Zulu & Zephyr began its journey in the Summer of 2012. Founders Candice and Karla Rose set out to revive and relive their mother’s Australian fashion era in the 1970’s. The design brief was to evoke nostalgia with vintage prints and a focus on texture. As the success of the brand has grown, so too has the social responsibility which has led to the shift of our internal processes and priorities for the better.
In 2021 Zulu & Zephyr is committed to being the best brand it can be for our team, our extended workers, associated suppliers and our customers.
It is our utmost goal to achieve prosperity for all those associated with Zulu & Zephyr. We commit to providing our wider team with opportunities to succeed and have a positive impact. Our collective priority is harmony for the human race and to contribute to the protection of our planet through lower impact clothing production.
Approaching ten years as one of Australia’s most loved lifestyle brands, Zulu & Zephyr is focused on moving forward with sustainability at the helm. While we recognise that we are not perfect, we are committed to navigate the complexities of a multifaceted industry with a considered and conscious approach. Celebrating our achievements to date while highlighting the areas of improvement so we can make the most impact, for the health of the people and planet that we cherish.
Join us as we make an impact and help you make one too, for a more sustainable future.
ECONYL® Current Signatures & Mini
Our entire Signature swim and our Mini swim collections re-launched using ECONYL® in 2020. Featuring the classic ribbed lycra synonymous with Zulu & Zephyr, exclusively developed in premium, regenerated nylon. Made from ECONYL® Rib outer and lined in premium weight ECONYL® lining.
ECONYL® is made through a revolutionary process of recovering fishing nets and other nylon waste from oceans and landfills that then gets regenerated into its original, pure nylon form. Using a recycled material reduces waste and pollution in the environment but also cuts down the need for raw materials & crude oil used in the production of nylon.
The positive impacts of using ECONYL® are not just limited to the revolutionary process of waste regeneration but also the impact of removing the raw material from our oceans through the partnership with Healthy Seas
Ghost fishing nets are an environmental catastrophe but Healthy Seas volunteers’ are responsible for recovering discarded nets from our oceans that would otherwise cause injury and death to marine animals. It is this environmental stewardship that has awarded ECONYL® the EU Ecolabel for environmental excellence. EU Ecolabel products and services meet high environmental standards throughout their life-cycle and promote the circular economy.
ECONYL® is certified by the Oeko-Tex® 100 Standard that ensures that no harmful substances are used in the production and dye process. Materials or products that hold Standard 100 Oeko-tex certification are tested to be free of over 100 harmful substances. Find out more about this standard here
Since the launch of our ECONYL® swimwear in 2020 we have saved 28’000 barrels of crude oil and 26’040 tonnes of Co2 emissions (based on Signatures & Mini 2020, main and lining) while supporting marine protection through partnership with Healthy Seas.
Launching as of Resort 22 November 2021
Launching as of November 2021 styles made from REPREVE® will comprise over 70% of our Resort 22 mainline swim offering. Every swim piece with REPREVE outer fabric will be lined in premium weight REPREVE® lining.
That is only the beginning as we are further develop our textured swimwear, synonymous with Zulu & Zephyr, in REPREVE® recycled polyester. Currently in the development process we are committed to using REPREVE across our entire mainline swim offering by July 2022, both outer and lining.
REPREVE®, a polyester fibre made from recycled plastic bottles is fully certifiable and traceable. Global Recycle Standard (GRS) certified ensures the highest level of integrity, tracing recycled content while Standard 100 Oeko-tex certification ensures health and safety for people and planet.
Find out more about REPREVE® certifications here
Swimwear made from REPREVE® helps to reduce the use of raw materials while diverting plastic and pollution from landfill. Unifi, which transforms bottles into REPREVE has recycled over 25 billion plastic bottles while offsetting the use of new petroleum, emitting fewer greenhouse gases and conserving water and energy in the process.
We look forward to sharing the impact of our Resort 22 swim collection using REPREVE® once we have relevant data
We offer Free FedEx Priority shipping on all orders. Delivery Duty Paid (DDP) - Duties & Taxes are paid by the customer when heading through the online checkout. We strongly suggest selecting DDP when heading through the checkout to avoid additional fees and transit times.
Delivery Duty Unpaid (DDU) - Duties & Taxes are paid by the customer when entering destination country. If you refuse to pay these charges and your parcel is returned to sender, all shipping costs will be deducted prior to any refund being issued.
GOTS ORGANIC COTTON
Current in After Sun collection
We first introduced the use of GOTS certified organic cotton in our Spring 2020 Ready to Wear collection. Currently 25% of our apparel offering in Resort 22 is GOTS certified organic. Used throughout the collection in lightweight shirting to our exclusive woven stripes developed with artisan weavers in India.
Choosing GOTS certified organic cotton ensures we are aligned with the three pillars of sustainability; environmental, social and economic. So often we find that positive environmental impacts create better opportunities for people, socially and economically and organic agriculture is a great example.
Organic cotton is a more sustainable choice for a myriad of reasons. While conventional cotton is grown using pesticides and chemicals which degrade the soil, reducing the fertility of the land, organic agriculture has a positive, restorative effect. Through chemical-free farming practices, growers can enrich the land creating healthy, carbon-rich soils which require less water and mainly relies on rainwater. Pesticide runoff and the contamination associated with it, is avoided. Crop rotation encourages biodiversity and natural pest control which benefits surrounding flora and fauna. The social and economic benefits are also clear, organic cotton farmers are not reliant on costly pesticides, they can yield healthy crops with less water and their communities, often in developing nations, are safe from water and food contamination.
The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is a far-reaching certification which ensures best practice from seed to final product. The standard sets requirements concerning worker rights and social conditions as outlined by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and includes, but is not limited to fair renumeration and assessment of a living wage. GOTS certification also ensures better practices for fibre processing and dyeing, enforcing the use of GOTS approved colourants and auxiliaries and fabric mills must demonstrate environment management, including wastewater treatment.
While we acknowledge that organic cotton is not faultless, for example conventional cotton has been proven to yield more fibres due to the genetic modification of the seed. We do believe that GOTS certified organic cotton is a more sustainable choice that promotes better social and environmental outcomes, improving the prosperity and health of the people that grow, pick and process the fibre as well as for the end consumer.
Since we begun using GOTS organic cotton in July 2020, we can estimate a saving of 217’558 litres of water compared with using conventional cotton.
This is based on data from the Textile Exchange’s 2014 Life-Cycle Assessment organic cotton which has calculated water usage during the life cycle of a cotton t-shirt. A t-shirt made from conventional cotton uses approximately 8206 litres of water compared with water usage of 704 litres for the same t-shirt made from cotton grown and processed organically, a saving of 7502 litres.
EUROPEAN FLAX®Launching as of Resort 22 November 2021
Linen has been a long-time staple of Zulu & Zephyr Ready to Wear collections, a natural and sustainable fibre made from the Flax plant. Beloved for its natural creases, softness and durability.
Linen is typically grown without the use of pesticides and fertiliser as naturally the flax plant requires less than other crops. Although this is not always the case so as we strive for traceability we have sourced European Flax® Linen.
Certified as being of the highest quality linen, its quality and strength is thanks to a unique combination of growing conditions and climate therefore European Flax® cannot be grown anywhere else. With its origins traceable to the wide coastal band of Western Europe stretching from the South of Normandy in Northern France through Belgium and the Netherlands.
Using European Flax® gives us visibility on the raw material so as we work towards full transparency of our supply chain this is really important, we can trust the raw material origins and that environmental standards are met.
European Flax® certification ensures the flax plant has been grown without the use of fertilisers or pesticides, using just rainwater and requiring no additional irrigation. These practices have a regenerative effect on the land, maintaining soil fertility allowing the natural capture and storage of CO2 from the atmosphere. Fibre extraction which is also known as scutching is 100% mechanical meaning zero chemicals are used in the process.
Much like the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), European Flax® certification ensures best practices for all workers involved from seed to finished product, in compliance with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) standards that promote social justice and internationally recognised human and labor rights.
Explore European Flax® here
We look forward to sharing the impact of our use of European Flax® once there is relevant data available.
Launching June 2021
As textile recycling technology becomes more readily available, we are excited to introduce the use of recycled cotton as a more sustainable alternative. Using recycled fibres as a collective is a crucial step towards a circular economy. Allowing us to reduce our reliance on new materials while diverting textile waste from landfill.
Recycled cotton can be from either pre-consumer which includes scraps from the manufacturing process or post consumer which includes garments or textile waste collected by take-back or donation programs. The process involves sorting the fabrics into type which are is then run through a machine that shreds the fabric into yarn and further into raw fibre. This process of shredding puts a lot of strain on the fibre which means the quality of recycled fibres often do not compare to that of the original fibre, end-use applications are also more limited as fibre length is reduced. For this reason, recycled fibres are often blended with new fibres to increase the strength and durability of the recycled fibre.
For these reasons, design and development using recycled fibres takes time and consideration, working closely with supplier to trace origins and ensure product longevity and durability. We are excited to introduce exclusive knitwear styles, launching in June 2021 made from a blend of recycled cotton and viscose.
As an ongoing commitment, we are working to ensure all recycled fibres are certified by Global Recycling Standard (GRS) and any fibre blends are traceable and meet environmental standards as outlined in our Supplier Code of Conduct (link it).
BETTER COTTON INITIATIVE (BCI) COTTON
Launching February 2022
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is the largest cotton sustainability program in the world, it exists to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment and better for the sector. It is an international working group that uses income generated by members to tackle issues of forced labour and decent work conditions that often plague the regions in which cotton is grown.
BCI’s overall mission is to improve cotton farming practices - socially, environmentally and economically. With a focus on better cotton farming practices such as crop rotation, water stewardship, soil health and biodiversity. In turn improving the outcome for people, reducing pollution and protecting livelihoods while improving work conditions with better economic outcomes.
As we work towards best practice and full transparency, it is a high priority to support certified, traceable raw materials and organisations that improve social, environmental and economic outcomes such as Better Cotton Initiative (BCI). While we are committed to making the swap from untraceable conventional cotton we are in preliminary stages of development, finding industry partners that can meet our requirements across product categories.
As of our Fall 2022 Ready to Wear collection, 23% of our knitwear offering will be Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) certified yarn.
Explore Better Cotton here
We choose to use Hemp for its environmentally friendly properties as well as its durability and drape. Often used as a blend with linen or GOTS certified organic cotton as it adds durability and softens with every wear. Our Hemp fabric blended with GOTS cotton holds the Organic 100 Content Standard awarded to blended fabrics to verify the organically grown content.
Hemp from the Cannabis sativa plant is naturally pest resistant so requires a very limited application of pesticide or fertiliser, growing quickly using very little water. It is estimated to use 50% less water than cotton to grow. Hemp also has regenerative properties so its growth contributes to restoring the soil not causing degradation. The soil is replenished with nutrients from the leaves that drop while the plant matures.
Hemp is a more sustainable choice and currently represents 10% of our apparel offering in Resort 22.
Zulu & Zephyr is made for the sun, the salt & the sea. The impacts plastic pollution has on our environment is an issue close to our hearts and the reason why eliminating plastic from our supply chain has been forefront of our sustainability policy.
As an ongoing commitment to reducing our plastic footprint, we are in the process of gaining Plastic Neutral certification on our product range which is an assessment of the volume of plastic used in our products, primary and secondary packaging. We can then reduce and/or offset this through projects run by Plastic Collective, which guarantee that 70% of our offsetting fees fund remote and vulnerable community recycling projects.
We use 100% recycled paper mailers and boxes for all online and wholesale orders. All online orders are shipped in FSC certified, post consumer recycled paper mailers.
Using recycled paper reduces our need for raw materials as well as diverts countless tricky-to-recycle polymailers from landfill. Our paper mailers can be recycled in curbside bins or added to your home compost as a carbon component.
Since we begin using recycled paper mailers to ship all online orders, we have saved approx. 2500kg of plastic per year. That’s a big reduction in non-renewable petroleum based raw materials, instead we are using post-consumer paper material which is a natural, renewable and recyclable resource.
The purchase of our e-comm mailers also contributes to the removal of plastic and pollution from the ocean. In 2020 we removed over 210kg of plastic waste from the ocean through Grounded Packaging and their support of Seabin Project. Read more about this and our own pledge to 1% for the Planet below.
Zulu & Zephyr marketing material is printed on carbon neutral ECOstar paper stock that is 100% recycled post-consumer.
All metal hardware used on swimwear and denim are made from zinc alloy and are produced in line with Oeko-Tex® 100 Standard which ensures that no harmful substances are present in the end product.
Zulu & Zephyr branded buttons are also produced in line with Oeko-Tex® 100 Standard. Currently made from plastic we are in the process of sourcing a natural or biodegradable alternative such as corozo which are made from nut of a tropical palm. Unfortunately when choosing a sustainable alternative the options are often more limited, therefore aesthetics need to be considered but we hope to roll out of use of biodegradable buttons as of Fall 22, launching February 2022.
From 2020 all our woven sew-in labels are now made from 100% recycled polyester. Reducing our use of virgin materials instead using existing materials that would otherwise create waste and pollution.
Swing tickets are made from paper certified by FSC sustainable forestry with string made from recycled paper
Finding an alternative to the plastic hygiene labels used on our swimwear has been an ongoing process. When we re-launched our ECONYL® Signature and Mini collections in 2020 we did so with fully compostable hygiene labels as a collection considered in every aspect. Unfortunately we found the adhesive quality did not match expectations with residue left over. We are currently exploring a new compostable option we hope will roll out on all Zulu & Zephyr swim from September 2021.
Exclusive prints are a Zulu & Zephyr signature, evolving every collection while staying true to the aesthetic of the brand. Each print is hand drawn or painted from a burst of unconscious creativity or with a subtle nod to vintage inspiration. Prints are always exclusive to the brand, reminiscent of eras past or evoking feelings of sun-drenched days.
We value the skills and processes of our artisanal weavers in India, developing our exclusive woven prints and stripes in our ready to wear collections. Often made up of women or marginalised groups, we are proud to support and advance artisan products in turn offering better economic and social outcomes for these small producers.
At Zulu & Zephyr we value the responsible use of dyes and chemicals and we are committed to promoting this throughout our supply chain. We ask that all suppliers ensure they are using high quality dyestuffs that meet stringent quality and ecological specifications and comply with Oeko-Tex® 100 Standard or similar test procedures that limit the use of harmful chemicals. It is important to us that our products are gentle on the your skin while being safe and ecologically beneficial.
Our Indonesia based supplier is in the process of gaining certification as part of the DyStar econfidence® program that validates dyes and chemicals comply with legal requirements and Restricted Substances Lists (RSL). Backed up by the most extensive eco-testing program of any chemical supplier in the industry, econfidence® fosters a more sustainable textile production industry. DyStar is also an ISO9001 certified company which is a set of standards that ensure a company meets statutory and regulatory requirements for quality management systems.
Through the use of registered trademark fibres such as ECONYL® we have piece-of-mind that all dyestuffs meet the human-ecological requirements to be certified by the Oeko-Tex 100 Standard. We hold this certification for raw material as well as finished, dyed fabric; main and lining.
Similarly when using a fibre such as GOTS Certified Organic Cotton our suppliers provide the GOTS certification for raw material as well as finished, dyed fabric. In some instances when this cannot be provided, we aim to educate and promote the use of ecologically sound dyestuffs at small dye houses that do not yet comply.
We are committed to continuous improvement in this area, as we achieve transparency in our supply chain which includes the tracing of all of our tier 2 and tier 3 suppliers we aim to have full visibility of our dye and print makers and their policies procedures in regards to dyes and chemicals.
At Zulu & Zephyr we have always been committed to supporting charitable causes, we take pride knowing our product also serves as a purpose for the greater good. As an ongoing commitment to giving back we have strengthened our partnerships in recent years, to highlight unheard voices and promote meaningful change.
1% FOR THE PLANET
Zulu & Zephyr has been a proud member of 1% for the Planet since 2020. We are part of a global network of more than 2000 business members, in over 60 countries, coming together to protect the future of our planet.
With a donation commitment of 1% of gross yearly sales on all our Signature Collection of swimwear, denim and organic tees & shirts, our pledge is to support value-aligned environmental non profits with a focus on creating the greatest impact. Since we joined the 1% for the Planet movement in 2020 we have supported Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network as well as Thread Together.
We also support 1% for the Planet indirectly through the onboarding of new suppliers that have also pledged 1% of their sales towards environmental non-profits such as Grounded Packaging.
Our support of Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network in 2020 meant a financial contribution of $3200 towards funding their climate justice initiatives with a focus on strong culture and commune values.
Thread Together were able to deliver hundreds of new garments to people in need through our gift of new, unworn clothing.
By choosing to produce our recycled paper kraft mailers with Grounded Packaging who pledge 1% of their sales to Seabin Project we have removed over 210kg of plastic waste from the ocean in 2020 alone.
We look forward to sharing the impact we have made in 2021.
WORN FOR GOOD
n 2021 we have partnered with Worn For Good to promote circular fashion as a creative solution to tackling the issues of textile waste. In Australia, 6000kg of clothing is thrown out every 10 minutes, mostly ending up in landfill. What begun as a way to manage excess stock responsibly, our partnership with Worn For Good has engaged our community on social and environmental justice and the ways in which we can positively impact the world.
'As of 1st July 2021, if the amount was to be donated to one charity alone, Z&Z have single handedly provided a hot meal and a safe and comfortable place for a woman escaping domestic violence to stay for 24 nights, planted enough trees and shrubs to store 24 tonnes of carbon dioxide, provided 24 x home delivered confidence kits to people undergoing treatment for cancer, circulated over 16 kgs of clothing
Thanks to your continued support right from the beginning, we've been able to raise $13,581 for our charity partners this financial year - a huge thank you to you!'
Sophie Palmer, FOUNDER.
We are also dedicated to supporting charitable causes close to our hearts. Some of the charitable causes we have contributed to include Jeans for Genes Day, Make A Wish Foundation, Alannah and Madeleine Foundation as well as humanitarian donations to Syria and the NSWRFS bushfire relief.
Our goal is that all those associated with the supply and manufacture of Zulu & Zephyr goods achieve prosperity in line with the values and conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) that sets out to ensure that economic development is not undertaken for its own sake, but to improve the lives of human beings.
We seek to engage and support our wider team with opportunities to succeed and have a positive impact. Through the implementation of our Supplier Code of Conduct (link) as well as the additional social compliance auditing program we stipulate that all workers must be treated fairly, paid a living wage and be provided a safe and healthy work environment.
Over the years we have developed and supported our suppliers in Indonesia, China & India through the positive growth of our business. We have developed close, long term working relationships, visiting our apparel supplier in Indonesia often. In 2019 we visited our manufacturing partners in China to strengthen these ties and our commitment to responsible sourcing and manufacturing practices.
While we are currently unable to travel internationally, we maintain a strong level of communication with our suppliers. Even through challenging times we maintain open communication through the implementation of our Supplier Code of Conduct, regular audit procedure while working towards our ongoing improvements.
Our Supplier Code of Conduct (SCOC) outlines the minimum level of labour standards that are met by Zulu & Zephyr and all suppliers and manufacturing partners associated with Zulu & Zephyr.
The principles stipulated in the SCOC are in accordance with the Ethical Trading Initiative’s Base Code which is founded on the conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) as an internationally recognised code of labour practice. We are commitment to building strong supplier relationships on the basis of compliance with this code of conduct which thus it is a requirement that the code is acknowledged in writing by all suppliers.
The Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) is an auditing program aimed at improving workplace conditions in accordance with human rights, ILO conventions and national labor law. The BSCI framework is based on 11 principles ranging from fair renumeration to no child labour. BSCI provides audit reports detailing 13 performance areas with an overall rating allowing a comprehensive means for follow-up and improvement. We gather yearly audit reports in order to ensure improvements are being made.
The BSCI is based on 11 principles which participants and their business partners commit to implementing within their supply chains in a step-by-step development approach.
The Rights of Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining
Occupational Health and Safety
Special Protection of Young Workers
No Bonded Labour
Ethical Business Behaviour
Decent Working Hours
No Child Labour
No Precarious Employment
Protection of the Environment
We currently have three out of six suppliers that adhere to the BSCI auditing program. These include our China-based apparel, denim and swimwear.
SMETA is Sedex’s social auditing methodology that enables the assessment of supplier and manufacturing sites to understand working conditions in the supply chain as well as responsible business practices and overall social compliance. SMETA monitors supplier’s standards of labour, health and safety, environment and business ethics.
Our India-based apparel manufacturing partner is currently in the process of gaining Sedex membership. Once obtained we will review and work together to address any areas of improvement.
TIER 1 SUPPLIERS
Zulu & Zephyr value your interest in our manufacturing practices, we know how important it is that the people producing your clothes are paid fairly, treated respectfully and work in safe and supportive conditions. These are minimum standards met by all our tier 1 suppliers as outlined in our Supplier Code of Conduct (SCOC) (link it again?).
We work closely with our tier 1 suppliers, responsible for the direct supply of goods and services to Zulu & Zephyr. Often responsible for the cutting and sewing of our products, they are the last step in our manufacturing process. Tier 1 suppliers also represent direct suppliers of fabrics, trims and packaging.
We look forward to sharing more information as we continue to trace our operations, striving for full accountability and transparency.
TIER 2 / TIER 3 SUPPLIERS
As part of our commitment to full transparency of our supply chain, we are in the process of tracing all of our tier 2 and tier 3 suppliers. Categorised as suppliers that indirectly supply goods and services to Zulu & Zephyr. They are responsible for the supply of fabrics and trims or raw materials direct to our tier 1 suppliers.
While we are proud of our achievements so far, we acknowledge there is a lot that needs to be done. At Zulu & Zephyr we are focused on having a positive impact for People, Planet and Prosperity and moving forward with sustainability as the foundation of our business. Thank you for your ongoing support as we reach these goals, we cannot wait to share more with you.
If you require further information or would like to learn more, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team who encourage curiosity and would love to help.