Fashion Revolution Week donation to our local community November 15, 2018 16:06

In late April we took part in Fashion Revolution Week, a truly powerful movement that was established following the 2013 Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh. In honour of this week for every Woolerina garment purchased we chose to donate a Woolerina  garment to a person in need in our local community. We were overwhelmed by the response we received and it was very remiss of us to have not thanked you all for your support earlier so, a huge THANK YOU!!

Warwick, Penny & Pippa spent some time with the staff in the CatholicCare office (pictured above) hearing of the impact the donation will have on our local community.

With your support, we were able to donate 190 Woolerina tops to CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes Homeless Service (previously known as Centrecare Wilcannia-Forbes). CatholicCare Wilcannia-Forbes Homeless Service is a team of seven very kind support workers and their team leader Andrew Bament. These people support a rather large geographical area (more than 30,000 square kilometres!) including the Parkes, Forbes, Cowra, Lachlan and Weddin shires. We were pleased to be able to support people in our own local community who are experiencing hard times - we were really quite blown away with some of the stories of what is happening in our region.

Many of the tops were given to women who had escaped domestic or family violence;  some tops were also kept to be included in Christmas hampers/presents/packages.

 A handful of facts that I thought were worth sharing:

  • CatholicCare Wilcannia Forbes has assisted over 526 cases so far this year.

  • 145 people identified that domestic and family violence was the MAIN reason they were experiencing homelessness. 

  • Many who present have experienced homelessness previously, on average 2-3 times.

  • With only have 5 rooms at the local Forbes women's refuge, you can see the size of the gap for the need in assistance.

We feel very pleased that we were able to take part in Fashion Revolution Week again this year and to honour our belief that all people should have access to fairly made, long-lasting clothes through this campaign. 

Thank you for your support during Fashion Revolution to provide warmth to those in need in our local community.

Pippa xx

Fashion Revolution Week 2018 April 23, 2018 10:16

This year marks five years since the Rana Plaza Factory collapse in Bangladesh where 1,138 people were killed and many more injured. Whilst this in itself is so tragic, the part I find the saddest is that these people were at work, trying to make ends meet, to feed and clothe their families. There is not one of us out there that can’t relate to this. What most who read this can’t relate to, is that their working environment was completely unsafe and that many were not earning a fair wage for the tasks they were undertaking.

I personally feel so lucky to not only have a safe workplace, but also a beautiful one – a fruit packing shed that, as a family, we have worked hard to transform into a clean, light-filled space, located 5km from the central NSW township of Forbes. As I write, the horses & cattle graze in the paddock behind me and the white cockatoos caw as they fly across the sky.

Whilst my role is in administration and operations, it is up to us to make choices in our manufacturing process to ensure that our workers also enjoy a safe, fair workplace. We employee two staff in our production space here at Forbes – Delia and Melissa – who also enjoy the light-filled, air conditioned and heated spaces whilst they work; both are paid above award wages and have flexible working arrangements to accommodate family commitments and the like. 

Our commitment to our workers doesn’t stop with those who are “in-house” here at Woolerina – we are accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia which represents our commitment to the workers right through our production chain – knitters, dyers, and sewers. We are very much aware that without these people, our business wouldn’t be where it is today and that they too deserve fair and safe working conditions and to be paid accordingly.

As manufacturers it is so important that we make these choices, however as consumers we also need to “vote with our feet” – choose clothing from brands that are happy to share their workforce with us; from brands that choose local manufacturing; from brands that choose to be accredited with Ethical Clothing. And don’t be afraid to ask your favourite brands - #whomademyclothes ?

Check out the faces behind Woolerina this week on our social media channels - FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, TWITTER.

Penny. xx

Fashion Revolution 2017 April 23, 2017 15:27

Lately I have been cleaning out my wardrobe, and anything I have not worn in the last 12 months I am donating or giving away to friends. My goal is to create a wardrobe that is functional, stylish and is made up of neutral tones (probably mostly black, I just love black!). As it is Fashion Revolution week, this movement has really hit home for me so I have decided to add another criteria for creating my minimalist wardrobe; it needs to be full of garments that are ethically made in Australia with love.
As you can imagine Fashion Revolution has been a hot topic of discussion in our office, and it has really made me think about my wardrobe, so  I wondered what kinds of thoughts it sparked for our Woolerina team:
"The ability to know exactly where our product comes from, how it has been managed and the pleasure of working with dedicated and passionate people makes me extremely proud and grateful. This knowing is extremely important in enabling us to sell with a noble purpose."
 - Warwick, Founder of Woolerina -

 "We had become a throw away society and no one cared about the planet. This is slowly changing and is very encouraging for our industry that people are starting to care and to ask the question #who made my clothes?"

- Delia, Production Manager - 

"I have 8 children so working in a safe, flexible and ethical environment and able to maintain a work life balance is extremely important. It also allows me to be actively involved in my children's daily life." 

- Melissa, Machinist -

“Penny and I are both so proud to work along side our Dad and to be able to provide an ethical and sustainable product which is made here in Australia."
- Pippa + Penny - 

It really is so encouraging to see so many people taking part in this global movement called Fashion Revolution. I am sure I am not the first to create a minimalist wardrobe with Fashion Revolution in mind, and  I would love to hear if any of you have taken this approach. Lucky for me, my wardrobe will kick off with a few Woolerina's!

Don't forget to ask the question of your favourite brands this week #whomademyclothes?

Pippa xx

Fashion Revolution Day April 9, 2015 08:00

It is just 15 days to go until the second annual Fashion Revolution Day. This is such a great initiative aimed at creating awareness in the fashion supply chain, although it creates mixed feelings for me.

A few reasons why I love this day...

  • It prompts us to remember the 1,133 people who were killed and the many who were injured in the Rana Plaza factory complex collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh. 

  • It’s a chance for us to become aware of the people who make our clothes, the work environments and the ethics of favourite fashion brands/labels.

  • It’s a day when I feel proud of my Dad for creating the clothing brand Woolerina - as a brand accredited with Ethical Clothing Australia, all workers are paid fair wages and have a safe and friendly working environment. I love that we even know our farmers Glenwood Merinos who grow the wool for us.

My Dad (Warwick Rolfe) founder of Woolerina.

And a few reasons why I have mixed emotions…

  • It makes me very sad that 1,133 people died, and even more injured, in the Rana Plaza factory. These people were trying to make a living for themselves and their families.

  • There are still clothing manufacture workers in the world who are unfairly paid and who do not have a safe working environment.

So, on Friday 24th April, join the Fashion Revolution by asking your favourite brands “Who Made My Clothes?” and continue to build awareness in the fashion supply chain.

Who made your clothes?....

Pippa xx