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Envirowool making a difference

During a searing hot day on the job, builder James Carter had an epiphany– he and his colleagues were surrounded by harmful glass fibre, and there had to be a better way.

He decided to establish 
Envirowool Insulation - a sustainable, 100% wool insulation business that helps farmers and growers of wool, making the most of local resources.

Envirowool Insulation offers wool insulation for ceilings, walls and windows and has the added bonus of being grown in New Zealand.

Making It Happen

Carter had several challenges coming his way when he started wool insulation.

To begin with, the price of wool was at a premium, and was competing with other products.

But Carter was up-front, and told his customers that they were going to be using wool, despite the cost. In the end, customers were happy to go ahead with it -- knowing that they would be helping farmers. Carter says recently there has been a ‘big shift’ on using products that are sustainable, which was a big aid in selling the wool.

Carter says it’s very easy to sell underfloor insulation, but more heat goes out the walls.

“People feel a draft coming up through the floor, but it’s not a draft coming up through the floor at all. It’s conventional heat. So you heat your house, heat rises, hits your ceiling.

"The heat finds the coldest part of the room, which is the outside walls if they’re uninsulated. As the air cools down, it gets heavier, and it falls down to the floor. Then it’s drawn back to the heat source, and it’s just conventional heat.

"It’s not really the heat lost through the floor at all. It’s actually because the walls aren’t insulated."

Proud To Be NZ Made

Carter has been a Buy New Zealand Made licence holder for six years. His main business is in construction, and it’s been around for roughly 60 years.

"I suppose we’ve always had a point of difference. That’s why we’ve used wool. We’ve got clients that actually want something a bit different. They’re perhaps not as price-driven as a lot of other people out there."

Carter says he’s grateful Invercargill is getting better infrastructure, and is proud to be a Southlander.

He says Southland is fortunate to have people that are passionate and care about the region.

“We’ve got the Richardson group down here, the core business most people dial for alloyed concrete in New Zealand. They’ve put up a quarter of the money for the CBD. They could’ve invested their money in Auckland or anywhere else around the world.

“I’m just very proud to be a New Zealander, a Southlander, and proud to be involved in using some of our local resources for insulation.”