Wool

Online platform for selling wool to launch this month

[9 May/Radio NZ] Later this month, the Natural Fibre Exchange will go live and be a means of buying and selling wool. It was set up by Wools of New Zealand, Alliance Group and CRA International. Wool New Zealand Chief Executive, Rosstan Mazey, said he hoped the market would appeal to people who bought wool...

Icebreaker buyer VF Corp used sweatshop labour

[4 May/Stuff] Icebreaker was recently sold to VF Corporation, owner of a range of brands including Timberland, North Face and Wrangler, and in its consideration of the transaction the Overseas Investment Office explored allegations in relation to the company’s poor history around worker conditions, including evidence of mistreatment of workers in Asian factories over the...

Merino concerns

[17 April/Rural News] According to Federated Farmers High Country Industry Group Chairperson, Simon Williamson, the sale of Icebreaker to VF Corporation could leave the New Zealand merino production industry with too many eggs in one basket. Mr Williamson said the companies add up to a big chunk of where NZ Merino Company wool goes and...

Icebreaker sold to VF Corporation, owner of Vans and The North Face, for $288m

[9 April/The Country] Icebreaker had been sold for $288 million, according to the Overseas Investment Office. The company was bought by VF Corporation in November last year. In their decision, the office said the new owners had the relevant experience and acumen and were of good character. Chief Executive of VF Corporation, Steve Rendle, said...

Wool still seeking a purpose

[6 April/Farmers Weekly] Few people see value in crossbred wool fibre and producers see little merit investing in wool promotion as customers no longer value crossbred wool. The Wool Research Organisation of New Zealand noted that synthetic fibres had eliminated many of the advantages of crossbred wool. They saw the future for crossbred in deconstructing...

Wool stained yellow by hot summer weather

[26 March/Rural Life] Due to an unusually hot and humid summer, wool in the North Island has been stained yellow which has made it harder to sell, with prices suffering as a consequence. Hawke’s Bay Wool Broker, Philippa Wright, said some North Island farmers weren’t affected but overall there was a difference. Ms Wright said...

Report underlines benefits of natural fibres

[21 March/Otago Daily Times] The New Zealand Merino Company is investing in research to look at the impacts of microplastics on the environment and the benefits of natural fibres as a solution. Its Chief Executive, John Brakenridge, said New Zealand was in a position to provide sustainable fibre alternatives. Synthetic textiles created microplastics through abrasion...

Champion concerned about future of shearing

[13 March/Radio NZ] World Champion Sheep Shearer, John Kirkpatrick, was worried about the future of shearing as both a profession and as a sport. Mr Kirkpatrick has won 149 open finals over his career, including the Golden Shares four times and the world championship last year. He was worried that there weren’t enough younger people...

Low financial returns have New Zealand’s crossbreed wool industry in a crisis

[18 January/ The Country] Campaign for Wool NZ Trust chairperson, Renata Apatu, says the race is now on to reconnect consumers with products that maximise the incredible natural properties of wool.  He hopes for a new era of manufacturing, using robotic technologies to produce niche woollen goods for consumers hungry for sustainable products otherwise it...

US company Smartwool gets quality and back-story from New Zealand merino

[8 December/ Stuff] Leaders from Smartwool have visited the Stonyhurst farm in North Canterbury. Smartwool was a merino apparel company from the United States which sourced 95 percent of its wool from New Zealand. Smartwool Brand President, Travis Campbell said the reason the wool had always been sourced from New Zealand was due to the...

Wools of NZ strategies for the future

[30 November/ NZ Herald] Wools of New Zealand held their Annual General Meeting in Christchurch last week. Wools of New Zealand Chairman, Mark Shadbolt said the company would drive towards revolutionising the industry through a focus on research and development, the development of innovative technologies, and product authenticity initiatives. Mr Shadbolt added that ongoing success...

Wool bosses happy with performance

[28 November/ NZ Herald] Wools of New Zealand Chairman, Mark Shadbolt said he was satisfied with the company’s performance for the 2017 financial year amid challenging market conditions. The company reported a net loss after tax of $321k, compared with a net profit after tax of $1.48 million in the previous year. Mr Shadbolt said...

High-end Norwegian merino clothing manufacturer targets high-country farmers

[20 November/Stuff] Two representatives from Devold, a high-end Norwegian merino clothing company, visited the livestock pavilion at the Canterbury A&P show. Since last year Devold has sourced merino wool from five South Island stations. Devold Chief Executive Cathrine Stange said the stations were taken on as partners. Stations include Armidale from Central Otago and Blairich...

Icebreaker inks $100m 10-year supply contract for NZ merino wool

[10 November/New Zealand Herald] Icebreaker has signed its longest ever supply contract with New Zealand merino wool growers and The New Zealand Merino Company, worth $100 million over ten years. The deal is designed to ensure a long-term supply of merino wool fibre. Pricing will be at a premium in recognition of ongoing loyalty. Icebreaker...

NZ company Fifth Breath launches woollen yoga mat

[7 November/ Stuff] Fifth Breath has launched the first wool yoga mat. Co-Founders Dana McKenzie and Irina Arya have spent the past year working to retain the functionality expected by yoga followers. The Co-Founders are engineers, and a passion for wool and yoga prompted them to build Fifth Breath Ltd, a company aiming to provide...

Wool prices lift, but long way to go

[2 November/New Zealand Herald] ASB Senior Rural Economist Nathan Penny said that the worst appeared to be over for wool prices, as they increased 25 percent since record low levels in July this year.  However, he also warned that the industry was not out of the woods just yet, as prices remain below the 10-year...

Fine wool market strikes decades-long high at Christchurch wool sale

[30 October/Stuff] Mid-micron hogget and fine wools reached record high prices at the Christchurch wool sale last week. Increased demand for quality wool resulted in strong competition amongst buyers, as the season for fine wool draws to a close.

NZ wool yoga mat ready for launch

[23 October/Otago Daily Times] Dana McKenzie has been at OM Yoga in London this weekend, the biggest yoga gathering in Europe, to launch her wool yoga mats. Mrs McKenzie believes the traditional synthetic fibre mats are not aligned with the principles of yoga, and that her mats can carve out a premium niche in the...

Whakatu wool scour to close

[24 October/New Zealand Herald] Cavalier Wool Holdings has decided to close its Whakatu Wool Scour on November 9 this year due to a drop in wool volume. Its operations will be incorporated into the wool scouring plant at Awatoto. Cavalier Woolscourers Ltd Chief Executive Tony Cunningham said that he hopes to retain as many employees...

Wool, a work of art

[10 October/Farmers Weekly] A design competition in the California Bay Area, has turned NZ wool rugs into works of art. The competition was set up by Carlisle, which distributes Carrfields Primary Wool’s range of New Zealand wool carpets and rugs in North America under the Just Shorn brand. The designs were 6’ x 9’ in...

50th Waimate Shears hailed a success

[15 October/ Stuff] The 50th Waimate Shears were a success and the first at the Waimate’s new $800,000 pavilion. The event included a celebratory anniversary dinner and wool handling and shearing competitions on Friday and Saturday. Some top industry names competed, including 16-time Golden Shears Champion Sir David Fagan and two-time World Champion Wool Handler...

Mixed results for fine and strong wool at Christchurch sale

[16 October/ Stuff] Fine wool sales increased at last week’s Christchurch wool sale; however, crossbred wools struggled. There were mixed results for a top offering from all wool breeds. Core Asian markets were quiet, including for crossbred hogget fleece. 31 to 34 microns crossbred fleece was 3-7 percent less expensive, 35 microns and stronger was...

Wool fights back in global campaign to combat synthetics

[6 October/ Stuff] Best Wool Carpets, a leading European carpet producer, is preparing to launch a campaign promoting the virtues of New Zealand wool. It aims to counter some of the falsehoods propagated by the synthetic industry, such as that wool carpet fades in UV light. Best Wool Carpets Chief Executive Yvar Monasch said the...

Wool prices go backwards after coming off bottom at Christchurch sale

[2 October/ Stuff] The Christchurch Wool sale produced mixed results last week. The offering included good quality merino and halfbred types as well as crossbred hogget wool. Some reoffered wool also appeared after weeks of improved prices. Pre-lamb crossbred fleece remained firm and poorer styled crossbred fleece struggled. Crossbred wool from 31 to 34 microns...