The Tyranny of Distance


Far away sheep are your friends!

It is amazing how many people wrongly assume that distance to market means a high carbon footprint.  Simply not true.  Here are the facts…

It is 13,000 miles from New Zealand to the United Kingdom.

For every kilogram of New Zealand wool grown that equates to 0.322 kg of Co2 equivalent green house gas to get it from Lyttleton New Zealand to Southampton UK.

That’s wool right across the world with less impact than driving an average sized petrol car for 1 mile, to get wool right across the world.

Driving to a retailer to choose a carpet creates half the green house gas of moving enough wool for the average UK domestic carpet installation right across the world.  That’s assuming you live with 3 miles of the store.

New Zealand wool is made super efficiently.  There are 30 Million sheep in New Zealand on farms that have on average 3000 sheep each.  The climate is perfect for growing wool, especially wool for interior textiles.

There are 30 Million Sheep in New Zealand

The fluffy cute sheep are bred to grow the prefect fibre for the product it is used in.  The land is strictly managed to protect the environment.  The wool processing is clean and efficient, the best in the world.

Wool fibre is biodegradable, renewable and sustainable.   It is safe for asthmatics and actually improves indoor air quality.  Wool products can be returned to the earth when we have finished enjoying them.  Assuming you are concerned about greenhouse gas, then you might like to know that wool is over 50% carbon.  It is made from grass and is a carbon sink.

Laneve products must also be 100% natural.  We only allow fibre into our Laneve programme where we can attest to its sustainability.  This is also a critical part of the customer experience.  100% wool carpets keep their appearance retention longer; purify the air better and feel more luxurious.

New Zealand wool is ecological and ethical but it still does come a long way..  So we have to compare it it other wool that is grown closer to the market…

In other parts of the world some farms that have as little as 5 sheep have trucks drive across the country side to collect the wool.  The wool is bred for the meat and not selected for its properties in textiles.   The land is not as well cared for so the wool picks up contaminants like thistles and the sheep often contain black fibre.  This makes scouring (wool cleaning) more intensive, and it reduces the colour options significantly.      The fibre is not grown for purpose and has lost integrity, so it gets blended with nylon (polyamide) to make it easier to manufacture with.

Our wool is grown here!

So if someone tries to tell you to buy local because it is good for the environment they probably are not a reader of the Woolblog.   Ask them if they know which farmer grew their wool.   If they can’t trace the wool to the farm, how can they possibly know what impact they are having?
One of our farms is pictured right.  Pretty isn’t it.

3 thoughts on “The Tyranny of Distance

  1. you’re smart as well as cute! 😉 thanks for the intelligent article, and for reminding me of the many wonderful NZ wool sweaters bought for my dad — he brought them with him to travel japan during the rainy season and was smugly warm the whole time. and he didn’t even know he was being sustainably ecological, to boot!

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