Keratin particles in wool are a game changer for farm-gate prices I Tom Hooper
Sarah is super excited about the future of wool after this episode - it is truly wool reimagined!
New Zealand scientists at the Wool Research Insitute (WRONZ) have been exploring new uses for strong wool - nature's miracle fibre that is costing farmers to shear for animal health reasons.
The game-changing development is the patented technology to break down the fibre into unique particles, powders and pigments with global export potential for applications as diverse as cosmetics, printing, luxury goods, and personal care.
"One of the massive advantages is by taking wool down to a particle level, we can create a particle that frankly feels fantastic against your skin, still has moisture absorption capability and still takes colour really well. We've attempted to maximise the strengths and the unique properties of wool whilst getting rid of maybe some of the things that have made it a challenge in modern markets,"explains Tom Hooper, Wool Source.
This week's Change Maker is the CEO of the newly formed Wool Source, Tom Hooper who will lead the WRONZ initiative with the goal of the three-year programme aims to prove the commercial viability of the new deconstructed wool particle products.
Sarah Perriam, host of Sarah's Country discussed with Tom:
Wool Source has access to world-first processes for deconstructing wool down to particle and cellular levels while maintaining the key performance features of the material.
The potential of wool particles is huge and they will need millions of tonnes of wool to service the demand. The world needs strong, renewable and sustainably produced materials. Keratin-rich wool is the ideal source.
Wool Source was born out of the New Uses for Strong Wool Partnership Programme, a joint research project between WRONZ and MBIE and led by Wool Industry Research Limited (WIRL) the wholly owned research arm of WRONZ. The programme’s objectives include identifying potential new uses for strong wool and generating transformational, high value, and high-volume opportunities for New Zealand’s strong wool-based industry.
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