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Talk is sheep: Carpet men visit Phoenix pitching eco-sense of wool

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Convention Center is hosting a flooring show through Friday and wool producers from New Zealand are in the Valley to push their line of carpeting.

Howie Gardner with Just Shorn New Zealand said wool production has plummeted worldwide, and his home country is no exception.

“Through the winter we run about 11,000 sheep on 4,000 acres and 22,000 sheep in the summer. There were about 70 million sheep around the world in the 1970s and today that number is around 28 million.”

Wool has fallen out of favor in the past few decades as people turn to synthetics, which are cheaper, but Gardner said, inferior to wool. He said there are signs woll is making a comeback.

“We’re four years into the Just Shorn brand. Sales are increasing and we’re happy with the progress. We’re in Phoenix to develop more outlets for our line of carpeting.”

David Fagan, also with Just Shorn, said sheep are the ultimate green animal.

“Wool is sustainable, renewable and the sheep keep growing it,” he said. “It goes into clothes and carpet and is more environmentally friendly than synthetics. It’s a safer product for children to be around in the home.”