Sustainability has become more and more important to consumers over the last few years, with many of us opting for more ‘green’ alternatives to our favourite products - clothes included. Here at Neem London, we specialise in climate-conscious clothing, which are not only high quality but also, good for the planet. In this article, we will be taking a closer look at Merino wool, and how it could be a better alternative to some of the generic wool products on the market right now.
What Are The Main Differences Between Regular Wool & Merino Wool?
The main difference between regular wool and Merino wool is that Merino wool is gentler and less rough than regular wool. Besides, Merino wool is from a unique kind of sheep called Merino sheep.
ZQ Merino is a step up on both regular and superfine Merino as the animals are farmed in the best conditions, which makes ZQ Merino wool one of the finest and most renewable of raw materials. ZQ certification is the hallmark of integrity for farmers committed to ethical wool production, from the treatment of sheep and land management to fibre quality.
Where Does ZQ Merino Originate From?
ZQ sheep graze on pastures in ‘free range’, extensive farming conditions in the high-country hills of New Zealand. This is traceable wool, which can be traced back to farms in New Zealand. We collect the data on these farms that operate with environmental care. Then, we are able to track what the animals were fed, how they were treated, and the energy impact of the farm. There is absolutely no mulesing sheep and we know the full impact of this product.
Mulesing is a surgical procedure that removes a section of skin from the sheep. It is carried out to reduce the risk of attack by flies (often described as flystrike). Mulesing is not permitted on properties that supply ZQ Natural Fibre. ZQ growers have adopted integrated strategies to manage the risk of flystrike, without mulesing. ZQ Natural Fibre led the world to be the first accredited Merino fibre that guarantees mulesing does not occur. It is still the world’s main source of accredited non-mulesed wool.
Producing the world’s leading ethical wool doesn’t come easily but our growers believe in farming sustainably for generations to come. These farmers work to give more than they take from the natural world. They understand everything about our animals, our environment, the technology, and threats that are coming over the horizon, and as a community, know the greater impact we can have. They live the ZQ Neem London values and are audited by a third party to ensure high standards at all times.
Firstly, please don't be tempted to wash your ZQ Merino from Neem London too often and never spin to speed up drying – this weakens the fibres and will misshape your garment. Wool is vulnerable when it's wet and can be discoloured by direct heat or sunlight. Dry it flat, out of direct sunlight or heat. While it may take a bit longer to dry, it's worth waiting for. Wool has a unique physical structure with a protective surface covered in overlapping scales. This helps to protect the sheep from the elements. So please don't be subject to washing your items too often.
We work under ZDHC protocols (which, by definition, discharges no harmful chemical substances in the water and is produced under strict ecotoxicological restrictions). This is machine washable wool produced in the most sustainable way in menswear.
Merino wool products are extremely soft – forget the misconception of scratchy wool which is all down to the fibre diameter, not the fibre itself. ZQ Merino fibres are so fine that when fabricated into a garment and in contact with the skin, they simply bend, meaning there is no sensation of prickle, only softness, and comfort. We scour our wool (tease the dirt out), spin, and knit in a B-Corp textile factory in Italy. It is solar-powered by hot 2,885 photovoltaic panels to lower energy use and CO2 emissions.
Why Choose Merino Wool Products?
We work with ZQ Merino as we believe it has the lowest environmental impact possible of any fabric. ZQ sheep graze on pastures in ‘free range’, extensive farming conditions in the high-country hills of New Zealand.
ZQ Merino wool is sourced from certified farmers who meet our high standards across environmental and social responsibility, animal welfare, and fibre quality. The fibre is also traceable back to the source, so we know where our wool comes from and how it’s been produced.
The ZQ growers and sheep graze on pastures in ‘free range’, extensive farming conditions in the high country hills of New Zealand. By choosing ZQ products with strong animal welfare, you can be confident that the sheep producing the wool are humanely treated, well fed, live natural and
healthy lives, and not subjected to mulesing, which means you’re also getting fibre of the very highest quality and performance.