ZQ — Ethical, Sustainable Merino Wool
ZQ Merino Wool
Wool is one of our go-to fabrics here at ecologyst. An all-natural fibre that’s brimming with technical performance qualities that synthetic fibres have tried to mimic over the years. Like many resources, when it comes to wool there are many variants out there, and we want to be sure we’re ticking the boxes of sustainability and ethics for people, planet, and animals alike.
That’s why in 2021 we partnered with ZQ to create our first ZQ-certified Merino Collection. Since then, we've been able to add more pieces that are ZQ-certified such as our Men's and Women's Light Wool Shirts in 2022, that also happen to be washable. ZQ is considered the “gold standard” for wool when it comes to traceability across the entire supply chain, and is also known as the world’s leading ethical wool. You can’t get a better recommendation than that. With a lot of greenwashing out there, we also look to be able to verify and certify our products for our own peace of mind, and to help you, our community, to navigate the authenticity of our claims and have that peace of mind yourselves.
Certifications like ZQ also foster our belief that planet and profits can co-exist. Both for our company, and the folks in the supply chain — like the farmers who’ve been herding sheep for multiple generations, the millers, and our employees at our factory. We pride ourselves on prioritizing ethics without compromising on function and performance. Merino is one of the softest wools out there, as well as being breathable, so irritation for sensitive skin or that itchy, scratchy feeling is a thing of the past.
ZQ-Certified: Key Components
From farmer and field, through to fabric and fashion, ZQ supports the members of its supply chain in sustainable, ethical practices. The “ZQ Growers Standard” has farmers audited by a third party, and provides sustainability education and skills that not only mean good wool and happy sheep, but that also helps support the farmers themselves for generations to come. In supporting the education of consumers on the topic of wool, ZQ’s driving demand for it — contributing to local economies, family legacies, and the health of our ecosystems. There’s a huge focus on education, and we want to do our part in educating you in turn. Below, are the principles that ZQ-certified wool abide by:
1. Animal Welfare — the Five Freedoms
- Free from Thirst
- Free to Live Naturally
- Free from Discomfort
- Free from Distress
- Free from Disease
Just some for the components of these five freedoms, include No Mulesing and No Live International Transport of sheep.
2. Environmental Sustainability
3. Fibre Quality
- Luxuriously Soft
- Naturally Technical
- Fully traceable back to the farm
- Relationships are key — partners that span decades
- Third party audits
- Sustainable farming is closely linked with the health and wellness of our farmers, their families, the farm workers and local community.
- Income stability
- Safe working, living, and visiting conditions
Nature's Performance Fabric
Our ZQ Merino Collection and ZQ-certified Light Wool Shirts are available now. The ZQ Merino Collection features five versatile styles — a mix of women’s, men’s and gender-neutral in multiple colour ways. Ready to take you from snowy winter activities as a base layer to cozy relaxed days indoors as premium loungewear. The most technical natural fibre, just some of its qualities include being naturally odour-resistant and fire-resistant, warming you up or cooling you down depending on the conditions (thermoregulating), and wicking away moisture. Not to mention once again how breathable, lightweight and soft it is.
Learn more about why we’re huge advocates of wool over on our Why Wool blog. Share your experiences with our 195 Collection and other wool products to Instagram and Facebook — you may just feature in our #inthewild series or upbeat bi-weekly Coffee with ecologyst e-newsletter (full of news and resources)! You can sign up for it below.