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.

How to Buy New Carpet

Talk to the right professional.

We, the people at Wools of New Zealand get a lot of phone calls from home owners wanting to know how to clean their carpet, which type of carpet is best, what products we can suggest etc.

I suspect people are looking to buy from an internet site, to get a bargain perhaps, and are missing out on the best advice you get by talking to an interior design professional or a carpet showroom.

Of course we are always polite, and try to be helpful. We do know a lot about wool carpets. But we don’t manufacture carpet and we don’t sell carpet. We grow really amazing wool fibre that we sell to the people that do make carpets and interior textiles.

Carpet is a major investment in the look, comfort and health of your home or office. It’s worth talking to somebody who can understand your specific lifestyle and suggest the product that is going to perform.

A professional will work to your budget, take care of the installation, suggest a care and maintenance plan and if anything should deviate from the plan sort it out.

I prepared a list of great carpet stores and put them here

link to Wools of New Zealand where to but carpet site

Find a carpet shop.

The internet is great for getting ideas, researching trends, finding local stores and understanding what options are out there. Just as you would not buy a new car without sitting in the showroom model and taking a spin, you shouldn’t make a large investment in your home without understanding the features and benefits of wool carpet.

I just carpeted the stairs at home, and its looks fabulous. After having wooden stairs for a few months I also notice the home is warmer, significantly quieter and importantly much safer.   I have a dog and a teenager, so a pattern helps disguise any pet hair or teenager collateral damage.

I also noticed that visitors go “wow” and don’t just say, “Oh you got a new beige carpet”.   Our new wool carpet is awesome.

dog on wool carpet

Dogs love wool carpet

fabulous laneve carpet

This is Fabulous colour Ruby by Crucial Trading on my stairs.

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.

Link

“All that is gold does not glitter”

 Being hand woven right now is the ‘Aulana Midas Rug’ created with Aulana technology. All the colours are created using Noble Bond’s remarkable invention that captures the science of pure gold to create colours in pure New Zealand wool.

midas rug aulana

The Midas rug is meticulously hand woven by crafts people at Obeetee

The Midas rug is coloured with pure gold but don’t expect it to shine yellow gold.

Aulana  uses colloidal dispersions of gold within the pores of the wool fibres to generate a boutique range of colours resulting from the localised surface plasmon resonance interaction of light with the surface electrons of the colloidal gold particles. A similar approach was used in early glass making for Gothic Cathedrals, where gold was dispersed as a colloid in the glass matrix to generate red-purple colours. The Aulana technology captures and extends this approach to currently provide a range of colours in shades of pink, mauve, grey and blue.

Wools of New Zealand and Noble Bond Ltd, and our global partners, SoFarSoNear, Grentex, and Obeetee have joined hands to create the Midas rug which will be available to view, by appointment only, at SoFarSoNear’s London showroom in Grosvenor Place.

More information on the Aulana website

The design is by SoFarSoNear and in its final form will represent three circular pieces with the third being a tear drop as below.  This ‘ear ring’ design has been created to illustrate the precious nature of this one-of-a kind remarkable piece.

the midas rug in laneve wool

Rendering of the Midas Rug

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

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