How it all started

In 1879 two brothers, George and William Bowron, master tanners of Yorkshire, set sail for Christchurch in the new colony of New Zealand.They were to start a new life and realise a personal dream ... to start a tannery of their own.

As Christchurch grew, the small tannery, started in 1881 by the Bowron brothers, flourished and a family tradition of excellence in lambskin tanning began. Their commitment to quality has continued and over 100 years later, the team at Bowron continue to make the name "Bowron" synonymous with the world's finest sheepskin products.

To this day, every Bowron sheepskin is the perfect result of the same methods pioneered in the 1880's by the Bowron brothers from Yorkshire. Their unique 42 step tanning method has been constantly refined and now sits at the heart of the Bowron Sheepskin story. A story of unparalleled access to the finest raw materials available, cutting edge process innovation, environmental leadership, unrivalled manufacturing capacity, strong customer relationships, and a global distribution network that delivers the finest sheepskins to the very heart of world markets.

Unparalleled Access to Raw Material

We select raw material from throughout the world, but believe the quality of our sheepskins owes much to our location in the midst of the world's finest flocks of lambs: the vast sheep stations of Australia's outback, and the high country runs and lush green pastoral farms of New Zealand. Our tannery in New Zealand is located in the vicinity of prime sheep farming areas, ensuring a plentiful source of high quality raw material and the best relationships with our suppliers. Our people are constantly in the plants where raw material is selected, purchasing directly at the source to reduce costs and training suppliers to select only materials that meet the needs of our customers.

Process Innovation

The Bowron laboratory designs and proves processes that meet the needs of an ever-changing global marketplace and raw material supply. To be able to produce sheepskins in New Zealand, our processes must not only deliver products to our customers' expectations, they must also meet the cost, health and safety, and New Zealand environmental standards. Blending the skills of the craftsperson with the latest automated manufacturing techniques, our research and development team enable the finest quality sheepskins to be produced on a global scale, at globally competitive costs.

Environmental Care

Traditionally the making of sheepskins was done at a cost to the environment with heavy water and chemical use. Today the Bowron closed loop process, cutting edge chemistry and advanced mechanical technology enable us to preserve the natural beauty of our sheepskins with minimal inputs and an ever-reducing impact on the environment. Regular audits prove time and again that we are industry leaders in the development of processes that put care for the environment alongside the quality of our products. We understand the demands of our consumers for environmental sensitivity in our processing because we require it also.

Manufacturing Capacity

Today's global markets require not only the finest sheepskins, but that huge volumes are delivered on time throughout the world. We have painstakingly built up a team of production people and a world class manufacturing facility over many years that delivers exactly this. Our status as preferred supplier of sheepskins to global retail and manufacturing brands is testimony to our track record in this regard. We sit alone in our ability to deliver the quantities of sheepskins demanded by today's integrated global markets.

Customer Relationships

In the same way that we have invested heavily in relationships with our suppliers, we have taken over 25 years to build a team of dedicated sales people around the world. We have selected and trained our own people from Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia to ensure that the needs of our customers can be dealt with as quickly and directly as possible. Our approach has been to take our knowledge and products directly to the world, rather than waiting for the world to find us in New Zealand. Now our global family of customers can work with a team of dedicated Bowron sales people 24 hours a day in the time zone of their choice.


Not only have we taken our sales people to the markets of the world, so too have we taken our products. A network of fully stocked warehouses makes the world's finest sheepskins accessible to our customers within days. Quantities ranging from a container to a parcel can be dispatched from our warehouses in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, facilitating faster stock turn and enabling our customers to meet unexpected demand. In this way Bowron customers deal directly with the New Zealand source but can access stock immediately with a phone call or e-mail to their local warehouse.

This is the Bowron story: a story over 100 years in the making. We invite you to join us as we continue our journey, bringing the finest of sheepskin and lambskin products from our home, New Zealand, to the homes of the world.

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