Christchurch, New Zealand (Ōtautahi, Aotearoa), Jan. 25, 2022
The New Zealand Merino Company’s regenerative wool platform, ZQRX, is proud to celebrate significant growth milestones, alongside a new mission-driven partnership with Actual.
For over 25 years The New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) has championed sustainability practices, building an ecosystem of world class value chains, data solutions, and thought leaders that have revolutionized the regenerative landscape.
As they power their mission to shape the future of apparel, ZQRX has seen a significant increase in their network of growers and brand partners over the past year, with 460 farms across over 3.7 million acres of land. In addition to their expanded network of growers, over 20 brands have committed to the platform, beginning with the foundational partners Allbirds, icebreaker, and Smartwool, and now including names such as Maggie Marilyn, Helly Hansen, Fjällräven and John Smedley. A number of world class supply chain partners have committed to the platform as well, including the Italian-based luxury and sustainability focused Reda, a long term partner of NZM which provides access to ZQRX fibers at the yarn or fabric level.
“As pioneers within the regenerative space, we are very excited about the growth that ZQRX has seen over the past year and are extremely proud to have achieved this alongside our world-leading global brands.” says John Brakenridge, CEO of The New Zealand Merino Company. “Individuals across the globe are increasingly searching for substance that reinforces the environmental promises that businesses are making and ZQRX fully supports those determined to lead the world in ESG. We look forward to expanding the tools that we offer to our growers, brand partners, and consumers, as we advance our strides towards a more sustainable future.”
As a foundational partner of ZQRX, Hana Kajimura, Head of Sustainability at Allbirds states, “We believe regenerative agriculture is one of the most critical tools in the fight against climate change, and have made it a core pillar of our ‘Flight Plan’ to reduce our carbon footprint 50% by 2025. This will only be possible through a pioneering approach to soil science, material sourcing at the farm level, and collaboration between brands, suppliers, and farmers – of which NZM and the ZQRX platform are leading the charge on scalable solutions. We’re proud to be founding members of ZQRX, and look forward to a future where we’re harnessing the power of nature to actually heal nature.”
To build upon this momentum, ZQRX is thrilled to announce their collaboration with Silicon Valley technology platform, Actual. Rooted in measurable impact, Actual provides insights into each ZQRX growers’ sustainability credentials. Guided by science and starting with carbon emissions, this work will include the ability to model mitigations on farm to guide future investment, arm brands with information to source responsibly manufactured wool, and provide growers with tangible plans to further their positive environmental impact. For the first time, each member of the supply chain will be fully supported in reaching their sustainability goals. NZM will be the first to pilot this program, as they hone in on the technological offerings available to their network of growers and brands.
“NZM is a true pioneer in corporate and social sustainability. For the last 25 years they’ve worked tirelessly to improve the environmental footprint and sustainability of wool. Now, in partnership with ZQRX, this easy-to-use platform will accelerate this mission and allow partners to rapidly scale their carbon-reducing transformation across the supply chain,” said Actual co-founder and President Karthik Balakrishnan.
The integration of this new partnership furthers NZM’s unrivaled dedication to sustainable outcomes within the wool industry and their foundational ZQRX partners are thrilled to now have access to data-driven metrics to help accelerate and power their sustainability commitments.
“At Smartwool, we are committed to manufacturing products made with 100% climate-positive wool. We’re extremely proud to be a part of the world’s first regenerative wool platform, ZQRX, and unite with The New Zealand Merino Company’s additional brand partners to further the fight against climate change.” said Jennifer McLaren, President and CEO of Smartwool
Jan Van Mossevelde, Global President of icebreaker, adds, “icebreaker has always recognized Merino Wool as an incredible natural resource and the material of choice for better natural performance in harmony with the wellbeing of our planet. We’re proud to activate this belief by being a champion and thought leader for The New Zealand Merino Company’s ZQRX platform. This platform will ensure that we deliver consumers products made with the highest quality, ethical wool, through a groundbreaking regenerative agriculture practice that protects the growers, animals, and land involved.”
The New Zealand Merino Company’s regenerative platform ZQRX takes a big picture view of the global challenges we all face and contributes to solving them by accelerating small, collective, regenerative-driven actions. ZQRX is a new collaborative action platform for people, businesses and organizations that adapt, take action, never stop learning and keep going until they get it right. It requires a collaborative approach from our ZQRX Wool Growers, ZQRX Brands, and the 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. Growers use a new platform called the Regenerative Index 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 wool is essentially a recipe for how we might produce and consume things in the future where products will not only change our lives for the better, they will change our entire world for the better by giving a little more than they take. For more information, visit www.discoverzq.com or @discoverzq.
Founded in 2018 by a team of software engineers, game designers, and clean transportation and supply chain experts, Actual is a first-of-its-kind ESG transformation platform designed to help companies embed sustainability into their business models and meet net-zero corporate pledges. With minimal data, Actual delivers a living ESG strategy that is always up to date, in compliance with evolving ESG standards, and available for stakeholder inspection. For more information, visit actualhq.com.