We have spent 50 years working together with customers, staff, designers and brands, building products for retail, fit for customer’s needs. Over time we have changed and adapted, working with the industry and farmers to produce sustainable, carbon friendly, long lasting, exceptional quality products that people love to wear.
Recycling and repurposing is in our DNA and it started back in 1991 when we sold Patagonia Snap T fleeces which were made from recycled water bottles, in the late 1990‘s we began moving to natural fibres selling Merino layers by Icebreaker.
Using our decades of knowledge, feedback and experience it was a natural progression for us to make our own 100% New Zealand grown and made products built to last and to sit lightly on the land.
Slow fashion - long sustainability.
A more sustainable choice.
Our journey starts with Certified New Zealand Farmers. Through these close relationships and annual audits, we are benefiting from the decades of hard work by everyone.
The farm & stock care and management means a happier environment which is reflected in the strength and quality of Merino fibres.
Yield is the amount of useful fibre that can be obtained from a known weight of wool and key to sustainability. The yield depends on the environment the sheep live in, climate, vegetation, moisture content, and the method of processing.
The yield from our Wool Stations is 9% higher than the international average.
This equates to a 12% reduction in use of carbon, water per kilo, which is better for the world and all of us.
We start by working with Certified New Zealand traceable Merino a natural material which holds carbon sequestered from the atmosphere giving us a positive Carbon Bank from the beginning.
Our stitching is made of recycled milk bottles.
Our knits are cut by hand so we can ensure the maximum yield to minimise wastage. Individually sewn by Artisans to give you that hand crafted feel.
Any off cuts are then recycled in our felting factory along with others recycling to be made into felt for an array of products and clothing.
We minimise the water used during milling and production and all water is filtered before returning into our waste systems. We are constantly improving our methods to have a zero impact on the environment.
Our wool, knit production, cutting and sewing is all grown and produced in New Zealand by individuals. We are proud to be part of a group that has locally grown, locally made at its core.
Our products move from farm to finished product, then from warehouse to customers across the globe.
We have a (No Airfreight Policy). Where possible we transport first by sea, secondly by rail and thirdly by road, to minimise our carbon footprint.
The 'Use Phase' is where the environmental impacts of the consumer using, wearing and maintaining the wool product are measured.
Impacts taken into account are:
Amount of water used for washing.
Number of wears before washing.
Lifetime of garment, including when that garment is used by a second or subsequent owner (reused).
The 'Use Phase' is where wool can deliver a low environmental impact compared to other fibres.
Research has shown that wool garments are washed less often, at cooler temperatures, are mostly air-dried rather than tumble-dried and last longer than garments made of other fibres. We suggest airing the garment after use to reduce, energy and water usage and cost.
The end-of-life phase looks at impacts related to what happens to a product after it is no longer needed.
Number of times a product is recycled.
End of life such as land fill, 100% biodegradability.
As wool garments are durable, they are often donated or re-sold for a second and third use phase. Wool garments also lend themselves well to recycling, we offer the option of turning retired garments into felt for further use. Recyclability is an important factor for sustainable products, because the environmental impacts created throughout the supply chain are reduced the longer a product can be used.
All our unused cuttings are collected with returned, old merino and coarse wool to be made into felt in our Levin (NZ) factory for further use in our recycled range “RS3”.
Being a natural fibre, wool readily biodegrades in land and in water. Renewability is difficult to account for in LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) and currently micro-fibre and micro-plastic pollution is not included at all, which is a shortcoming of the current approaches to textile environmental assessment.