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Fabric Agent

Sue Wood

On her love for natural fabrics…

I’m incredibly lucky to work with lovely fabrics using beautiful natural merino and organic fibres from sustainable sources. Merino sheep are readily raised in New Zealand and Australia and their fleece is in high demand so it achieves optimal prices on the world market which in turn gives the growers a good return – great for our industry!

On inspiration…

I find it everywhere – from my clients and suppliers to overseas travel. I was in Vietnam last year where most of the circular knitting for this market is now done (fabulous state-of-the-art facilities). Europe late last year was a highlight. Both France and Spain are such fashion-forward cities. This year in Vancouver I loved seeing merino taking off in skiwear, mountain biking clothing and general fashion.

On running a self-made business…

I started selling fabric in 1989 and I love having my own business although the fashion industry is challenging.Increasingly more and more garment manufacturing is moving offshore as it becomes uneconomical to produce in New Zealand. Lots of the infrastructure (including CMT factories and cutting facilities etc) have been closed and sewing is no longer taught in schools. 

On being grateful …

Being able to spend quality time together as a family is always the best. My son and his family live in Vancouver where I also have a couple of key customers so I am able to travel there annually. I have lots of family in New Zealand – sisters, brother, nieces and nephews – and my mother lives with us. We all get together regularly.

On living in New Zealand…

We have such easy access to the wonderful outdoors – beaches, bush walks or our own backyards, assisted by a great climate. A spot close to my heart is Opoutere. Sitting behind a 500 metre-deep forest is this beautiful untouched Coromandel beach with no houses on the seafront. Plus there’s gorgeous surf and great bush walks!