Wools of New Zealand executives pose with the award for their collaborative development of a sustainable textile. Pictured are (left to right):  Steven Parsons, innovations manager; Elise Demboski, North American market manager; and David Hammond, European market manager.


Wools of New Zealand has been awarded for its collaborative work in the development of WoJo, a sustainable textile developed for use by Starbucks. The award was presented on behalf of the 2010 Campaign for Wool, convened by the HRH Prince of Wales, in association with The Society of British Interior Design (SBID). Vanessa Brady, president of SBID presented Wools of New Zealand with the award at a ceremony held in London on October 11.

Development of WoJo was conceptualized by The Formary, a New Zealand-based design company charged with the challenge of converting Starbuck’s jute coffee sacks into a sustainable fabric. The Formary turned to New Zealand Trade and Enterprise who recommended Wools of New Zealand’s sustainable Laneve traceable wool.

 “Laneve traceable wool is sourced only from accredited farms which meet high standards in regard to animal welfare, land management, farming techniques and environmental practices,” said David Hammond, European market manager for Wools of New Zealand. “By blending Laneve wool with recycled jute, we’re able to play a vital role in the development of this genuinely sustainable and ethically produced interior textile.”

Camira Fabrics Ltd. of Mirfield, West Yorkshire, England, was selected to manufacture the fabric. The company is a recent recipient of the prestigious Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development 2010. Group sales and marketing director of Camira, Andrew Schofield said the company welcomed the opportunity to help develop WoJo and tailored the fabric to meet Starbuck’s strict performance requirements.

Camira received an award for their contribution to the creation of WoJo along with The Formary, and Dell’Orco & Villani, manufacturers of textile recycling equipment.

 “The collaborative awards presented for WoJo celebrate innovation and are a welcome endorsement of the quality of this sustainable fabric,” said Thom Breslin, director of design, Starbucks U.K. and Ireland. “It recognizes the creative work behind this sustainable textile that is environmentally authentic. It will both enhance our store and compliment Starbucks design strategy.”

The new textile was unveiled as part of UK Wool Week and was featured at Starbucks’ flagship Conduit Street store in London’s West End. It will be rolled out across 8,000 Starbucks stores over the next five years.