We’re excited to announce the release of our much anticipated Merino line. Staying true to our vision of helping create a sustainably-sourced and ethically-produced fashion industry we’ve partnered with ZQ Merino to offer our 100% Merino wool garments. Our Merino range will start with a limited run of our two most popular garments - our unisex long-sleeve mid-layer, and our more fitted long sleeve style. We’ve chosen inter-seasonal colours of paprika, ochre and navy for our first release.
Why ZQ Natural Fibres?
New Zealand is an established and respected producer of high-quality Merino wool. This is why, when looking to increase the garment types that we offer, it made sense to look in our own backyard.
We chose ZQ Natural Fibres as they are world leaders in ethical, harm-free wool production, making them ideal for us to partner with. Their farmers are all independently audited to ensure that ethical and sustainable practices are at the heart of the production of high-quality wool fibre.
ZQ sheep live free-range, healthy lives in which they are humanely treated. The wool is non-mulesed and shearers are skilled in their handling of animals to minimise distress and to ensure the sheep leave the shearing sheds with enough wool to offer protection when they’re back out on the hills.
As much as we’d like our Merino range to be fully made on-shore, there are now no mills in New Zealand which have the capability to turn the fibre into fabric. The wool in these products are therefore milled in Vietnam before returning back to our shores to be turned into products here in Wellington. The mill is a Bluesign System partner and it provides an MAPP guarantee, which means it too operates ethically and responsibly with regard to people, the environment and resources.
Why are we doing this now?
Covid-19 is still disrupting the lives of farming cooperatives and factories around the world with global supply chains remaining tangled. This doesn’t mean that we’re at a standstill here at Little Yellow Bird. Instead we’ve been working on growing our Kiwi networks and supporting positive change to the local clothing industry. This was always a future goal, but with international trade likely to remain unreliable for some time, we’ve decided to bring forward some of these plans.
As with all of our garments, our Merino range will be available for individual purchase in our Little Yellow Bird core collection, as well as bulk orders in our uniform catalogue. Pre-orders for our Merino range are now open, and will be dispatching our first run from 06 July.
Until next time, take care, be kind, and thanks for being part of improving the fashion industry.
Samantha is the CEO and Founder of Little Yellow Bird and is an advocate for sustainable and ethical fashion.