It makes sense that happy and healthy sheep would naturally produce the best quality fibre. I mean we know ourselves that if we are happy, have a safe environment and protection from the elements we ourselves are more likely to prosper. So why not provide these freedoms for the livestock that produce the wool we use to create garments?
Image: from a high country merino station in the South Island of New Zealand
Our sheep are part of a wool certification that believes in the welfare of the animals and a better quality of life. The standard is called ZQ Merino Fibre and all our merino we use at Wilderling is certified by this standard. We believe in putting our best foot forward in making a difference in the textile industry, and therefore stand by this wool certification which gives us peace of mind that the animals, whose beautiful fleece we use to create our clothing, are well looked after and live a life free from stress, harm and disease.
Not all certifications are created equally and we have carried out research to ensure that the ZQ Merino Fibre is what it says it is. For starters the certification was established by the New Zealand Merino Company, a long trusted organisation started in 1996 by New Zealand merino growers.
Secondly ZQ Merino is independently audited by a third party. Meaning ZQ growers are regularly visited on site, by experts outside of the NZ Merino Company, and assessed to make sure they continue to uphold the standards of the certification.
And lastly we have visited some merino stations in the South Island of NZ and talked to the ZQ growers ourselves. We are very confident that ZQ Merino Fibre is a trusted certification and continue to be blown away by their passion and desire to create a better world.
Image: of happy and healthy merino sheep on a high country station in the South Island of New Zealand.
The five freedoms of animal welfare are listed below:
- Free from thirst
- Free to live naturally
- Free from discomfort
- Free from distress
- Free from disease
In addition our sheep are Non Mulsed. Mulesing is a surgical procedure that removes a section of skin from the sheep. Carried out to reduce the risk of attacks by flies. This procedure is not permitted on farms that supply ZQ Merino. Instead ZQ farmers have developed integrated strategies to manage flystrike, without the need to mulse.
Our merino livestock are also guaranteed to be free from live international export. No ZQ merino sheep are transported live across the ocean for slaughter or breeding purposes.
The ZQ wool certification continues to invest in projects that focus on nutrition, feed management, animal health, disease prevention, parasite management and sustainability. This research is carried out to help support ZQ farmers, to be able to best provide information and give them the tools they need to ensure ongoing improvement to animal welfare of their stock.
To read more about what merino wool is click here.
To read more about ZQ Merino Fibre click here.
To shop our New Zealand merino collection click here.