LoveMerino values Australian made and ethical production so we want to provide as much transparency as we can about our manufacturing process.
You may have heard of the campaign Fashion Revolution under the hashtag #whomademyclothes – it got our attention as it brings to light the makers behind each garment or label. This campaign started a few years back in response to the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh where 1,138 people were tragically killed.
So who makes LoveMerino products? We wanted to introduce you to the team behind our range of scarves.
Lets start on the farm. Our family farm Glenwood is in Wellington, Western NSW, and has been held by the Smith Family for over 100 years. We have 7000 Merino sheep who graze a happy life on 7000 acres. Norm works with a team of contract shearers each nine months to give the Merinos their ‘haircut’ and the process begins.
Processing. The wool is then graded and packed into bales. Unfortunately it’s no longer possible to process wool in Australia – something we hope to change in the future. Our raw fleece is shipped to China to be washed and spun and is returned to Melbourne as yarn. We don’t bleach the yarn so it comes back to us in the soft, natural buttery colour.
Machine knitting. Down in Melbourne the yarn is fed into knitting machines to turn our processed yarn into soft, smooth fabric. Our current collection is a mid weight 180 grams per square metre (gsm) fabric making it trans-seasonal and easy to wear all year round.
The fabric is sent in roll form from Melbourne to Sydney. Depending on the design, the next steps typically involve screen-printing, dying, cutting and sewing. For these steps we work with Mark, Steph and Javed (pictured) at Publisher Textiles & Papers in Leichhardt where they hand silk-screen-print the fabric using traditional methods along 20m tables, repeating the pattern together. Then if the fabric is to be overdyed we drive it to Greg in St Peters where he dyes small batches with flat colour. We pick up the fabric and take to Tam and Le in Marrickville where they cut, sew and tag the finished garments.
Or, if the product is a Shibori scarf we work with Pepa and Karen (pictured) from Shibori in Stanmore. Each scarf is then hand dyed, dipped, died and folded to create interesting patterns and colour transitions.The finished scarves are then driven back to the farm, full circle, where Pip and her team quality check and box the scarves ready to mail them out to customers around the world. We’re really proud of our team and proud we can share our story with you.
Until next time