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Rapid Decline In New Zealand Made Consumer Products: Merino Clothing

Merino clothing NZ has fallen out of favor, despite the fact that it once fueled the world economy and imperial development. Wool output is just a quarter of what it was in 1990, with cheaper and more adaptable synthetics and cotton mixes more suited to colors and mechanical handling taking its place.

There was a time when Merino clothing NZ was in high demand. The situation has now been reversed. New Zealand’s sheepmeat exports are increasing, while wool export profits have been declining for decades as synthetic fibers become more competitive. 

Evaluation In The Wool Market

Evaluation In The Wool Market

Like the merino clothing, there are many more types of different clothing coming. And when you are looking through the wool market evaluations, you will understand what is the main reason clothing like merino clothing sales are declining.

The synthetic wools and the threads are pretty effective for cold protection. And the cost is also not very high when you are comparing the prices with the natural wools. The price is relatively low. 

This is why most customers now focus on buying synthetic thread-made warm clothing. On the other hand, natural wool is very costly and beyond the reach of regular people.

Why Is Sheep Farming So Popular In New Zealand’s Culture?

Although sheep farming remains an integral part of New Zealand’s cultural identity, it is another economic sector that the remote South Pacific nation is retooling for a more globalized world.

According to government data, New Zealand’s sheep population fell from 70.21 million in 1982 to 31.1 million in 2011, as many sheep fields were utilized by dairy farms for other purposes. 

The roughly 17,000 sheep farmers that remain make money by selling their animals’ fleece. However, meat has supplanted wool as the principal source of income on many sheep farms.

According to government figures, the value of New Zealand’s yearly raw wool and manufactured wool product exports has decreased to around $700 million from $1.2 billion in 1990. 

Exports of lamb and mutton, on the other hand, have nearly tripled to $2.3 billion. Dairy exports have increased from $1.9 billion in 1992 to $14.1 billion after the popularity of merino clothing.

New Zealand Is The World’s Third-Largest Wool Producer

According to Beef and Lamb New Zealand, a farmer-owned industry organization, New Zealand is the world’s third-largest wool producer, behind Australia and China. According to a survey published last year by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, it supplies 45 percent of all carpet wool worldwide.

Despite this, more than 90% of New Zealand wool is shipped in raw form rather than finished items such as carpets or upholstery, making it sensitive to commodity market fluctuations for merino clothing. Many New Zealand wool growers see the worldwide popularity of synthetic-fiber rugs and carpets production as an existential danger.

How Is New Zealand Dealing With The Rapid Decline?

Sheep breeders are increasingly turning to hybrid types that generate more meat to boost their earnings. Farmers agreed, however, that having a single voice would help the wool sector promote New Zealand wool as a high-end fiber that, in their opinion, outperforms synthetic alternatives in key categories, including overall quality and environmental sustainability.

Unlike its dairy business, New Zealand’s wool industry is seen as highly fragmented. Despite a recent wave of consolidation, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group claimed that 35 wool exporters were operating across the country last year, “a significant level of decentralization in merino clothing” given the industry’s comparatively low export revenues.

Growers and industry leaders are also split on whether or not to reinstate a nationwide levy on sheep farmers who, until 2009, had backed an industry association called Meat and Wool New Zealand.


Woolgrowers have long thought that their sector would take care of itself, but there is now a compelling case to be made for merino clothing raw material natural wool over synthetic fibers. Regardless of how the industry evolves, New Zealand’s sheep will continue developing their woolly winter coats and require haircuts occasionally.

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