Unlocking the power of Wool

Amidst a global climate crisis, finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint and increase sustainability is at front of mind for many Kiwis, looking for ways to use local products that will make a difference and resonate globally. 

Wool is a sustainable product we have in New Zealand that just keeps on giving. Our sheep keep growing it! The strong and pliable nature of wool means it’s an incredibly versatile, renewable and natural product. Here are three New Zealand companies which have created products you might not believe are made from wool.

Is redefining the possibilities of wool and accelerating the world’s transition to natural materials, one woolen pellet at a time. Started by young Kiwi inventor Logan Williams, Shear-Edge has proven that naturally reinforced materials can be lighter, stronger and harder than plastics and other non-renewables. Today, Shear Edge is harnessing the power of wool with radically innovative, state of the art materials engineering. Using their patented Keravos technology, they are combining wool with any existing polymer to create naturally enhanced pellets which can be made into almost anything. In fact, they have just made the world’s first woolen catamaran, and this is just the beginning.

Superior healing, hypoallergenic, sterile, breathable, biodegradable, and beautiful. What on earth could we be describing? Adhesive plasters and bandages! The good old-fashioned plastic plaster has had an extreme makeover – wool edition and is about to make the world a better place with a winning combo of superior functionality and sustainability. In the heart of New Zealand’s Mackenzie Country, the humble sticking plaster is being made with hyperfine Merino wool. Tried and tested by humans in the harshest conditions during Alaska’s Iditarod Trail, the world’s toughest ultra-marathon, these plasters went the distance. And what’s best? When these bandages are disposed of, they biodegrade, releasing valuable nutrients back into the earth. No single-use plastics here! 

Disposable nappies and sanitary items have helped to simplify our modern lives – they’re hygienic and easy to use – but they’ve complicated our natural world. According to National Geographic's Footprint documentary, every nappy contains the equivalent of a cup of crude oil in plastic materials and they take hundreds of years to break down. A New Zealand mother and daughter duo started Woolchemy, a wool technology company which makes intelligent ecological materials out of our favourite fibre: wool. Together they have developed a proprietary super absorbency process and a range of biodegradable textiles for hygiene manufacturers, suitable for both reusable and single-use hygiene products.

Looking for somewhere using natural materials in amazing ways? We know a place.