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Zulu & Zephyr Manufacturing

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 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.

FACTORY VISITS

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.

SUPPLIER CODE OF CONDUCT

Our Supplier Code of Conduct 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 committed 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.

BUSINESS SOCIAL COMPLIANCE INITIATIVE

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 remuneration 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.

We currently have four out of nine suppliers that adhere to the BSCI auditing program. Three that have been able to supply their yearly follow-up reports on schedule in these unprecedented times.

SEDEX MEMBERS ETHICAL TRADE AUDIT (SMETA)

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.

We have two suppliers that are members of the SMETA program holding current Sedex audits.

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)

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.

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.

We look forward to sharing more information as we continue to trace our operations, striving for full accountability and transparency.

Ongoing Commitment

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.

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 its 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.

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 Head of Product and Sustainability, 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.