Wool, obviously, is a fibre near and dear to our hearts at Crane Brothers. The foundational material of the majority of our tailored garments, it’s comfort, endurance and versatility is unmatched. Philippa Wright of Wright Wool Co. feels similarly. A founding member of the Campaign for Wool, she has recently launched the Wright Wool Pillow, a 100% wool pillow that uses specially crimped wool pearls, giving volume without weight or bulk. We chatted with her about her background in the wool trade and how she turned that knowledge into something renewable, recyclable and incredibly comfortable.
You’ve been involved in the wool industry for a long time - can you tell us about your background?
I have been involved in the wool industry for 44 years. I began as a shed hand on my return AFS scholarship to the USA as a filler before going to college. College never happened and I commenced a very unplanned trajectory to where I am now. My father was a wool buyer and classer in the Mackenzie Country, where I was able to get an introduction into the sheds both as a shed-hand and wool classer. I attended Massey University to do a Diploma in Wool and Wool Technology which led me to the wool brokering scene, initially in Wellington and then on to Napier. I spent 15 years fighting the system amongst a very traditional “old boys’ network” before being fortunate enough to be offered a partnership in a wool merchants business in Waipukurau, which I have owned outright for the past 24 years. Wright Wool, as it is now known, has developed into a niche service operator for my wool grower and exporting clients. Seven years ago we launched a wool knop business in the USA for insulation and pillows, which has morphed into The Natural Wool Company, selling pillows for home and hospitality. This encouraged us to recently develop and launch “The Wright Wool Pillow” for local consumption.