In our modern society, we are often disconnected from the source of what we consume — whether it’s what we eat or what we wear.
And like an increasing number of people, we feel a sense of loss. We yearn to be connected to the natural world and to understand our place and our footprint.
That yearning is at the heart of Chasing Windmills. We’re striving to create a connection to the natural world from the earliest moments of childhood. We succeed if we plant the seeds of appreciation for what Mother Nature provides and respect for living harmoniously with her.
For us, it all starts with the merino sheep. Our merino wool comes from ZQ Merino certified ranches in New Zealand and Australia, where sheep live exclusively on free-range, pasture-based farming. The sheep are cared for by ranchers like Philip Rive, who grew up riding his pony in the mountainous meadows where his merino sheep now graze.
Once a year in the springtime, Philip’s merino sheep are brought down from their rich pastureland to be shorn. Our New Zealand-based merino fabric supplier then transforms those super soft merino fleeces into the fabric that serves as the soulful base of everything we make.
Our fabric provider is a Bluesign Systems Partner (bluesign.com), meaning that all dyes and processes used in creating the finished fabric are healthy for the people wearing it and the environment producing it. Switzerland-based Bluesign works with its partners (including our fabric provider) at each step in the textile supply chain to approve chemicals, processes, materials, and products that are safe for the environment, safe for workers, and ultimately safe for people wearing the finished garment.
If you’ve never felt merino wool before, you’ll be surprised by just how fine and soft it is. Unlike some other wool fibers that are thick and scratchy, merino sheep produce the softest and finest wool you’ll find anywhere. Caring for a merino sheep with such a soft and delicate wool fleece is not easy. It takes ranchers who truly love what they do.
From field to garment, the story of merino wool is a labor of love — from the ranchers like Philip Rive caring for his sheep to the worker-owners at Opportunity Threads who make our garments.
To us, supporting merino wool is not about buying a commodity in a supply chain. It’s about investing in a way of life, or better yet a way of living in harmony with nature. It’s about caring for the story behind what we consume.
It’s a story we’re proud to be part of.