Forensic Integrity

It is the start of 2016 so I predict ever increasing scrutiny of supply chains to ensure that social and environmental values are not compromised in the supply of products and services to consumers, wherever they are and wherever stuff originates.

Starting with the luxury brands, as always, there is a growing demand for complete transparency. We are going to see more labels asking for trust and we are going to see more activist shooting down the tall poppies.

Several years ago we started Laneve, working with a few trusted partners to provide wool carpets and textiles from managed and transparent value chains. At the time we thought transparency was key, but really transparency is just a tool that proves integrity.

As we move beyond a few partners wanting to build trusted brands to a world that must have trust, thanks Volkswagen for making this point loud and clear, we now need to move beyond paper trails and use science to back up claims on origin, provenance and therfor integrity.

Wools of New Zealand have partnered with Oritain to scientifically verify that the products made from our wool have not been tampered with or dumbed down.

This video says it best..

Oritain with Wools of NZ – Fine Cut (1) from Mathew Bartlerr on Vimeo.

Travel New Zealand - Sheep Farm

Flock of sheep, New Zealand.

Integrity and happy sheep

Happy SheepNew Zealand has a reputation for producing clean white soft lovely wool.  Recently via Facebook someone asked “Yeah that’s all OK but how do you treat the sheep?”

I think this was a fair question, although it did get some social media responses as it was read as a little insightful by some.

The short answer of course is “Really well” Our farmers want their animals to be healthy and happy.  They sign up to a wool growing integrity programme with important rules on the environment, social responsibility and Animal Welfare.

Our animal health and welfare manual has firm objectives to ensure that our wooly friends are provided with five basic freedoms.

1. Proper and sufficient food and water.

2. Adequate shelter.

3. The opportunity to display normal patterns of behavior.

4. Physical handling in a way, which minimizes pain or distress to the animal.

5. Protection from and rapid response to any significant injury or disease.

Our wool growers are very aware that if carpet buying people have uninformed views on animal treatment it can put them off purchasing animal fibres.

The growers’ practices are externally verified through an audit process, which they gladly do in order to qualify for our Integrity programme.

Farmers tend to be animal lovers, they don’t want to see any animal suffer and they know that healthy happy sheep grow better wool.

Happy Sheep in New Zealand

Happy Sheep

Best Domotex Ever

Wools of New Zealand just experienced an amazing Domotex in Hannover, the most successful ever.  Maybe we are doing something right?

As the world moves swiftly from mindless (consumerism) to mindful, regarding what people buy, how we travel and especially what materials we live with, ethics, trust and quality, become critical parts of any product offering.  Organisations that embrace Sustainability and “doing the right thing” will be the ones that survive.

We embraced sustainability over five years ago and developed the Laneve brand to certify wool products that scream integrity.  By ignoring the stalwarts and sticking to our belief we have gradually moved into a position as the leaders in our small industry.

Suddenly we are the “go to” people for building integrity and quality into natural products.  All of a sudden we are inundated with enquiries from brands and organizations that want to secure their own future by partnering with the farmers.

It’s the same story we hear from our friends in the coffee sector.  Existing in the future requires a robust and enduring connection with the people that grow your materials and with the value chain.

It is why we had such a great trade show in Domotex Hannover.

It seems suddenly the market demands, secure supply, stable pricing, full transparency and corporate social responsibility built in.   We have all this stuff as well as slick and on-trend marketing and design..

A few images of our Domotex stand follow..

Martinelli at Domotex

The Martinelli space looked really sharp (as always)

Domotex stand WNZ

The Wools of New Zealand stand at Domotex

IMG_2451

Looking through the Flock space into the Wool centre

Sheep Shearing in Paradise

A short film cobbled together from footage I took in New Zealand this month..  It shows the shearing  (wool harvesting) process.  Check it out..

Camira’s Wool Grown Here..

It has been a few weeks since my last post – sorry!  Coming soon will be a few pieces about my travels through New Zealand to meet with wool growers.  Attached is a picture of A Laneve farmer and Wools of New Zealand Chairman, Mark Shadbolt, with the Creative Director of Camira Fabrics, Cheryl Kindness.

Cheryl knows exactly where her wool comes from.

Expect lots of sheep pictures soon…

Camira Wool

Camira Wool

New Zealand Road Trip

Our mantra to the market is all about “knowing where the wool comes from” Why?  If you don’t know who made it and where, how can you measure quality, value, sustainability, ethics, etc..?   But more importantly its about communication and trust.

We maintain that by connecting farmers and brands we are able to supply better fibre that is made for the job at hand.    It has to go both ways, as well as talking to the market we have to report market opportunities and trends back to the woolgrowers.

With all this in mind I am really excited to have been asked to travel to New Zealand to bridge the 14,000-mile gab between our growers and our customers.  Ill be speaking alongside our Chairman and CEO about the amazing opportunities that are there for the taking with our wool.

We will be getting to 17 rural communities in 9 days to talk to the people who grow the best wool in the world.   We aim to inspire more farmers to join us.  We hope to install confidence to our current growers and we hope to learn a lot along the way.

If you are in New Zealand and you have a few sheep, grab a few friends and come along.  We kick off in Wellsford on September 23rd.  There full schedule is here

For those of you who are not sheep farmers – why not – just look at these cute fuzzy little sheep!

Kiwi Farmer with Lambs

Kiwi Farmer Andrew Freeman – Courtesy Beef & Lamb NZ.

Ask more by sending an email to ask@ourwool.co.nz