White River Junction, VT., (June 8, 2011) – Zque™, the leader of sustainable merino wool sourcing and the premier merino wool accreditation program that ensures animal welfare and traceability, announces it is expanding its supply chain beyond New Zealand and into South America. Principals from Ibex Outdoor Clothing recently traveled with Zque™ representatives to Argentina and Uruguay where Ibex signed its first contract in Uruguay to expand its source of Zque™-certified merino wool.
“We are pleased that the team from Ibex were able to see the Uruguayan systems first hand,” said John Brakenridge, Chief Operating Officer of The New Zealand Merino Company. “As with New Zealand’s Zque™ partnerships it’s important that growers and their retail brand partners such as Ibex have a relationship built on mutual respect and understand each others’ quality and integrity requirements.”
The Zque™ program has been developed by The New Zealand Merino Company to satisfy expectations of the integrity of Ibex's Merino fabrics. This includes assurance that Ibex’s production systems meet suitable standards for the stewardship of livestock, management of the environment and socially responsible practices, and that the resulting products are of the highest quality.
Specifically, Zque™ encourages that Ibex’s fiber production is managed through systems that track enhanced animal welfare, environmental, social and economic values, and provides that extra bit of confidence and transparency of the quality and integrity of Ibex's fiber in New Zealand and now in Uruguay.
“The purpose for our trip to Uruguay was to find new sources for merino wool that are as good as the New Zealand Merino we have been sourcing, and to match the finest fiber to the finest fabric,” explained John Fernsell, CEO of Ibex Outdoor Clothing.
Ibex will produce its first garments made from Uruguay Merino Wool in its Fall 2012 collection.
To see the farm in Uruguay and hear more from Ibex executives about their journey to find the world’s finest merino, check out Sourcing the Future -- Ibex’s video from Uruguay, here: www.ibex.com/sourcingthefuture.
Ibex is a designer of year-round merino wool and organic cotton outdoor clothing and cycling apparel, founded in the belief of the superior natural performance and properties of wool. Ibex couples the natural renewable resource with technical innovation and inspired design to create apparel for a diverse range of outdoor and active pursuits and passions. Men’s and Women’s items are divided into Ride, Base, Zing, Peak and Live categories, and are made from the best merino wool fabrics sustainably sourced from New Zealand. All Ibex clothing and accessories are available for purchase online, in catalog and through outdoor specialty stores. For more information, visit www.ibex.com.