The New Zealand Merino Company’s regenerative wool platform, ZQRX, and Savory Institute’s Land to Market Program are proud to announce a strategic partnership between the organizations. Together, the two leading forces within the industry will further support ZQRX’s network of growers, which represent over 3.7 million acres of land. Through supporting these growers in establishing regenerative agriculture and monitoring the resulting ecological outcomes, the two organizations will collaboratively strive for a more sustainable future.
At the core of ZQRX is the belief that regenerative agriculture is a journey of continuous improvement across the entire ecosystem - inclusive of environmental, social, and animal welfare outcomes. To date, ZQRX has supported this journey through a set of 15 Key Performance Indicators, across elements including biodiversity, climate, animal health, and community.
“This partnership between Land to Market and The New Zealand Merino Company will accelerate the use of regeneratively grown materials for the fashion industry,” said Megan Meiklejohn, Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Innovation at Land to Market.
“Important collaborations like this one allow us to bring science-backed and outcome-based solutions to more farmers while offering at-scale regenerative material options to brands," said Chris Kerston, Chief Commercial Officer. "Our partnership will grow supply by providing training and resources to wool growers, empowering them with the tools they need to manage their land, becoming more resilient to extreme weather events, increasing biodiversity, and ensuring profitability,” continued Kerston.
This partnership will drive measurable impact in the Land Indicator of the ZQRX platform, incorporating Savory Institute’s Ecological Outcome VerificationTM (EOV) protocol as a key quantitative measure. The EOV assessments are designed to support and train growers throughout their regenerative journey, and determine the outcomes of their management in striving towards continuous improvement.
“At ZQRX, our regenerative efforts are centered around constant improvement. This belief is at the core of our exciting new partnership with the Savory Institute’s Land to Market Program, as we build upon the practices and measurable results offered to our network of growers and brand partners. In doing so, we’re further accelerating our progress, as we identify tangible actions and areas for betterment - ultimately driving more impactful ecological outcomes,” said John Brakenridge, CEO of The New Zealand Merino Company.
As two outcome-driven organizations with like-minded objectives, ZQRX and Land to Market’s partnership was a natural next step towards accelerating the adoption of regenerative management. As a result of their integration, consumers and brands will gain access to wool of the highest standard - a natural fiber that promotes regenerative ecosystems, healthy communities, and the best animal welfare standards in the world.
As a foundational partner of ZQRX, VF Corporation is providing significant investment towards ZQRX’s Land Indicator - supporting the tremendous impact that this partnership will drive as brands such as VF’s very own Smartwool and icebreaker further their grower relationships.
“Our strategic partnership with ZQRX ensures that our performance apparel products uphold the
responsibility of protecting our planet, as well as the growers and animals involved. Through supporting
the team’s partnership with Savory Institute’s Land to Market - we’re proud to take these efforts to the next level in pursuit of a regenerative future for our ZQ certified merino.” says Jan Van Mossevelde, Global President of icebreaker.
Jennifer McLaren, President and CEO of Smartwool adds, “As we continue our quest to manufacture 100% climate positive wool, ZQRX’s partnership with Savory Institute’s Land to Market is an exciting step in driving forward our sustainability commitments. We’re pleased to support the development of their Land Indicator, as we proceed on a journey of continuous improvement with our growers.”
The New Zealand Merino Company’s regenerative fiber platform ZQRX takes a big picture view of the global challenges we all face and contributes to solving them by accelerating collective, regenerative-driven actions that go beyond sustainability. It requires a collaborative approach from our ZQRX Wool Growers, ZQRX Brands, and the forward-thinking consumers who choose ZQRX products.
ZQRX Wool Growers not only produce the highest quality, most ethical wool in the world, they also work to give more than they take from the natural world, the animals living in that world, and the human communities interacting with it. ZQ Growers use a new state-of-the-art platform called the Regenerative Index (RX) to help them measure and improve how much they give back as they restore waterways, protect native species, offset carbon, and enhance local communities. ZQRX provides user-friendly modeling, real‑time metrics and machine learning, and guides users through the latest solutions, strategies, and techniques to help continuously measure, improve and deliver on ESG goals.
About Land to Market
A leader in the regenerative agriculture movement, Land to Market is the world’s first outcome-based verified regenerative sourcing solution. The program’s Land to Market Verified seal has attracted some of the world’s leading consumer packaged goods companies, apparel brands, and retailers. A program of the Savory Institute, Land to Market uses a science-based approach working directly with raw material producers to enhance transparency and traceability mechanisms across the entire value chain.
To see the full list of Land to Market members, visit http://landtomarket.com.
About VF Corporation
Founded in 1899, VF Corporation is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies connecting people to the lifestyles, activities and experiences they cherish most through a family of iconic outdoor, active and workwear brands including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland® and Dickies®. Our purpose is to power movements of sustainable and active lifestyles for the betterment of people and our planet. We connect this purpose with a relentless drive to succeed to create value for all stakeholders and use our company as a force for good.
For more information, please visit vfc.com.
Based in Denver, Colorado, Smartwool® is a sock and apparel brand whose products are designed to get the most out of the inherent benefits of Merino wool and to bring comfort, confidence, and community to a life lived outside.
For information on the full range of Smartwool® products or to find a dealer near you, please visit www.Smartwool.com. Smartwool, a division of VF Outdoor, LLC, is a brand of VF Corporation.
Founded in 1995 in New Zealand, icebreaker was one of the first companies to discover the benefits of merino wool as a natural alternative to synthetic fibers in performance apparel. Now part of VF Corporation, icebreaker continues to challenge the status quo with their natural, transparent and responsible ways to do business, now to a wider audience.
icebreaker looks to nature for the answers and for innovative ways to do more with less. Working with what nature provides and adapting as nature does, icebreaker enables consumers to join a movement toward choosing nature. icebreaker is sold in more than 5,000 stores in 50 countries through wholesale, Touch Lab retail stores and e-commerce platforms.
Visit icebreaker.com to learn more about the benefits of natural performance apparel.