The HERD way
We stay true to a hyper local supply chain, wherever and whenever production happens. The journey of a HERD garment follows strict methods that adhere to a well planned, materials and placed-based approach. Our way will only ever be natural, circular, local, and regenerative, protecting ecosystems where they belong.
Here’s a snapshot of how we do it:
- Eliminating toxic chemicals. Natural only to protect from harmful pollutants
- Swerving synthetic extras at all costs – our buttons are made exclusively from nuts, labels from cotton, and peace silk trimmings
- Supporting farmers growing dye plants, which naturally feed into the local soil and bolster circularity
- Enriching rural economies by choosing intergenerational factories and craftspeople
- Making the overarching process make sense, creating local production systems in locations where fibres grow and a farmed naturally
- Ensuring that every HERD garment will nourish the soil at the end of its long and useful life
While we are always exploring, and developing a variety of textiles, the HERD story starts with British wool – and it’s a perfect case study in how the future of fashion production can become more clean and kind.
A detailed guide to our entirely traceable process:
< 60 miles
Fleece collection & grading
We work directly with a collective of Bluefaced Leicester farmers across North of England, predominately in Lancashire and Yorskhire. Their fleeces are collected annually to a central location where they are graded to ensure only the finest of the wool is used in our yarn and knitwear.
< 60 miles
to Scourers, Carders & Combers
Raw fleece is laden with natural oils that keep the sheep warm and dry through an English winter. To turn it into wool our fleeces are washed with organic detergent to draw out the oil, which is then sold on for use in lanolin balms and cosmetics. The soapy water is then recycled while the fluffy fleeces are blown through huge pipes to the carding machines where their fibres are aligned forming ‘slivers’ – coiled soft snakes of wool. The waste wool from these processes is called ‘noil’ and is sold on to be used to stuff teddy bears and cushions. Lastly, the slivers are combed to align the fibres.
< 20 miles
Fibre is then dyed in huge vats to the desired shade. Our Ecru, Mist, Loam and Peat shades are undyed. We are pioneering the development of plant dyes at scale, and work in collaboration with a plant expert and dye house to develop vibrant, colourfast shades including Shrimp, Moss and Peach.
< 20 miles
Combed wool is turned into yarn. It first goes through a gilling machine which blends the fibre to the exact right shade, sometimes up to eight times to get it just right. Roving thins out the yarn to the right weight. Then it’s spun and wound onto hank, or ball or cone.
< 70 miles
To Knitters & Finishers
In the knitwear world Nottingham, England, is known for the skill of its finishers – the joiners who put sleeves to cardigans and cuffs and hems to jumpers. A really good finisher is hard to find so take a moment to look at the joins in your knitwear – it’s no mean feat to get it just right.