ZQ, ZQRX & RWS Wool
Established in 2007, ZQ is is the world's leading ethical wool . ZQ growers meet ZQ fibre quality, animal welfare, care for the environment and social responsibility standards. ZQ represents the wool of choice for world-class brands that are serious about producing amazing natural products.
ZQ is dedicated to the long term sustainability of your wool, and has established strong relationships with high value industry partners, from scourers and yarn spinners, to manufacturers and retailers.
ZQ contracts are set at agreed, sustainable price points, protecting you, supply chains and brand partners from market volatility at auction.
ZQ contracts means as growers you can produce ‘fit-for-purpose’ fibre, be recognised
for your values and ethical farming systems, and have income stability, allowing you to make considered investment decisions. Contracts also give brands certainty for quality fibre supply, and consistent production standards, traceability and long term economic sustainability.
ZQRX was developed to meet ever-growing consumer demand. ZQRX is a regenerative agriculture index that helps farmers work with nature to continuously improve human, animal and environmental outcomes.
ZQ is the world's leading ethical wool - setting the highest standards for fibre quality, animal welfare as well as environment and social responsibility since 2006. RX is shorthand for the Regenerative Index. We like to think of it as a measure beyond sustainability, where the aim is continuous improvement - not a minimum standard. RX is never ‘done’, and many of the positive RX outcomes will be intergenerational.
Our bold goal is to eliminate the effects of critical global issues such as climate change and the loss of biodiversity through the use of regenerative practices.
Read more about ZQRX and Regenerative Wool.
1. Regenerative inputs and outputs
We define regenerative inputs and outputs as giving a little more than they take in respect to the environment, the animal life within that environment, and the people and human communities interacting with that environment.
2. Technology that serves nature
Where nature has traditionally served technology, we use technology to serve nature by automating data collection and processing requirements that sit behind the index.
3. Positive human action
This is a shift from talking action to taking action and comprises two essential groups of ‘actionists’.
ZQRX wool growers:
These are the ZQRX wool growers who are interacting with the natural world each day at the grassroots level i.e. restoring waterways, protecting native species, offsetting carbon, and enhancing local communities.
These are our world-leading brand partners who are championing and celebrating growers’ efforts with end-users on a daily basis.
ZQ + ZQRX Merino Wool
Each fleece is hand selected. Every single one. A highly skilled ‘classer’ of wool inspects the fibre’s quality and assesses whether it meets each contract specification, or not.
That way you know you’re only getting the wool quality you ask for, and no floor sweepings.
The wool is collected by shearing a sheep - Its like a number four haircut, but for sheep! This is usually carried out once a year, in early springtime, to ensure they still have their woolly coats for the cold winter months. Shearers are highly skilled and pride themselves on careful handling of the sheep.
After hundreds of years of breeding and producing wool, shearing sheep is also about keeping the animals comfortable, relieving them from having to endure the hot summer months with a heavy fleece.
Scratchy, prickly wool your grandma used to knit isn’t ZQ Natural Fibre.
There are different types of thicknesses for wool, measured in ‘microns’. Merino wool is very fine and soft, starting at around 10-12 micron and getting up to 24 micron. More coarse microns such as 27 and above, are normally reserved for home textiles and carpets.
To put things into perspective, a human hair is around 60 micron.
ZQ + ZQRX Strong Wool
Our wool team have extensive experience, and through our partnership help to provide efficiency gains and customisation to product performance requirements.
NZM area managers will work with growers to support them throughout the season and at shearing time to deliver specifically to your requirements. This is enabled through the contract model and also is the first step in traceability.
Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) Wool
Responsible Wool Standard (RWS)
Released in 2016, RWS was created collaboratively by the Textile Exchange to establish best practice standard for the industry. The New Zealand Merino Company are the largest supplier in the world of RWS wool. RWS is available via NZM outside of contract on the commodity market.
Want to source RWS fibres? Connect with our team here.