The apparel industry's first 100% regenerative wool platform has been launched by the New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) in partnership with merino brands: Allbirds®, icebreaker®, and Smartwool®. In the world, the global fashion industry is responsible for 10% of annual greenhouse gas emissions, hence to tackle this problem global Merino wool apparel and footwear brands have set their differences aside.
By sourcing merino from a 100% regenerative wool platform and promoting the use of climate-friendly wool, Allbirds, Icebreaker, and Smartwool have committed to work together. To create this 100% regenerative wool platform, all three brands will be working together along with 167 sheep growers across 2.4 million acres which is more than a million hectares of regeneratively farmed land located in New Zealand.
New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) CEO, John Brakenridge said that to recognize and celebrate perfection, they are on a way of continuous improvement. He also mentioned that with the help of their leading brand partners, the Ministry for Primary Industries and the industry's leading carbon footprint work, they came to know that among their on-farm emissions, 60% of the emissions are linked to woolen products. As a part of their ethical wool program, ZQRX is a key and necessary evolution that can be used in this opportunity to lower their impacts. Regenerative practices help in storing more carbon and emitting less which will help in reducing the on-farm emissions to zero after adopting it.
For doing the right for both people and the planet, ZQRX is the next evolution that will be built on NZM’s ethical wool platform success. Although the ZQRX framework deals with greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, the addition of regenerative practices of farming will provide an opportunity to slow down climate change and store carbon. The foundational beliefs of ZW in ZWRX index include an increased focus on environmental issues along with animal welfare and social responsibility. The issues such as improving the biodiversity of waste, water quality and soil health; and reducing carbon emissions will be covered under the environmental issues.
At present in New Zealand, 167 farms have registered for ZQRX index which is around 2 million acres of land. This will result in retaining and storing the carbon emissions in soil and vegetation which have many additional benefits such as social responsibility and animal welfare.
Mr. Brakenridge also mentions that farming communities and the health of the ecosystem will be addressed by the ZQRX index which will help in enriching the growers' value who are dedicated to regenerative agricultural practices. To address critical global issues of biodiversity loss and climate change ZQRX is the start for the brands, businesses and growers who are working together in the global movement. They have dreamt that someday, regenerative practices will be used to farm all the wool.
Allbirds, icebreaker, and Smartwool, the most iconic brands of the Merino wool industry have come together in support of the ZQRX platform and set their competitive nature aside to launch a green movement of this scale which deals with the current challenges of climate change. Approximately 2 million kgs of wool is consumed by all the 3 brands at present.
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