Australian menswear retailer M.J. Bale has announced a new five-year agreement with a Tasmanian-based wool farm.
The 116-year-old conservationist-led farm, Kingston, will be secured as a supplier for the brand.
The agreement includes the exclusive supply of Kingston superfine 16-micron Merino wool for the brand’s ‘single-source’ suits, blazers and ties.
Kingston owner Simon Cameron has also committed to a series of initiatives including the reduction of livestock methane emissions, regenerative agriculture practices and biodiversity preservation.
Additionally, M.J. Bale is expecting to contribute up to $500,000 over the course of the next five years, towards biodiversity preservation projects at Kingston.
M.J.Bale founder Matt Jensen praised the landmark agreement.
“As a brand built on the highest quality Australian natural fibres, we remain passionately committed to the sustainability and regeneration of the environment.
“We are driven to make this investment in Kingston with owner Simon Cameron, one of the most progressive and ethical wool producers in the world, not just because it’s the right thing for M.J. Bale, but for the health of our natural environment.
“This commitment to Kingston not only allows M.J. Bale direct access to elite superfine Merino wool, but Kingston effectively becomes a laboratory partner for regenerative agriculture programs we’re trialling, such as the pursuit of Carbon Neutral Wool."
M.J. Bale’s Carbon Neutral Wool project will begin with a year-long scientific trial at Kingston farm starting February 2020.
As part of the trials, CSIRO-certified Asparagopsis taxiformis, grown sustainably by Tasmanian seaweed producer Sea Forest, will be fed to a flock of genetically matched Kingston sheep as a nutrition supplement.
A similarly genetically-matched control flock of sheep will be fed a placebo.
“There are a lot of uncertainties involved in this trial,” Cameron said.
“As a superfine woolgrower, I’m curious as to whether the fleece quality and weight will remain in its current premium state.
"However, I just think this is something we must try. The outcome has the potential to positively affect not just Australia’s level of agriculture-driven greenhouse gas emissions, but the global environment.”
“M.J. Bale’s goal is to become a proactive, regenerative brand and give service to our customer, communities and environment,” Jensen added. “We see ourselves as custodians of the planet, and we want to contribute to global solutions.”