A Movement 

One of the most important elements of our business is design and production - and ensuring all of our procedures and working conditions with our partners are above board. We invite you on a journey with us to Meet Our Makers. 

Since Zulu & Zephyr's debut collection in Summer 2012, our brand has fostered close relationships with our suppliers, developing and supporting each other through the growth of the label. 

Zulu & Zephyr has invested in building relationships since it's beginning and in 2019 members of our team visited manufacturing partners in China to further our commitment to strong supplier relationships and socially responsible manufacturing.

Our priority for 2019 is to achieve transparency with our customers as to where their Zulu & Zephyr pieces are made. 

Zulu & Zephyr Woven Fabrications

Located just North of Shanghai, our woven garments are produced by a family run business that specialises in outerwear, shirting and lighter weight denim. Working on small orders for the Australian and overseas market are approximately 90 workers across pattern and sampling, sewing and finishing, as well as quality control.

The company's commitment to their workers is supported by yearly audits in line with the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI). During our visit we review the final samples for our Signature woven shirts, after measuring and fitting these are signed off for production. Satisfied to be strengthening our relationship with our suppliers and at the same time finalising a collection of sustainably sourced fibres. 

Measuring and finalising a sample from our upcoming Signature woven shirts.

Zulu & Zephyr Knitwear

While in Shanghai we visited our centrally located knitwear manufacturer, eager to see the progression of our Fall 20 yarn developments.

Here is a small, highly skilled team of knit technicians catering for small boutique and independent local designer brands. Although the manufacture of knitwear is predominantly performed by knitting machines, the sampling and development process requires highly specialised technicians. Our relationship with these makers is valued, not only for their skill and dedication to producing quality knitwear, but their commitment to reducing waste.

Any garments that do not pass strict quality standards get unravelled with yarn re-spun onto spools for use in sampling. 

During our visit we review Fall 20 development as well as current bulk production, knitting and linking in progress. 

Zulu & Zephyr Signature Denim

Connecting with the craftsman responsible for our denim was as explorative as the multi faceted, hands on practice of denim production. A process that is still very much rooted in tradition while technological progression is leading to more sustainable practices. Located South of Guangzhou city we meet firstly with our manufacturing partner at their production facilities before heading to the wash house compound, a collective with a shared, specialised waste water treatment and recycling plant. 

At our first stop we tour through the sampling and cutting floor, where we can't escape the distinct waft of indigo, the plant dye used to achieve traditional indigo denim. Here we meet with the pattern making team to discuss some technical details of our designs then move on to see the manufacturing and finishing off production. Our denim manufacturing is produced in line with BSCI's code of conduct. The female owned and operated business is open and airy, indoor plants thrive in the humid, tropical climate. 

Our Garment Technician Jill and denim factory team - discussing technical details in designs.

We explore the denim compound, a collective of independently owned wash houses that share the waste water & discharge treatment facilities and water recycling plant. Located in the Pearl River Delta region, past failures to control pollution have lead to significant advancements in wastewater treatment and recycling. Key pollution control projects that have been very successful in this region are now highly regarded with other regions following suit. We are proud to support the ongoing improvements pioneered by these facilities. 
Inside the wash house, constructed denim garments are washed with stones or enzyme with water being recycled 3 times before disposal.

After washing denim can undergo a variety of treatments to achieve a wide range of finishes. Many techniques are reminiscent of the traditional shibori method of bunching & stitching. Finally garments are tumble or air dried then head back to the manufacturing facilities for finishing and packing. 

And of course, Zulu & Zephyr Swimwear

Zulu & Zephyr swimwear is known for their exceptional quality swim fabric, design and production. Our manufacturing partner runs a highly sophisticated facility on the outskirts of Guangzhou city. A family run business with approximately 150 workers from sampling & pattern development to manufacturing and finishing. This close knit team maintain a highly organised production line with socially compliant business model, audited yearly by BSCI. With a variety of specialised, automated machinery not only can they ensure high standards of swimwear production, their ability to work with a variety of textural materials has supported the vision of our swimwear designers, offering the distinctly elevated and textural swim that Zulu & Zephyr is known for. 

Inside our swimwear factory - creating the ZZ signature rib.

To read more on Zulu & Zephyr's commitment to having a positive impact on the environment and global community, head to our Ethos page here.