Glen Orkney Station
Home to Lynda, Simon and Tom Harvey
How did you come to work with icebreaker? Why are you still working with the brand today?
We’ve been working with icebreaker for 17 years because it is genuinely interested in the triple bottom line philosophy. As consumers we are becoming so much more aware of what we’re eating and what we are wearing. icebreaker is really leading the way with sustainable clothing production and our business practices are aligned.
Why do you love growing merino for clothing?
The fashion industry has to change the way it’s working. It’s not sustainable for people to be dumping excess clothing on an annual basis. Consumers need quality garments which at the end of their lifetime can be composted. We farm with that ethos in mind and believe merino wool is a part of the answer.
How are you protecting the land for future generations?
We all see the land as something we’re borrowing. We want to be able to produce this wonderful, biodegradable fiber that we’re totally passionate about but we don’t want to displace everything else that was here before us. We want to be able to farm alongside that.
We’ve learnt a lot over the years about not running too many animals and how to manage grazing to allow land regeneration. We are constantly working to maintain top-soil, organic matter and carbon in the soil.
"We all see the land as something that we’re borrowing. We want to be able to produce this wonderful, biodegradable product that we’re totally passionate about but we don’t want to displace everything else that was here before us."
How are you working to maintain biodiversity on your station?
Biodiversity is life on earth. On our farm, it’s the trees and the birds and insects that provide a healthier environment for our sheep to graze on, and it must at the end of the day provide a better product. We also do a significant amount of work planting natives, fencing waterways, weed and predator control. We have a wonderful amount of bellbirds and fantails, and the tui has recently come back. Native birds are a special part of the regeneration.
Why have you recently planted a carbon forest?
We have planted a small carbon forest to complement what we do on the farm. It has been strategically placed to also provide shelter to the merino. It gives our property the potential to offset emissions in the short-term while we’re trying to work out better solutions for offsetting methane in the long term.
What does nature mean to you? How are you moving to natural?
To me, moving to nature means always rethinking what we’ve been doing historically and saying - is this sustainable? Is there a better way of doing that? Can we find a solution that is not using plastic? It’s buying into this whole cyclical philosophy a lot better.
Sustainability isn’t just a feature of our products, it’s in the values and design of our business.
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