Senior executives from international clothing manufacturers icebreaker and Smartwool have been meeting their South Island Merino wool suppliers.
Neil Baker, icebreaker’s senior global creative director, described the trip as inspirational.
“Merino wool is a remarkable fibre and meeting the growers and witnessing first-hand the passion and dedication they put into their work, it’s easy to see how it reflects our approach to our important brand purpose.”
Smartwool and icebreaker are longtime partners of the New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) and in 2017, icebreaker signed the longest ever supply contract with New Zealand growers, worth $100 million over 10 years.
Smartwool and icebreaker’s Europe-based parent company, VF Corporation, has invested in programmes through NZM.
These include three-year soil monitoring project across 30 properties, alongside the annual VF One-Wool Shearing Cadetship, which trains young shearers and wool-classers.