Wednesday, 13 April 2022 13:55

Increasing consumer demand for wool carpet

Written by  Staff Reporters
John McWhirter, chief executive of Wools of New Zealand. John McWhirter, chief executive of Wools of New Zealand.

Wools of New Zealand is reporting more demand for wool carpets with a 50% rise in wool sales through its retailers.

“Wool carpets now accounts for a growing proportion of our partners’ retail sales”, says John McWhirter, chief executive of Wools of New Zealand (WNZ).

“This rising demand mean wool’s share of the carpet market has grown by more than 350,000 kilograms of wool. It’s a clear indication that more New Zealanders are considering sustainable floor options for their homes.”

Last year, WNZ partnered with Flooring Xtra and other independent retailers to launch wool carpets to the market. 

“Wool-based flooring now accounts for a significant part of our sales revenue and we couldn’t be happier,” says FlooringXtra chief executive Tony TeAu.

“In the last six months, we have seen consumers consistently walking into our stores asking specifically for carpets made from wool.”

McWhirter says next month WNZ will be welcoming on board additional independent and retail chains to market wool carpets.

“The feedback from retailers we are getting is that consumers are seeking sustainable, renewable and biodegradable carpet made from wool grown right here in New Zealand. Wool’s carbon footprint, which is lower than synthetic, is increasingly in step with consumer expectations.”

One of the key barriers to increasing sales of wool carpets in the past has been affordability, says McWhirter.

“WNZ carpet is priced competitively compared with synthetic carpets, meaning New Zealanders have a genuine choice between a synthetic product or a natural product direct from WNZ’s farmer-growers.

“We firmly believe carpets don’t have to cost the earth. Our goal is to grow the consumption of strong wool in the market by making wool carpet affordable to the majority of Kiwis. We can achieve this by utilising modern high volume manufacturing operations, without impacting on quality, and taking costs out of the supply chain.

“Carpet moves significant volumes of wool. For our growers, this captures greater returns and increases the demand for wool. In line with the increase in wool carpet sales, the price of wool has begun to increase.”

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