Advertorial from the Air New Zealand Koru Magazine and North & South Magazine.

Wool is not only durable and sustainable, it changes the atmosphere of your environment. Stephen McDougall reminds us not to be fleeced by alternatives.

Witnessing melted plastic in the aftermath of a fire was enough to convince architect Stephen McDougall (left) that wool was the way
of the future.

“Everything was petroleum-based, from the curtains down to the furnishings and it was all just dripping. But the woollen carpet was only a
bit charred.”

McDougall is a founding director of Wellington firm, Studio Pacific Architecture, which promotes the use of wool for everything from insulation to furnishings.

“Sustainability is now at the heart of all conversations. Wool is not just the best fibre in the world… it’s also the best fibre for the world.”

Wool is natural, durable, renewable and biodegradable. In terms of healthy living, wool is non-allergenic and breathable. It soaks up pollutant gases and has naturally high UV protection. Furthermore, it’s a very effective insulator and flame retardant.

“It’s our responsibility as architects and designers to influence people to consider one of the world’s most natural and environmental products in their house or office.”

McDougall says wool can change the atmosphere inside a building. “Two woollen rugs used as curtains didn’t remove the need for a dehumidifier in our daughter’s Otago student flat but it significantly reduced the issue. We put woollen insulation and drapes into our own house and the whole environment changed. The air quality changed. It was so much quieter, but not just acoustically; it felt quieter.”

As an ambassador for the Campaign for Wool (NZ), McDougall encourages people to take decisions back into their own hands.

“Wool should be a first choice. Look at labels when you’re buying. It’s like buying a whole-food product in the supermarket; a garment or a carpet should have one ingredient – wool. I think it’s time to take pride again in this most magic of products. It’s nature. It’s art. It’s time for a wool renaissance.”