Wool Lifestyle

Our New Zealand wool has impeccable attributes. The integrity of the fibre is outstanding with a lot of effort being poured into its credentials as a truly sustainable material.

None of this matters if we forget to mention how wonderful it is to experience life with wool in your habitat.

Our wool is life enhancing. Wool is a fibre evolved by nature over centuries to provide warmth and safety. It does not melt. Wool won’t attract oily stains like some synthetic fibre.  Wool can breathe and moderate humidity making it great for asthma sufferers. Wool absorbs noise unlike hard floors. Manufactured right 100% wool products will outlast other materials and keep looking good for a very long time.

But what really matters is that wool feels lovely.

People aspire to luxury, and people like to feel good about their investments.  We have the fibre that delivers a luxurious and responsible lifestyle.

anika

 

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

The Laneve Wool Life Cycle

The Laneve Wool Life Cycle

Here is the story of Laneve in info-graphic form… We can break it down to a few simple points..

  • World’s best farming practice
  • Shorn wool from happy free-range sheep
  • Excellence in quality
  • Stunning Colour and Design
  • Fully transparent supply chains
  • Renewable and sustainable materials

Take a look..  Click on the image and it will open in a new page.

The Laneve Wool Life Cycle

Wool improves Air Quality

WOOL IMPROVES INDOOR AIR QUALITY

Breathing is a really good life skill.  So maybe we should consider the quality of the air we breathe when we decorate our homes and offices.  Installing laminates and plastics won’t help you if you suffer from Asthma or other respiratory problems.

The build-up of indoor air contaminants has been a growing concern since the 1970’s. It was then that energy conservation methods were introduced, which minimized the flow of outside air into homes and buildings. Less access to outside air increases the concentration of contaminants in an indoor space, making the air unhealthy…even toxic.

Although many materials, including carpet, pass tests for minimum VOC emissions, wool goes a giant step further by absorbing the contaminants irreversibly in its structure, improving the quality of indoor air.

Wool is a natural fibre that has the ability to absorb indoor contaminants, including formaldehyde, sulphur-dioxide and nitrogen dioxide, and lock them into its core without re-releasing them. As such, wool improves indoor air and creates healthier working and living environments.

How Wool Works

The complex chemistry of wool fibre enables it to bind pollutant gases chemically in its structure. It has been estimated that wool carpets can continue purifying indoor air for up to 30 years.

New Zealand researchers, using a controlled environmental chamber, have demonstrated that wool carpet can reduce high levels of introduced formaldehyde to virtually zero in four (4) hours.

Studies by the US Gas Research Institute, which compared 35 building and furnishing materials, also showed that wool carpets have one of the highest removal rates of nitrogen dioxide. In contrast, the removal rate of synthetic carpets was less than half that of wool.

Research by the Environmental and Medical Sciences Division of the UK Atomic Energy Research Establishment has shown that large amounts of sulphur-dioxide are also irreversibly absorbed by wool carpets.

Wool carpet was shown to retain the gases when heated, as would occur with under-floor central heating, while nylon carpet, which absorbed nitrogen dioxide to a considerably lesser extent, also re-emitted it more readily

Wool is a highly complex fibre that has been created by nature over thousands of years.  It is simply not possible to get the benefits of wool from a fibre designed by man and made from crude oil.

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.