A Kiwi company has secured a deal it hopes will unlock a lucrative $2.9 billion Asian healthcare market.
Texus Fibre uses natural wool to develop ‘functional materials’ – meaning they do something clever scientifically.
On Thursday it announced an investment and distribution deal with Auckland firm Healthy Breath Limited (HBL) for Texus’ wool-based air filter to be used in face masks marketed to city-dwellers in Asia.
Helix Filters harness and enhance wool’s natural toxin remove properties to stay drier and work for longer, Texus CEO Nick Davenport said, making it easier for people to breath in the masks and making them more effective at blocking out pollution.
According to the World Health Organisation, poor air quality claims seven million lives each year, with urban air pollution accounting for four million. Consumers in countries such as India and China spend almost $3 billion on face masks each year – with double-digit sales growth annually.
“At the very heart of this is a New Zealand story, that of high-country sheep producing the world’s greatest natural fibre,” Davenport said.
“We’ve created something unique – an end-to-end supply chain which starts by getting the supply genetics right and goes right through to the manufacture of a high-value, scientifically verified product here in New Zealand.”
“Through this deal New Zealand wool is going to improve the health of millions of people across the planet. In so doing, Texus Fibre and Healthy Breath want to recognise the commitment of New Zealand’s sheep farmers by paying them a premium for what is, in all reality, an absolutely premium product – wool.”