How karoo creations began
Karoo Creations is all about wool duvet inners. Ethical, sustainable and cruelty-free.
Aubrey and Lionel moved to the Karoo from Johannesburg in March 2019 to renovate and re-open a historic Victorian hotel, after spending over a decade running guesthouses in Johannesburg. Their first winter in the Karoo was bitterly cold, and after putting a down duvet on their bed, they could not understand why every morning they would wake up snotty and with red eyes. After doing research on Dr Google, they discovered it was because of their down duvet! That was the trigger to investigate alternatives to down and feathers, and they discovered the phenomenal properties of wool.
Aubrey has loads of experience sewing decor items (curtains, runners and embellished cushions), so after hunting around he managed to find a supplier of 100% pure South African wool that had been ethically sourced and can be traced back to the farm of origin.
A number of trial runs took place, with Aubrey using old linen from the hotel, stuffing them with wool to create the perfect wool duvet.
Creating the perfect wool duvet inner
Being somewhat OCD-inclined, Aubrey made sure each baffle in the wool duvet inners (the pockets making up the duvet) was exactly 20cm x 20cm when filled, realising that when you fill a baffle with wool, it creates height, so extra space would be required in each pocket.
Sitting in their kitchen, Aubrey separated out pieces of wool, and weighed them on a very sensitive digital kitchen scale to get precisely 5 grams of wool to be stuffed into each baffle – using a “Crazy Store” back scratcher to get the wool into the corners of each pocket.
Having put months of research into this product, Aubrey is very familiar with terms such as scouring, carbonising, noils, carding, rolags, batts and some other very strange wool-industry jargon.
OUR VISION FOR THE FUTURE
Job creation and empowerment
Our little town of Richmond has severe unemployment, and one of our primary aims is to grow the business to be able to employ people from town in our manufacturing process.
Supporting our local farmers
We are in the heart of sheep country, and by buying locally produced wool, we will, in our own small way, be contributing to the economy of Richmond. The farmers are the lifeblood of this town, and we will proudly support them.
It takes approximately 3 kilograms of plastic to make a fibre-fill duvet. These products have a very limited lifespan, and will land up in a landfill where they will take up to 400 years to biodegrade, still leaching microplastics into the earth. We want to start a “wool revolution” turning people back to ancient fibres that are much kinder to the planet, with products that will last a lifetime, and biodegrade within 5 years.
Reducing animal cruelty
Even though there are voluntary organisations that monitor the down and feather industry, most down and feather product manufacturers import from China where geese and ducks are still live plucked for their down. This means their feathers and down are ripped out of their skin twice a year whether the birds are moulting or not.
Growing an international brand
Through a concerted education drive, we want to educate the world about the wonders of wool, and expand our product reach to every corner of the world. This is a huge goal, but it can be done!