How are the sheep treated (animal welfare)?

We share your concerns wholeheartedly. Animal welfare is one of many reasons we source our wool in New Zealand. There is not only zero tolerance for any deviation from strict rules which govern how animals are to be tended to but there is also a self-policing mechanism where individuals will report any untoward behavior. Simplistically, the NZ countryside is one of the most beautiful landscapes on earth. Sheep there roam freely and eat grass fed by rainfall. NZ shearers are the best in the world as are the scourers who subsequently clean the wool.  Shearing happens every five months; it is not only necessary but not uncomfortable for the animals. Other reasons we source wool in NZ are quality of product, consistency, scouring (cleaning) and cost. The kiwis are the best at each of these, including – animal welfare.