Wednesday, 18 November 2020 08:55

Dispelling wool's myths

Written by  David Anderson
Paul Alston says wool is the forgotten fibre and we need to be telling it's story. Paul Alston says wool is the forgotten fibre and we need to be telling it's story.

Paul Alston believes that when comparing wool and synthetic carpets, wool wins every time.

 

“It is time we started dispelling the myths about wool,” he told Rural News. “Wool is a far better product. It is the forgotten fibre, and we need to be telling its story.”

Alston, as chief executive of Bremworth, is putting his company’s money where his mouth with its recent move to only produce 100% wool and natural fibre carpets.

“We didn’t believe we could be authentic about promoting the wool story if we were selling synthetic carpets and that is why we have moved to 100% natural fibres only,” he says.

Alston believes the key to telling the wool ‘story’ is reconnecting with consumers.

“It will see us heavily promoting wool’s benefits to consumers, as well as incentivising retailers,” he explains. “Science will also play an important role. We have to back up all our claims with the appropriate science and research.”

Alston says the company is already working with MPI’s Sustainable Food and Fibre Fund (SFF) in regard to things such as the superior odour, staining and fire-retardant properties of wool carpets compared with synthetics.

Alston concedes that while strong wool growers in NZ are facing tough times with record low prices, he believes that there is a good future. “The reality 60% of NZ’s strong wool goes into soft flooring, so if more people buy wool carpets – wool prices will increase.

“The industry needs a north star that it can rally behind and follow.”

Alston hopes that Bremworth’s move to 100% wool and natural fibres will be the NZ wool industry’s ‘north star’ and a catalyst for change.

He claims that the company’s move to 100% natural fibre is already creating waves in the industry – with reports of competitors following suit.

“NZ is the best at making wool carpets; we cannot compete in size and scale in synthetics. We need to concentrate on what we do best.”

Alston believes the world is ready as sustainability becomes a more and more important factor in consumer decisions.

“It takes something likes 22,000 plastic bag equivalents to carpet a house in synthetic carpet. In the US, around 5% of landfill is taken up with synthetic carpets,” he explains.

“That is not sustainable; things have to change – wool is the answer.”

More like this

Carpet maker's blast from the past

Following its announcement earlier this year of quitting synthetics and only using 100% NZ wool, carpet manufacturer Cavalier Bremworth has now also changed its name.

Keeping shearing sheds safe

With safety at the forefront of all farm activity, there is no better time than now to assess the safety in your shearing shed.

Featured

Merlo goes greener

Obviously not wishing to get left behind by some of its competitors, Italian manufacturer Merlo is planning to add to its green-liveried telehandler range- with another set of green credentials in the shape of an all-new, all-electric battery-powered Merlo e-Worker model.

 

Growing a family legacy

What started with planting some acacia trees 25 years ago has become a multi-generational passion for the Hunt family in Te Awamutu.

Moves to improve winter grazing requirements

DairyNZ says it supports recommendations to the Government from an advisory group looking to improve winter grazing rules for farmers and achieve better environmental outcomes.

National

Machinery & Products

Good growth year for Claas

While many sectors of the agricultural machinery were hit by the ravages of Covid-19, the effects of the pandemic did…

Green machine frugal on fuel

According to the industry respected independent DLG PowerMix test, John Deere appears to be the best choice of tractor for…

App takes pressure off

TRS Tyre & Wheel, owned by Trelleborg Wheel Systems, has introduced the TLC Plus App to the New Zealand market.

New MF 5S series arrives

Just before Christmas, Massey Ferguson quietly released details of the successor to its popular MF 5700S range in the shape…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Seriously?

Your old mate reckons the nomination of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards (NZDIA) management team as a finalists in…

Good riddance!

The Hound reckons 2021 is off to a rollicking start with news that professional whinger and anti-farming drone Martin Taylor…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter