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Grace Shares her Fibre Experiment October 22, 2015 16:26

Our school-based trainee Grace, has popped together a little post about some of the exciting things she gets to do for her Textiles Fashion and Design Traineeship.

"I have been working at Woolerina for the past four months, as I am completing a traineeship for Textiles Fashion and Design, and I love it! I have gained so much knowledge not only about sewing, but also about the great fabric that we use. The wool is not only great for your skin but it also keeps you warm and is great for everyday wear.

One of the components that I have to cover in my traineeship was to “identify fibres and fabrics” part of this component entailed me doing a burn test on natural and man-mad fibres. While I was doing the test I noticed how the man-made fibres such as polyester would catch alight and burn down into a hot sticky substance that was unable to be crushed down into ash. You can see that if you were wearing this type of fabric it would cause serious damage to your skin. Whereas the natural fibres like wool would pull away from the flame and self-extinguish, leaving a fine ash. So by wearing a woollen garment it actually smoulders and doesn’t burn.

  

Burning Polyester

 Burning Wool

Burning Silk

This test really shows the difference between natural and man-made fibres and how they react so differently to the flame. Here is just another reason why everyone should be wearing wool!"

I think we may have converted Grace to wearing wool - what do think? Pretty interesting little experiment I'd say!

Pippa xx


Family Business Day September 18, 2015 15:07

This Saturday September 19th is Family Business Day - a celebration that is a little bit close to us. Did you know Woolerina is a family business? In Australia over two thirds of businesses are family businesses and many of those make and/or grow their products - keeping local farms and manufacturing plants in business and local people in jobs. If you're in family business join in the celebration this Saturday.

Woolerina was established in 2005 by my father Warwick Rolfe and now, both my sister Penny and I are lucky enough to work with our Dad. Penny has been Dad's side kick for over 6 years and she knows everything about our business, and I mean EVERYTHING! When we set up office both Penny and Dad even waxed the floor and painted the desks together!

I only recently joined the business in January after spending a 6 year stint in Canada - when I waltzed into the office, I was presented with a trendy white Ikea desk - lucky for me the older sister paved the way, yet again! Family businesses always have their ups and downs, but I think it's probably more ups! We enjoy working hard together; sometimes there is the odd disagreement, but after all is said and done it ends with a BIG hug which is not really the norm in corporate offices... without it being awkward.

Penny and I both thrive off our Dad's passion for Wool, keeping our products Australian Made and ethically produced - from the farm side through to finished items of clothing.

A bit of an oldie, but I love this pic. It is of Penny's first day of school, I think the team fist pump says it all! 

With our love and passion for family business we always look to work with other family businesses. Luckily for us, we get to work with Glenwood Merinos who produce some of the best wool (well, that's what Dad says!) for our collection of clothing. Owners Norm and Pip Smith are 4th generation farmers - the Smith's have been breeding Merinos since 1898 on their property Glenwood, just outside Wellington in central NSW. Norm and Pip have 5 lovely children (Dad says they are the nicest kids he has ever met, I don't think he means nicer than Penny and I, but he hasn't confirmed). Norm and Pip work hard to achieve a balanced outcome for the landscape, the livestock, their business and the people.

The Smith family.

We also work with family business Humphrey Law the Sock Specialist, who provide us with the very comfy socks we sell. Sidney Humphrey and Albert Law established the sock factory in 1947. The original factory still exists, although it has been considerably extended, and while the original partners have died, sock making continues under the management of Albert Law’s children Rob and Elizabeth. Rob and Elizabeth are some of the nicest people you could hope to meet and this filters through to their entire staff who provide customer service which is second-to-none, and a product to match! 

Happy family business day! I hope you can all celebrate and reflect on the day of just how important and special family businesses are. As a family we will continue sharing warmth with the world!

Pippa xx

#madebyourfamily

#grownbyyourfamily


Hello Spring, we are happy to see you! September 14, 2015 15:23

Finally the blossoms are on the trees and some warm weather is upon us!

With Spring well and truly here, we are very excited to be launching our first ever Spring collection. Featuring a lightweight t-shirt for both women and men, along with some of our existing (and favourite) lightweight pieces for women, this collection is sure to be the ultimate in comfort this season. 

               

 Merino clothing typically gets put back into the wardrobe at the end of winter, so we thought we'd share some of our favourite reasons why we love Merino in warmer climates too. 

Merino wool is naturally breathable and will 'wick' moisture away from your body and move it away into the air, eliminating any clamminess or discomfort from being wet and/or sweaty...it has the added bonus of not absorbing body odours! In this process, wool can actually absorb up to 40% its weight in moisture before it begins to feel wet.

Merino wool is a natural insulator through the tiny air pockets in the fibre. It assists your body to adapt it's temperature to keep you comfortable across a broad range of atmospheric conditions.

Merino wool has a naturally high UV protection rating, to keep you safe from those hot rays.

And finally, possibly the best bit, through the hard work of wool growers Glenwood Merinos, the Merino fibre used in our clothing so incredibly fine, soft and lightweight making it oh-so comfortable and giving it the most amazing drape.

With this new collection of ours, we dare you to give wearing Merino in warmer weather a go! 

Penny. x


A change is in the air... August 12, 2015 16:51

It's only slight, and it's intangible, but we've had a little hint that the change of seasons may just be upon us.

It started with this - beautiful wattle blooms before July had even finished! There's something about wattle and it's beautiful bright yellow colour...you can't help but smile when you see it.

Last weekend the sun shone for the first time in a week and a breeze blew that just 'smelt' of warmer days.

And the days seem a little longer - no more getting up in the pitch black or coming home from work in the dark. Yippee!

Although mostly it still feels very much like Winter, these little hints of Spring seem so promising and with the added excitement of our very first (although tiny) Spring collection, we say 'bring it on'!

Let us know what makes you excited for the change in season...or are you hanging onto these cool days?! 

Penny x.


5 things I'm loving about Winter July 12, 2015 15:55

1. A Roaring Fire - inside, outside, open, or slow combustion, it doesn't really matter what form it comes in, they're warm and comforting and soothing for the soul!

 
2. Porridge - the most deliciously warm and nourishing start to my day. Sometimes it's as simple as with milk and a tiny sprinkling of brown sugar, other times it's infused with cinnamon and served with poached rhubarb and nuts. Either way, it's sure a morning highlight.

 

3. A Woolerina Singlet - in my opinion, this is the key to surviving cold winters! I wear it to bed, on my morning walk and then all day. I literally don't take it off...getting it washed is a challenge, so I'm very glad Merino wool doesn't absorb odours and can literally be worn for weeks on end without a wash! My love for a good singlet dates back to some of my earliest memories, Mum & Dad were always making sure we had one on as a base layer.  
Woolerina Womens Singlet $69.00

 

4. Indulging a Scarf Fetish - I have many scarves in my wardrobe, Winter means I can wear one every day but also splurge and add a few more to my collection!

 

5. Hot Coffee - I love a good coffee, especially a cappuccino - that sprinkling of chocolate is a real treat! 

What are you loving this Winter?

Pippa xx


We're opening our doors! Shop in-store. June 24, 2015 10:34

With Winter in full-swing here at Forbes, we are excited to be opening the doors at our HQ for 5 days next week. We will be converting our office into a full retail space showcasing our complete range.

If you've ever wondered where we are or where you can check out the clothing you see on our website, next week is the time to visit us! There will also be some great discounts on discontinued lines.

Come alone, bring your friends, or tell someone who might be in the area...we'd love to see you and/or them! All purchases made in-store over the week will go in the draw to win a $50 Woolerina Gift Voucher.

You'll find Woolerina HQ at 70 Torig Road Forbes (off the Escort Way, just 5km from the centre of town).

We will be open from Tues. 30th June - Sat. 4th July (T-F. 10am - 5pm, S. 9am-12 noon).


You know you have a winner when... June 11, 2015 10:23

...a blogger happens to feature your dress not once, but 3 times!! 

Vanessa over at Style and Shenanigans keeps coming up with fabulously creative ways to pair our Merino Winter Dress with other winter essentials. She has hand picked some awesome pieces that go a long way to dressing up our simple LBD. 

Last week's look was with a wool wrap vest, which shows off the dress and keeps the body warm at the same time. Practical - how boring. Fashionable - how fun!

And this was worn to a school parent's dinner. From the other side of the classroom - from a school teacher point of view (mine, not Vanessa's) - this would be the perfect work outfit. And the girl is from Melbourne, where they know warmth.

Shop the look:

Woolerina dress $139 

And then this week, we noticed via Instagram, that Vanessa has decided to go a little more casual with our cardi. It's a great pop of colour - 'tomato' to be precise - for days that might otherwise seem a little dreary. 

 

Shop the look:

Women's Cardigan $129

Nice one Style and Shenanigans! We're feeling the love...and hope everyone else is too. Don't forget to tag #woolerina if you happen to snap your good self on Insta wearing our goods. We would love to see your everyday style.

Cherie


Styling Me, Styling You June 03, 2015 16:09

Nikki over at Styling You has given us a bit of loving this week - and we're pretty thrilled with how wonderful our winter pieces look on her.

 

Nikki is rocking the cobalt blue cardi - and she lives in Queensland no less! (We're still in shock that our friends north of the border are also experiencing this recent dose of cold weather - we just thought they wore shorts all year round!)

Nikki has some great (not to mention honest) followers on her blog and social media outlets and it's agreed that the colour is a hit with Nikki. Teamed with a simple black top, matching scarf and our very own Woolerina happy pants and it's an outfit that's sure to be one of those 'I just threw this together in 5 minutes, but it looks like it took ages' outfits. 

Shop the look:

Women's cardigan $129

Women's happy pants $159

Women's long sleeve scoop (similar to Nikki's) $95

Nikki's blog has a little bit of everything - fashion advice, first and foremost - but also where to eat, shop and even read like a real girl! Her comments sections at the bottom of each post also offer great insights from her readers - there's a real sense of community. Sometimes that's where the true pearls of wisdom are found! 

Have a wonderful (chilly week!) 

Cherie


3 Things We're a Little Bit in Love With... April 22, 2015 08:07

1. Peppermint Mag

This is one seriously sustainable and stylish magazine. And we're a bit in love. Peppermint Mag has the knack of combining cool things, with a conscious slant, minus the hairy armpits. We like to align ourselves with such folk and you might even find a little bit of Woolerina goodness in the latest issue. Check out their equally entertaining website here.

2. Clothes Line 

 

Recently we had the opportunity to donate excess stock to a very worthwhile cause Clothes Line. Here's Pippa with a couple of the amazing men who make this charity happen. The donated goods go directly to homeless and needy people of Australia...and wouldn't they be doing it tough with this recent bout of freezing and rainy weather?

Woolerina challenges you to do the same:

As you make the change over from summer to winter wardrobes, do a quick 10 minute 'inventory' as you assess your winter wardrobe. It's easy - if you haven't worn an item in the last 12 months (ie last winter) then out it goes. We don't mind who ends up with it, as long as everyone keeps warm and happy this winter. There's something very satisfying about dropping your clothes into your local Vinnies or Salvos.

3. Fashion Revolution

Warwick with his handiwork.

 

This is one revolution that is really building. And it's on April 24, so only two more sleeps! This year we are a part of some super duper big names, from all over the world, who are joining forces to bring awareness to where your clothes come from. You might recognise some well known names in fashion on Fashion Revolution's Instagram here (including our own Warwick!)

Don't mind us jumping up on our soap box for a minute, but we feel strongly about keeping Australian designs authentic and the Australian Fashion Industry as lively as it currently is. And it all comes down to the supply chains - something that Woolerina battles with almost daily - in ensuring our ethically produced woollen wares are made by people who are not exploited.

So why not start the conversation? Read more about our take on it here and why it's such a valuable initiative.

And what are you a little bit in love with at the moment?

Cherie


Fashion Revolution Day April 09, 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


Style and Shenanigans April 01, 2015 16:38

Are you a bit like us, and feel a bit bogged down by bloggers? There are so many out there, it’s hard to choose which ones to follow. Who is being authentic? Who has a taste similar to mine? Who cuts through the crap to give me their honest opinion? Well we think we may have found our blogging Godess!

Vanessa of Style and Shenanigans  is one of a handful of down to earth, independent and natural bloggers that you are instantly drawn to. The name says it all, the style is quite easy to spot, while the ‘shenanigans’ might be more to do with her family and easily relatable lifestyle.

Our favourite blog posts include ‘Luxe to Less’ snippets – of how to manage a budget and stay in the trend loop. She shares practical tips on how to put together your everyday wardrobe and her style is the perfect match for Woolerina. We were chuffed when she featured our Woolerina dress in one of her recent Autumn posts. Read all about it here 

She has styled our LBD in 3 ways, and we love them all (actually particularly the 3rd, which is put together effortlessly with a long line cardi and cons) Which one is your favourite?

Pippa xx