How/Where it's made.

How/Where it's made.

"Sons of the South" was conceived in 2014 by two 21-year-old ski bums who just wanted some good-looking, functional kit to ski, travel, and party in. Since then, we have endeavoured to keep as much of the production process as we can in Aotearoa New Zealand. This can sometimes prove difficult, but to us, it's worth every penny. We want to share with you exactly what goes into making our Merino T-Shirts and Long Sleeves and be as transparent as possible about where everything comes from and who we work with.

Everyone is probably already aware (most Kiwis, anyway) of why Merino is our fabric of choice, but just as a reminder:

  • It's a natural, biodegradable fiber (sheep grow it).
  • It keeps you warm.
  • It doesn't smell after heavy use.
  • It's soft.
  • It's basically magic.

For a full rundown, see our "About Merino" page here.

To start the production process, we, of course, need to source the fabric. We buy Merino by the roll from Wall Fabrics. Wall Fabrics is a Kiwi fabric supply company started in 1991, and it's probably my personal favourite part of the process. Heading into the warehouse to have a browse through the merino section is great fun, and you never know exactly what you're going to find.

For the last 5 years, we have been buying ZQ Merino off the shelf at Wall Fabrics. ZQ is a New Zealand-owned wool collective that sources wool from farms all over New Zealand. After buying the wool from Kiwi farmers, it is sent to Vietnam for spinning and knitting. This is the only part of the process that is not done in New Zealand. Unfortunately, it's pretty tough to find any fabric that is actually spun in NZ nowadays, and that's not for lack of trying. Short of yarns made for the kind of knitting your grandma does, we haven't been able to find a truly New Zealand-spun/knitted merino technical fabric like the ones we use from ZQ.

After being spun, knitted, and rolled, Wall Fabrics purchases the finished product from ZQ, and we purchase it from Wall Fabrics. We buy from Wall fabrics (not ZQ directly) as they quite often have leftover rolls from other bigger companies that are at a better price point. If we bought straight from ZQ it would be a minimum order of 1024m @ $36/m which is a little out of our price range. Once we have found and purchased our favourite merino, we transport it ourselves in the back of the trusty Hilux Surf to the next destination. Stirling Cutting.

Stirling Cutting is a small, independent pattern-making and laser cutting company based in Papakura. They employ 10-15 staff, depending on the season, and are run by a couple of legends who have been a huge help to us over the years. We give them the rolls of fabric, and using the patterns they helped us to make, they laser cut all the pieces required to make a T-shirt, long sleeve, neck warmer, or whatever else we come up with. Once they have finished the cutting process, they courier the bags full of merino directly to Stitch Perfect.

Stitch Perfect is another Kiwi-owned and operated company specializing in sewing the garment into a wearable product. Fraser and his team of seamstresses/seamsters bring our products to life and put care and detail into putting all the pieces together, which in turn makes our merino as hard-wearing as can be. One of my favourite short sleeves we've done was put together by Fraser's team over 8 years ago (one of our original samples), and I'm still wearing it almost daily through winter with zero defects to the workmanship.

Once Fraser and his team at Stitch Perfect have made the merino wearable, we send the boxes full of merino off to Colour Evolution.

Run by Mike and Kathrine, Colour Evolution is based in Eden Terrace (Auckland's Garment District) and is our one-stop shop for screen printing, heat pressing, embroidery, and labeling. We have been through a few different suppliers to get to them but are super happy with how everything works and the service they provide. The team there has been invaluable in sourcing dyes and paints specifically for printing onto merino and even mixing and matching to create harder-wearing and stretchier prints.

And that is pretty much the last step in the process. After Colour Evolution is finished we have a complete product, The rest (Photos, Shipping, Marketing, Web sales etc) is up to us and gets carried out in the garage at HQ.

We are super passionate about keeping the product made in New Zealand and work hard to keep it that way and at a fair price point. All of our suppliers pay a living wage, provide jobs for Kiwis and provide a high quality service. This results in a high quality product. Our merino is harder wearing and longer lasting than anything else on the market. 

So if you want a quality product for your outdoor activities that is also made right here in little ol' NZ, shop Sons of the South. Owned by Kiwis, Made by Kiwis, Worn by Kiwis.

Chur x 


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