Wools of New Zealand has launched its first showroom in Christchurch as part of the Home Ideas Centre, a design space showcasing businesses thriving in New Zealand’s building industry.
The wool company says in the past year there has been a 50% rise - 350 tonnes - in local wool sales through its retailers - resulting in higher demand and higher prices for strong wool.
Last year, WNZ partnered with FlooringXtra and other independent retailers to launch wool carpets to the NZ 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."
TeAu told Rural News that his company's wool carpet sales had increased by 50% in the past 18 months.
Meanwhile, WNZ chief executive John McWhirter says come May, it will be welcoming additional independent and retail chains to market wool carpets in NZ.
"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 lower carbon footprint is increasingly in step with consumer expectations."
He adds that one of the key barriers to increasing sales of wool carpets in the past has been affordability. However, McWhirter claims that with WZ carpet priced competitively with synthetic carpets, New Zealanders now have a genuine choice between a synthetic product or a natural product direct from farmer-growers.
"Our goal is to grow the consumption of strong wool in the market by making wool carpet affordable to the majority of Kiwis," he says. "We can achieve this by utilising modern high volume manufacturing operations without impacting on quality."