28 Oct 2009

New NZ wool brands to go on sale in US

12:49 pm on 28 October 2009

New brands promoting New Zealand wool will start to appear on carpets going on sale in the United States in the next few months.

The two companies behind new strong wool initiatives have launched brands designed to lift consumer awareness about the benefits of using wool rather than synthetic fibres in carpets.

They specifically highlight the environmental and sustainability attributes of New Zealand-grown wool, all aimed at restoring prices and demand for the type of wool that makes up the bulk of this country's production.

Wool Partners International, a joint venture between PGG Wrightson and a new farmer co-operative, has been signing carpet manufacturers in the United States to use its "Laneve" brand.

Chief executive Ian Abercrombie says it now has 10 brand partners there after signing agreements with another two large manufacturers and retailers. They are Masland and Fabrica.

Mr Abercrombie says Wool Partnership International is still talking with some carpet manufacturers, but does not aim to have any more than 12 - 15 partners for the Laneve brand.

It will make its first appearance on carpet ranges launched at US trade fairs in the coming northern winter.

On top of that, more than 120 international manufacturers are still using the long established Fern-mark brand.

Elders also

Meanwhile, Elders expects carpets carrying its new 'Just Shorn' brand to be released in the US early next year.

It has an agreement with CCA Global Partners, a major international carpet retailer, to supply New Zealand wool for luxury carpets and rugs to be made in the US.

Managing director Stuart Chapman says Elders is also talking to manufacturers who will be making the carpets and the brand will be launched at the CCA trade show at the end of January.

He says there's been plenty of interest from farmers in supplying wool for the US carpet venture.