Merino clothing brand confident in quality product despite 'disappointing' wool market

Merino clothing brand confident in quality product despite 'disappointing' wool market

Devold NZ Manager Craig Smith has just recently returned to Aotearoa from leading a delegation over to Norway, the home of Merino clothing brand Devold.

Smith took the group of 17 wool growers who all supply wool to Devold to give them a chance to follow their wool all the way through the process and see what happens to it after leaving their farms.

As part of the trip, the group also travelled to a trade fair in Munich, Germany where they got to see one of Devold's latest garments a 100% wool cycling top which they recently won an award for.

Smith told REX host Dominic George the growers also got the opportunity to sit down and speak honestly with some journalists and have an honest, frank conversation discussion around what's happening on farm and what consumers are talking about.

"Sometimes it's like Chinese whispers, someone will say something on the other side of the world and by the time it gets back to the growers, the grower is like 'oh my god I've got to give up farming' type of stuff," he said.

"Having that direct link from grower to market and from grower to journalist, telling the truth was great."

The issue of animal welfare came up during these chats which Smith said was really insightful for both sides of the conversation.

Animal welfare organisation PETA has recently spoken up calling for an alternative as they oppose the idea of using animal wool for human clothing and products.

Smith assured George that Devold does everything it can to make sure it only buys wool from suppliers farming at the highest standards of animal welfare.

"You just get on and do what we're doing and make sure that what we are doing either on farm or in production, right from the fleece all the way to the shop is striving to be the best we can and that's what we're doing."

Wool prices for both fine wool and strong wool at the end-of-season wool sales have left Smith disappointed but said it will have absolutely no impact on the quality of Devold products

"We can see that if we buy the right quality wool at the beginning, which we are, then we can make great garments and then our consumers have the best experience they can have.

"The open cry market at the moment is pretty sad but for the Devold growers that have got contracts in place their on-farm costs have gone up but hopefully with these contracts they've got some real stability in there."

Listen to the full chat between Devold NZ Manager Craig Smith and Dominic George above.

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