Fashion and accessories is a growing category at gift and homewares fairs, as more and more retailers are aiming to diversify themselves by creating new sections to their stores. Also, products now have to be ethical and sustainable to get customers’ attention.
Aussie family business, LoveMerino, is introducing a collection of certified ethical, sustainable and collectable merino garments that can be traced right back to a flock of sheep on their farm.
Founder Pip Smith says the response to the family’s first two collections of designer limited edition merino scarves and accessories has been overwhelming.
“The interest in our story and support for our vision has been amazing, not just here in Australia but from countries like the US, Germany, Netherlands and the UK,” Smith says.
The family has one of the only farms in Australia to be certified under the Responsible Wool Standard, which is a voluntary global standard that addresses the welfare of sheep and of the land they graze on. They are looking to continuously improve animal welfare and ceased mulesing in 2005.
“Consumers around the world are becoming increasingly discerning about the ethical and sustainable aspects of fashion. They want to know where the product comes from, how it was produced and the story behind the brand. This has been virtually impossible with merino wool… that is until our little company came along.”
LoveMerino has also embraced the slow fashion trend and only produces limited pieces with a maximum of 50, working with local manufacturers and designers.
“We are pleased to announce iconic family owned maker AB Knitwear is our new manufacturing partner. The Melbourne-based company has been producing the finest 100 per cent Australian grown fine Merino knitwear since 1979.
“We are also excited to continue our partnership with the amazing ladies from Shibori in Sydney to hand dye an exciting new range of scarves, throws, baby wraps, shrugs and neck warmers using traditional Japanese methods.”
The company is also launching an oversized scarf which has been aptly named the Pashmino. Working in a seasonal colour palette Shibori designs bleed softly with the merino creating beautiful tonal variations and patterns.
“We feel very blessed that our lifelong dream has become reality and have to pinch ourselves on our success so far. All our previous limited edition designs have sold out and we've expanded from direct sales to wholesaling to select retailers including the Art Gallery of NSW. We even won the fashion category of the 2019 Country Style Awards … how good is that!
“I couldn’t be more excited to launch our new collection of luxury Merino accessories and want to build an inclusive community with our friends around the world that share our passion for ethical merino and feel part of our family,” Smith adds.
“We have an amazing story and want to share it with the world. LoveMerino is not just a farming business but a way of life as we aim to achieve a harmonious balance between the environment, animals, business and our family.”
By Marion Gerritsen