Iconic Kiwi clothing company Swanndri has committed to source its wool from The New Zealand Merino Company as it grows its market share domestically and overseas.
The supply deal will see Swanndri take a minimum of 30 tonnes of wool from NZM’s supply network of Merino, mid-micron and strong wool growers for use across Swanndri’s entire clothing and accessories range, from jackets and vests to baby blankets and luggage.
Strong wool, much of it sourced from Landcorp properties, will be used to produce iconic Swanndri jackets.
Swanndri chief executive Mark Nevin said the partnership with NZM would support the company’s plans for growth in both rural and urban markets in New Zealand and overseas.
“We require wool and New Zealand wool is best. NZM can supply us with the quantity of fibre we need and, most importantly, of the quality that we and our customers demand. It also ensures traceability to underline our New Zealand authenticity, which is particularly important in the Northern Hemisphere.”
A well-known brand with a 102-year history in New Zealand, Swanndri has grown its profile internationally, with retail partnerships in Europe, North America and Australia. It has also extended its product range beyond its traditional rural base to incorporate contemporary
designs to appeal to urban customers.
“Our rural market segment remains significant but, as a company, we have also had to change the way we look at what we do and the world we’re operating in. More and more people are living in cities and we’ve designed new, contemporary lines with urban consumers in mind, while retaining all the traditional attributes of Swanndri.”
Swanndri’s traditional retail presence is also evolving, with its apparel now available through New Zealand high street fashion leader Barker’s.
As well as contemporary design and proven performance, Mr Nevin said provenance was an increasingly important factor driving customer demand for Swanndri apparel.
“The New Zealand ‘story’ holds great appeal for consumers both here and overseas. In the case of our partnership with NZM, every product can be traced back to a New Zealand farm committed to the highest standards in animal welfare, environment and product quality. “That’s a significant and valuable differentiator for us in what are very competitive markets.”
NZM commercial manager Keith Ovens agreed. “We know from our experience with fine wool that certain brands place huge value in product sourced from New Zealand farms. For the past year, we’ve been extending this model to midmicron and strong wool and we’re achieving excellent success with new brand partnerships.
“These companies demand total confidence in the consistency and standards of supply. Sourcing fibre from our network of growers means these brands can guarantee the quality and integrity of the products they’re selling.”
Landcorp chief executive Steven Carden said the company was focused on ensuring the products farmed were what the end consumer wanted and valued.
“Our partnership with New Zealand Merino further strengthens our connection with consumer brands and partners such as Swanndri in the marketplace. As the country’s largest farmer we’re able to ensure consistent supply of our premium Pāmu wool, meeting the highest standards in quality and integrity while maximising the value of our wool clip.”