21 Jul 2015

Woolly alternative to polar fleece uniforms

8:51 am on 21 July 2015

A Banks Peninsula farmer who has started a company making school uniforms from merino wool says an increasing number of schools are looking for an alternative to polar fleece.

Merino Wool for School supplyies about 15 primary schools in the South Island with jerseys made in Christchurch from New Zealand-grown merino.

Direct from the sheep's back, the super fine Merino wool grown at Earnscleugh Station in New Zealand is destined for the catwalks of the world.

Super-fine Merino wool. Photo: RNZ / Steve Wilde

Company owner Carl Uren said at $75 each, his jerseys were warmer and more durable than polar fleece jumpers that sold about $50.

"It's about another $25 to have your kids in a merino jersey.

"If they're wearing it for a couple of years, that's only about $12 extra a year to have your kids in a product that's produced and grown in New Zealand rather than a plastic Chinese polar fleece.

"If it takes off a bit more, hopefully we can line ourselves up with some farmers who may be able to supply wool direct for Merino Wool for School contracts.

"Then we can trace it right back to the farmer, and have them as part of the whole picture, which we hope might be appealing for some farmers out there one day."

Mr Uren said he would stick to farming cross-bred sheep on Banks Peninsula as his land was not suitable for merino sheep.

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