Wool Season

It’s Friday afternoon, the last friday before Christmas.

This will be the last WoolBlog post for 2013.   The blog has been found 27,844 times as I write this.  You might be visitor number 27,845 (sorry no prizes).

A friend sent me a Christmas message today with the picture below.  Although obviously missing one of the best opportunities of the year to send sheep pictures about, I think this is a brilliant reminder of why we need natural and therefor biodegradable products.

Where are the sheep!

Where are the sheep!

After we unwrap our presents next week lets all recycle the packaging.

It’s time to put down your iPad, turn off your PC, Put the phone on silent and go have a brilliant festive season with the things that really matter – the people you care about.

Look forward to more sheep antics and sustainable woolly rants in 2014 – thanks for reading WoolBlog

Natural’s Not Enough

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.

New Zealand wool factory

Wool growing in New Zealand

Brick in The Wall

Not just another brick in the wall…

sheep

Not just another sheep near the wall.

Wools of New Zealand has been working feverishly hard to connect growers with consumers and its paying off.

We have a bunch of Kiwi wool growers motivated enough to commit their wool into our programme to add value to their wool and present it to consumers around the world who are after products with real integrity.

We have such an amazing story to tell and the timing is absolutely perfect. Right when UK consumers are wondering if their beef burger is actually more related to Mr. Ed we have another major UK lifestyle brand “Crucial Trading” launching 100% New Zealand wool products all traceable back to our growers.

Two Laneve products have been selected for use in the Campaign for Wool’s Somerset house exhibition in London next month!
We just launched Crumbwool, a new underlay made from 100% recycled textile fibre and giving proceeds to the Woodland Trust.
In America we are preparing for our Spring Sale event where we will connect Americans with Authentic New Zealand wool carpets.

The reason to brag is that, well, we are in a position to, feeling positive about the future and excited about all the hard but fun work ahead.
There are always those that will decide not to come on our journey, those who do not share our vision and believe that marketing is wasted effort.  My message to those guys is “watch this space” but I’m not going to dedicate a blog post into explaining why they should join.  I am going to get on with promoting the vast amount of wool that the growers who want to make a difference have already committed.
While the blokes who just don’t get it sit and complain about the state of the industry, I have the privilege of meeting with the heads of the UK’s most important carpet buying groups who all want to work with our growers to promote beautiful carpets.

As for the stalwarts who actually put effort in trying to stop our good work and tell lies. Yes unfortunately even the wool industry has a few people who still think the way to get ahead is by knocking the opposition.  We just ignore them.  If you want to compete try and out-perform us, try and see if you can be as good at us at what we do..  Lets lift the game not focus on politics..  Silly people.. never mind… I digress…

If you are wondering why I called this post “Brick in the wall” partly I just wanted to use the picture, but also Wool can’t be sold as a commodity, another brick in the wall, it has to be marketed professionally as something special.

Lets get on with it!

Sheep Jubilee

Another Purple Sheep Production.

The sheep celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in their usual quirky style.

Stars of Sheep Jubilee

Like that. Go and watch SHEEP STORY

Super Fibre

After decades of research scientists have discovered the super-fibre.

Imagine if you can a textile fibre that can be used as the foundation for clothing, upholstery and flooring.   Indeed anything you touch.   What features and benefits would such a fibre have?

The Super Fibre

It would need to be comfortable, safe, protective and sustainable.

A fibre has been discovered that has a vast range of benefits for humans to wear and interact with.

The Super fibre is flame resistant, anti-static, it absorbs indoor air toxins, and it is completely non-allergenic and good for asthma sufferers.  The super fibre can actually control indoor air humidity.  Use of it in homes and offices can control noise, and can cushion falls.  So next time you drop your precious gadget it will have a soft landing!

Super fibre is also completely renewable and biodegradable.   It seems every possible feature has been thought of.

The military in both the USA and the UK are using it as it won’t burn and melt into the skin like a normal synthetic fibre.   The Queens guards are wearing it and it is even used to protect the future King of England who is running a campaign to promote it.

It is even being used to cover high performance snooker tables and tennis balls.

The name of the Super Fibre is wool.

It seems that after decades of man stuffing about with oil to extrude fibres like nylon and polyester to make plastic surfaces he still has not come close to replicating all the natural benefits of wool.

Man has always comforted and protected himself with soft floor-coverings and clothing but it seems that while oil was cheap he thought he could out design nature herself.     All he had to do was borrow some fibre from his sheep, which will re-grow new fibre for him every year.

The queens guards wearing red coloured wool - the super fibre.