Look for 'Baa-code'
17 Jun 2008
A New Zealand outdoor clothing company is supporting the country’s 100% Pure image with a novel marketing strategy that includes the introduction of a ‘baa-code’.
Icebreaker, a clothing company specialising in merino wool garments says it wants to openly show customers its commitment to sustainability and environmental friendly practice. Each garment now sports a "baa code" - a number that retailers and consumers can input at Icebreaker.com to see how the garment was made from start to finish.
Jeremy Moon, the founder of Icebreaker outlined his company’s justification of a clean green image at a recent conference in Auckland that explored environmental issues around rural land use.
In its marketing, Icebreaker takes advantage of the iconic international image of New Zealand as a natural paradise.
Mr Moon said transparency to its consumers was important in supporting that "pure" message.
Free range sheep
On the company's website anyone around the world could see videos of some of the high-country sheep stations that supplied the merino wool used in its garments, and read about the commitment to sustainability, said Mr Moon.
The sheep that grow the merino fibre in New Zealand’s Southern Alps graze on pasture in free-range conditions all year long and are given extra feed at times of slow pasture growth.
Farmers have to meet basic animal welfare requirements such as freedom from thirst and hunger and appropriate comfort and shelter.
All of Icebreaker's merino fibre is sourced from sheep that have not been mulesed - the removal of strips of wool-bearing wrinkle skin from around the tail to prevent flystrike, Mr Moon said.
The supplier farmers were even required to meet minimum standards of care of sheep dogs.
He said consumers wanted products that made them feel good about how they were made.
"They want integrity," Mr Moon said. Flaws in environmental or ethical performance could create hugely destructive negative publicity.
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