Making sure our sheep live their best lives.
Our (Animal) Partners
Sheep are our partners in bringing our knits to life. So making sure they lead a happy existence is the least we can do.
Each Sheep Station we work with is ZQ certified. Meaning they conform to the highest animal welfare standards worldwide.
Not that you’d know it.
Smiling isn’t really their thing.
All our Merino sheep live in New Zealand’s High Country. With loads of space to walk, run around and turn up their bleats.
Each station must offer five basic freedoms to the sheep. With human intervention only happening when there is a risk to the sheep’s wellbeing.
To ensure they are free to live their happiest, fullest lives.
The five essential freedoms.
Free to live naturally
All our sheep are free range. Free to roam in vast open pastures, with typically more than an acre of space each, though they prefer to roam with their mates. With so much land available and a hands off approach, they’re free to act naturally, and display normal patterns of behaviour.
Free from distress
All our Growers must handle and manage their sheep to avoid any unnecessary stress and pain. That’s why mulesing – a painful on-farm procedure traditionally used to prevent flystrike disease - is NOT permitted on our farms. Farm facilities are also maintained to ensure they don’t pose a risk of injury. Safety first, always.
Free from thirst
All our sheep are farmed in a manner where they can forage as they please. Well fed sheep with good nutrition are better able to cope with natural stress, like extreme weather. Growers manage their farms to ensure their sheep always have access to clean water and adequate nutrition
Free from discomfort
Over the years, our woollen friends have evolved in environments with extremes of heat and cold, largely on account of their fleece. This means they’re able to survive and thrive in varying conditions. However, to give them a helping hand, our Growers go that step further to protect sheep from distress. By ensuring they have adequate shade and shelter available at all times.
Free from disease
To minimise stress or discomfort, Growers regularly monitor their flock to prevent disease, illness and to rapidly diagnose animal health issues.
A lot of our Growers come from sheep farming families, where stockmanship knowledge is developed and passed on over generations of farming.
The sheep’s fibre is harvested through a process called shearing. Which is a bit like getting a 'number 4' haircut.
Shearers are highly skilled people and pride themselves on the careful handling of the sheep. They leave a good covering of wool on the sheep, to keep them warm.
All our farms are third party audited, including random audits during the shearing season to ensure the high standard of animal welfare is maintained.
Happiest sheep = Best wool
Looking after our sheep is not only the right thing to do. It’s the clever thing to do too. Distressed sheep create breakages in the wool fibre. Meaning poor quality wool.
Our Merino wool is the best out there.
Which means our sheep are the happiest sheep out there.
The ZQ certification is a strictly audited standard for animal and environmental welfare. With less than 1% of sheep stations worldwide being eligible for the program.
Being ZQ certified means sheep are humanely treated, well fed, live naturally and have healthy lives, and are not subjected to mulesing. It also ensures that biodiversity must be a top priority for any sheep station that qualifies.
Playing their (environmental) part
First things first. Sheep produce methane. And there is no denying that industrial farming carries a huge responsibility for our climate crisis.
However, our sheep prove that they can be part of the solution. By being an active part of the regenerative farming ecosystem.
Keeping the farm’s soil healthy by closing the nutrient loop and reducing the need for fertilisers. Meaning they play a crucial part in us being able to provide wool which has a negative CO2 footprint.
So in this case they are not guilty by association.
Sheep and seaweed?
We are currently trialling seaweed supplements with the sheep’s feed to reduce methane impact. In trials this has reduced methane by up to 70%. And should the trial positively conclude, will be looking to implement this throughout our sheep stations.
Strictly no mulesing
We have a strict no mulesing policy, but in any case, mulesing is also prohibited in New Zealand. Mulesing is a surgical procedure that removes a section of skin from the sheep’s rear. It is carried out to reduce the risk of attack by flies (often described as flystrike). Our farmers have adopted integrated strategies to manage the risk of flystrike, without mulesing.
We want you to feel connected to nature and understand where our things come from, so each of our items comes with its very own trackable sheep. You’ll get updates when they’re on the move, getting a haircut, or having little lambs of their own.
They’ll also never bother you with voice notes or views on current political structures, because they’re sheep.