There’s no doubt the global Covid pandemic has had a profound impact on consumer preferences, with people wanting to know more about where products come from and how they are made.
The sustainability, health and environmental impact of a product, along with a strong interest in it being locally-made, now play a greater role in purchasing decisions.
Being biodegradable, hygienic, naturally fire retardant and sustainably produced, New Zealand wool is of increasing interest to consumers.
We’ve recently seen one of the country’s largest retailers of furniture and bedding, Big Save Furniture, launch a range using woollen padding and upholstery.
There are also other novel uses of the fibre, from using it for packaging and hygiene products to making boat hulls from it, that aim to replace products derived from petroleum with wool.
This renewed interest in the fibre is important, as each new product creates another market for wool, and with it the potential for increased demand and improved prices over time.
Innovations like these can also increase public awareness of the benefits of wool in other products, and their success is likely to encourage other manufacturers to join in.
While these new and innovative wool products will take time to scale up, and patience will be needed before farmers see higher prices, it’s clear wool’s special qualities, and our expertise in the producing the fibre, stands New Zealand in good stead when the world wakes up to its potential.