Just a Drop

Wool makes beautiful fabrics.

In fact really good wool, with smart design can create stunningly attractive materials that perform brilliantly, as evidenced by Synergy, Camira Fabrics latest range of upholstery fabric.


The Synergy range is made up of 75 shades, each constructed with a high content of pure New Zealand wool.  Some in combinations of subtle mélanges, others in piece dyes solids.

Textile manufacturing does use a lot of water for cleaning wool and colouring fabrics but luckily Wools of New Zealand and Camira Fabrics both have the luxury of being in parts of the world where water is in plentiful supply.

New Zealand wool factory

Wool growing in New Zealand

We know that not all parts of the world are so fortunate with an estimated 750 million people without safe water.   Camira has invited Wools of New Zealand to donate to international water aid charity Just a Drop, for every metre of fabric sold.

For a start, together and with the help of others in the Synergy supply chain we will build a water tank at Ikalaasa Primary School in Kenya to provide clean water to 460 pupils.

All the details about Synergy are here.


Pupils at Ikalaasa primary school in Kenya

Synergy just feels nice doesn’t it!

Make Sustainability Sexy.

How do we make sustainability sexy? That does not mean how do we sexualise green issues. What I mean to ask is..

“How to we market sustainability to the Me generation?”

How do we draw in a generation that puts community and family 2nd to themselves.   Part of the answer is that we have to make a story that is cool and make it easy and fun to join in, to be part of a tribe that is awesome.

The ecological and social elements of products are important for many consumers, but are still down the list of priorities below style, quality and price. Generation me just wants to know this makes them cool. It blends them into their tribe.

Sustainability has to be positioned to meet a people’s needs.    The marketing of sustainability must be positive and draw people into something neat.

“Buy this or the polar bear drowns” is less effective than “I’m saving dolphins and you can too”.

A brilliant example of positive sustainability messaging is the Camira Fabrics / Wools of New Zealand Dolphin Campaign.

Wools of New Zealand grow eco-friendly Laneve wool in a way that protects the NZ waterways where the Hectors Dolphin lives.   Camira convert our Laneve wool into their very beautiful Blazer upholstery fabric, and both companies use a portion of the proceeds to fund research by the New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust which helps scientist understand how to better protect the dolphins habitat.

Interior designers can buy the fabric and help us save the dolphins.   “We are saving dolphins and you can join us.”

This post is not an argument for Corporate Social Responsibility; this post is about how we communicate our green credentials. It is more powerful to lead people to your product with positive messages than it is to say “This product contains less nasty stuff”

Start something social that people can feel a part of. Don’t alienate people and point out their bad habits. It really boils down to basic psychology – Carrot wins out over stick.

hectors dolphins

Hectors Dolphins at play. Image courtesy New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust.

Titus & Tangled

Gorillas in the wool.

This is Titus (of Gorillas in the mist fame) as drawn by Emma J Shipley, a graduate of London’s Royal College of Art.

Titus on Blazer

Titus the Gorilla

Emma has worked with Camira Fabrics to create the Titus and Tangled collections, printed onto beautiful Laneve wool from New Zealand.  Emma is known for her amazingly intricate and detailed line drawings.  Her style has been described as “meticulously precise” and “astonishingly skilful and distinctive”.

Camira Fabrics are known for technical excellence and stunningly attractive interior upholstery fabrics.   They are a team of highly motivated textile innovators with a social conscience.   This is the same Camira who have worked with Wools of  New Zealand to support the endangered Hector’s Dolphin.

This time Camira are supporting the Gorilla Organization, which works internationally to protect the world’s remaining gorillas in their natural habitat in Central Africa.

More information on Camira’s website.. 

Camira have produced two designs from Emma Shipley’s artwork, both printed on Blazer fabric which is woven with Laneve wool (all traceable to our farms)


Tangled by Emma Shipley and Camira on NZ wool

SBID International Design Awards

Wools of New Zealand are sponsoring the “Intelligent Design” category of the Society of British Interior Design’s International Design Awards.

Wools of New Zealand is sponsoring the Awards as part of a wider campaign to place sustainably produced Laneve™ wool textiles in front of influential interior designers.

The Intelligent Design category is pure interior design.  It invites entries that create a solution to a design problem through innovative thinking.  This category is specifically for contract projects that have delivered the best design solutions to meet the client’s brief for the budget available.

The SBID International Design Awards has firmly established itself as one of the most prestigious and enjoyable events in the design industry calendar.
The awards serve to recognise, reward and celebrate design excellence across a broad range of categories.

Winning a SBID International Design Award is a high achievement as they are voted for exclusively by leading industry experts both for technical content and aesthetic creativity using two tiers of judging processes.

The Awards will be judged by international industry leaders; among them is Theo Williams, Head of Design at John Lewis; Matthew Carlisle, Creative Director at Candy & Candy; Azhar Azhar, Director of Conran + Partners and David Lewis, Managing Director of Sunseeker London.

Laneve™ is a premium brand from Wools of New Zealand. Laneve carpets and textiles are manufactured to strict quality and environmental standards by licensed partners.  The Laneve integrity programme not only gives assurance of product traceability to identifiable farmers, but also the confidence of responsibly sourced materials.

Wools of New Zealand select partners for the Laneve programme who are committed to providing excellence in style and sustainability.  All Laneve™ products are made from 100% Laneve wool, sustainably produced and traceable right back to individual farms on the lush, rolling pastures of New Zealand.

Lavinia Engleman, SBID’s Marketing Manager says “We are really pleased that Wools of New Zealand has recognised the opportunity bought by the Society of British Interior Design and the International Design Awards to promote its Laneve brand to an international audience who are hungry for innovative and sustainable interiors.  SBID has worked with Wools of New Zealand before and we know they bring real integrity along with a portfolio of sustainable products that will be of interest to our members.”

The SBID International Design Awards ceremony will be held in London on November 29th.

bbc manchester

Laneve Wool within Camira Fabrics “Blazer” creating an impcat in the new BBC Media City
– Photo courtesy Camira Fabrics –

Lambs and Dolphins


I normally only blog once per week – but I just had to get this one out there…

British company Camira use our Laneve lambswool from the rolling pastures of the South Island of New Zealand to make their very popular Blazer fabric. Camira have partnered with Wools of New Zealand and are part of our integrity programme. This not only gives them assurance of product traceability to identifiable farmers, but also the confidence of responsible farming which protects the delicate eco-system and supports the endangered Hector’s Dolphin.

Dan Ojari, award-winning Royal College of Arts graduate, has produced a new stop-motion animation entitled Lambs and Dolphins that visually illustrates how Camira’s Blazer fabric and our Laneve programme help the Hector’s Dolphin as part of our,

Wool for a Better World programme.

Take a moment to enjoy Lambs and Dolphins…

Getting to Source.

We like to think that we are pretty decent folk.  We treat our partners fairly, we communicate honestly and we do our bit for the planet and its inhabitants as an organisation.   So we choose to do business with other organisations of a similar culture.

One of our partners, Camira is passionate about sustainability.  It’s in everything they do as a company.  Not just a mission statement in a brochure but really truly a part of their everyday operations.

To pull this off means partnering with suppliers that share their belief in doing things right, not just for the planet but for the people they employ and the people they interact with.

It is really impressive to see people who care this much swing into action.

Camira keeps asking how to reduce their footprint, how to get better at innovation, how to be a better company…   And they keep us on our toes.

Camira in the wool shed (with sheep)

Camira in the wool shed (with sheep)

They care so much about the integrity of their products that they sent their Supply Partner Manager 12,000 miles to visit our farms in New Zealand to explain why Camira must have superior quality wool fibre.

This was a journey not just to see the world’s most sustainable fibre production for themselves,  they also went to teach.   When you share your passion and your vision with your suppliers they buy into your mission.  So we now have farmers that are even more in love with growing wool and a customer that is even more certain that our wool is the ultimate sustainable material.

I hope your customers respect you enough to make this kind of commitment – we are chuffed.

John Quarmby explains why.

John Quarmby explains why.

Hector’s Dolphin and the Lambs

New Zealand sheep and the Hector’s Dolphin

Here is a story that captures the escence of Laneve.

Laneve wool farmers in New Zealand take special care of the land which is critical in protecting the habitat of the Hector’s Dolphin, a protected species that lives only in New Zealand. Our Laneve farms are part of an integrity programme that ensures the land and the waterways are kept pure for the benfit of the creatures that live there and for future generations to enjoy.

Camira Fabrics use Laneve wool to make their Blazer fabric and make a donation for every metre sold to the New Zealand Whale and Dolphin Trust.

the full story is HERE

See the dolphin story in this short animation…