamed to say, people are choosing plastic based carpet with a small amount of recycled content and think they are saving the planet!
So it is blatantly clear. Being Natural is No Longer Enough.
Wool carpets need to be acknowledged as a lifestyle choice that will have a positive impact on the health and comfort of our families.
Wool carpets remain the very best thing you can put in your home to create a warm and safe environment. Wool absorbs indoor air contaminants like formaldehyde and locks it away for up to thirty years. Wool carpets trap dust and keep it out of the breathing zone. Wool carpets with a good underlay absorb shock and assist with posture, as well as being anti-slip. Walk across a hard floor and then a wool carpet and hear the difference, or rather don’t hear it.
It seems that in focussing on colour and style, which of course wool offers more options for than any other material, we have lost sight of what really matters. The comfort and wellbeing of human beings and the future of our planet.
Wool is of course the ultimate eco-warrior fibre. Sheep in New Zealand grow a new fleece every year. Wool is 50% carbon which means that it’s a carbon sink locking C0² away from the ozone layer. New Zealand wool is the purest and most ecological of all and is only grown on free range farms under strict animal welfare, environmental and social standards.
Through the Wool for a Better World program. At Wools of New Zealand we support the Heiffer foundation through the sale of wool carpets, we support the endangered Hector’s dolphin through the sale of wool fabrics and we support the Woodland trust in the UK through the sale of our recycled underlay. On top of being brilliant at designing stuff, giving back to the environment through these activities and just being really nice people perhaps it is time to get active and shout louder, perhaps it time we start a war on oil instead of a war for oil?
Let’s get reminding people of the many technical benefits of wool and try to stop this mad obsession with oil based plastic carpets and noisy hard floors.
Wool growing in New Zealand