When was it started and why?
1969 to produce the world’s softest sheepskins.
What is the most unique/exciting aspect of the business?
The only New Zealand owned and operated Tannery.
What are you most proud of?
We take a waste-product of the food supply chain and transform it into something of high quality, value, and comfort. At Classic, we are driven by our responsibility to nature – to honour and respect, protect and sustain – and our desire to enhance the lives of families across the world, through little experiences of luxury and comfort.
Where is the product sold? Do you export?
All over the world! Via a wide range of channels including our website, domestic wholesale customers and a diverse range of export customers.
We also have a factory shop which is based in Napier. The shop carries all of our standard products, unique one-of-a-kind items, factory outlet only products and bespoke sheepskin rugs.
How did you get through the challenge of Cyclone? What other hurdles have you faced?
Cyclone Gabrielle, impacted all of our staff and their homes with most being without power for over a week. This included limited to no communication which is always tough in a crisis. Our amazing staff were our priority.
The Napier City Council wastewater treatment plant was severely damaged and this is forced us to stop key parts of production. It is unknown when this will be fixed so the ongoing impacts will be massive for us. We are implanting workarounds, but these will add large costs. However, the main thing is our staff and building is safe and we can move forward. We feel so much for those who were not as lucky.
Why are you proud to be New Zealand Made?
Not only the New Zealand sheep, but Each sheepskin passes through 23 pairs of hands before being labelled a Classic. Our small team has over 260 years’ experience in the leather and Woolskin industry. Our products are made by us.
What does the future hold?
No matter what hurdles we are subjected to, we are focused on growth and a desire to reduce waste and add sustainable comfort to our world.