The Natural Choice: NZ Wool

Wool is the epitome of style and desirability. With a premium placed on health and our environment, it is astonishing to think that we ever abandoned this natural, sustainable fibre in favour of synthetic alternatives.

In the words of interior designer Robert Macfarlane, “We are missing out if we don’t bring home-grown wool into every aspect of design and construction.”

An ambassador for the Campaign for Wool NZ, he consistently champions the New Zealand aesthetic.

“I’ve always been committed to our strong New Zealand heritage, and to making an impact on sustainable design.”

He says he’s thrilled that demand for the country’s high quality strong wool is on the rise. Both in New Zealand, and within critical export markets, the value of wool is increasing. 75% of wool purchasers in the United States say they would buy Kiwi woollen products again.

While wool was once “forgotten about” due to the market being flooded by cheap, synthetic alternatives, Robert notes that this natural, breathable super-fibre has incredible potential for application in all residential and commercial projects. “The obvious is the return to woollen carpets which can save 8-13% of heating and cooling costs,” says Robert, “but the uptake of woollen insulation is exponential.”

Perhaps less well known are wool’s acoustic assets, durability, fire retardancy, and air purification properties. “Wool drapery can act like a filter, improving internal air quality,” says Robert, “and of course, it is biodegradable so it’s a no-brainer for a sustainable future.”

He says he’s excited about the many uses for Kiwi wool in the home, citing apparel and homeware designer Liz Mitchell as a fantastic proponent of wool’s amazing attributes. “Using felting, she is creating bespoke designs, art, and homewares that transform spaces.”

The Campaign for Wool is a global initiative highlighting wool as an eco-friendly, comfortable, and durable fibre, and a preferred alternative to disposable options. Established in New Zealand in 2011, the charity aims to increase the value of wool, from end consumer back to farm gate.

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