Net Zero Knits

A journey, made using zero carbon transport, to create hand-knitted jumpers entirely in Australia from our world-first methane-reduced Merino wool.

Stage 01

Asparagopsis Seaweed

Using pioneering CSIRO lab technology, Tasmanian seaweed producer Sea Forest was the first to develop the commercial production of a native red seaweed called asparagopsis taxiformis. When fed to livestock as just 0.2% of their daily diet, asparagopsis reduces their methane emissions between approximately 80%-90%.

Stage 02

Seaweed Merinos

In 2020 M.J. Bale and our single-source partner, Kingston farm in the Tasmanian northern Midlands, begin a world-first methane-reduced wool trial. 48 Merino ewes are used in the trial, which was overseen by University of Tasmania honours student, Bree How. 105kg of greasy methane-reduced wool was produced at shearing.

Stage 03

Kingston Departure

It wasn’t quite a peloton, but on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 M.J. Bale Founder Matt Jensen and intrepid courier/ adventurer Two Dogs cycled 35kg of our world-first methane-reduced wool out of Kingston farm. Two Dogs rode the wool all the way to Constitution Dock in Hobart, where he loaded the special packages onto his engineless boat, Ratu, and made his way up the east coast of Tasmania.

Stage 04

Hobart to Geelong

Two Dogs braved large waves and robust winds sailing the methane-reduced wool up the east coast of Tasmania. He stopped in at Triabunna to visit Sea Forest, then continued to Deal Island. With a favourable weather window, he crossed the Bass Strait, one of the most treacherous ocean passages in the world, in his wooden engineless sailboat. Two Dogs then navigated the dangerous “Rip,” the narrow channel connecting the Bass Strait to Port Phillip Bay, and danced on arrival in Geelong.

Stage 05

Trust the Process(or)

After almost two weeks at sea, Two Dogs cycled the 35kg of wool the few kilometres from the port of Geelong to Riversdale Mill. The 102-year-old woollen mill, one of the last large scale wool processors in Australia, washed and scoured our beautiful, silky superfine Kingston seaweed-fed wool into fluffy goodness. From here, Two Dogs cycled the wool to Bacchus Marsh to be carded and made into ‘top’ by the indefatigable Trish Esson of Cashmere Connection.

Stage 06

View From The Top (Maker)

In Bacchus Marsh, the infallible Trish Esson moistened, carded and combed the fleece into follicular-perfect condition. After two weeks at sea, Two Dogs enjoyed stretching out his sea legs on the bicycle, which he used to transport the wool from Geelong to Bacchus Marsh, and on to Macclesfield for spinning.

Stage 07

In a Spin

Two Dogs cycled to Macclesfield, at the foot of the Victorian Dandenong Ranges, to meet Gayle Herring of Fibre Naturally Woollen Mill. After three days of spinning, 17.5kg of 5-ply methane-reduced wool yarn was produced and loaded onto spools. Having not been washed with chemicals at any stage, the wool is wonderfully soft and smells of raw lanolin.

Stage 08


Requiring an expert hand-knitter to create a world-first product, we turned to 70-something retiree, Val Chaffey, who is considered the “Bradman of needlework.” Working out of her retirement home in Ballarat, and knitting while she watched sport on “the telly”, Val created two beautiful styles: an Aran Island-style cable knit and, fittingly for Two Dogs, a mariner’s turtleneck knit.

Stage 09

Knit Picking

Six weeks after delivering the spun yarn to knitter Val Chaffey in Ballarat, Two Dogs returned to pick up the two prototype knits. Each jumper took Val between 10-12 days to knit by hand and are incredibly detailed. Two Dogs then cycled to Geelong, where he loaded the sweaters on his boat and sailed to Sydney.

Stage 10

Hello, Sailor

Safe at last, and damn handsome, too! After 113 days, 1500 nautical miles of sailing, over 2000km of cycling, and incalculable hours spent on the dance floors of regional Victoria, Two Dogs sailed his classic wooden sailboat into Sydney Harbour in September 2022 His journey for M.J. Bale started at Kingston farm, Tasmania. He endured storms and calms, dirt roads and tiresome tarmac, but had chain of custody of our world-first methane-reduced wool, taking it from the shearing shed, to the the wool processors, spinners and hand-knitter, and now the finished product. Coming next: Two Dogs sails to Alaska to drop the knits off to a special VIP.

Stage 11

Stay tuned for Two Dogs’ Sydney-to-Alaska trip in 2023.