"Wear Clothes that Matter." - Solitaire Townsend
From field to garment, every step matters. As part of #fashionrevolutionweek, we wanted to share what matters to us when creating our cherished merino wool goods.
The land and sheep where are merino comes from, matter. Our story starts with merino sheep living in free-range pasture-based ranches in New Zealand and Australia—all of which are ZQ-certified, meaning that each individual ranch meets strict animal welfare, environmental, and sustainability standards. Never mulesed, ZQ merino sheep display natural patterns of behavior, namely roaming and grazing in mountainous meadows.
The ranchers that care and tend to the sheep, matter. Who are these ZQ ranchers? One is Philip Rive, a multi-generation merino rancher with whom I had the great pleasure of meeting a few years back. I spent a day with Philip and his wife, Kate, on their ranch in the Remarkables mountain range outside of Queenstown, New Zealand. As we toured the ranch, he pointed to hills that he explored as an eight-year-old by pony. To Philip, Kate, and other ZQ merino ranchers, taking care of merino sheep is is a way of life (not just a way to make a living).
The environment and way in which we impact it, matter. At the beginning of our supply chain, we have chosen to work exclusively with a Bluesign systems partner as a merino fabric supplier. Bluesign's aim is to reduce the ecological footprint of the textile industry and realize a environmentally friendly, sustainable textile production worldwide.
We recognize that our fabric production is not the only step that impacts the environment. We are continually looking for ways to reduce the footprint of Chasing Windmills. Our home office is wind-powered. We operate our business on a carbon-neutral basis, thanks to the good people of TerraPass who offset the CO2 that we are responsible for. We use recycled materials for our mailers. Our merino fiber is naturally renewable, with the sheep being shorn once per year. And, best of all, merino is biodegradable -- all thanks to Mama Nature.
The livelihood of all workers sewing our garments, matters. Since Spring 2016, we're proud to have partnered with a USA worker-owned facility called Opportunity Threads. Based in North Carolina, they are part of a concerted effort to revitalize the once-booming textiles industry in the Carolinas. Opportunity Threads believes in its workers, so much so that after a vetting process, the workers have the opportunity to become owners in the company—quite literally spreading opportunity through needle and thread.
Our design and final creation, matter. We strive to create simple, timeless merino pieces that will be cherished by your children. Made to withstand the trends and seasons, we hope our goods are always loved, cared for, repaired, and loved some more -- joining your little adventurers on their memorable journeys.
Together, all of these things matter. Our vision has always been to be a conscious company that cares for not just profits, but the lives it touches and the environment it graces. We are grateful for you -- our costumers, cheerleaders, and supporters -- for always inspiring us to do what matters.