For the first time in over 12 months, I was able to travel back from my current home in Austin Texas, to the place I grew up and where my family continues our 120 year old wool growing tradition, Boorowa NSW. A small town 3.5 hours southwest from the city of Sydney, surrounded by rolling hills and well know for it’s local Merino wool growing.
For me, this is the place that holds the most connection and power to what I aim to achieve with Sir W. Merino. Growing up here, you almost don’t notice the impact that Merino wool has on the local area, only for the fact that it’s just what we consider “normal”. It’s not until you move away that you notice; not everywhere is so lucky.
As you enter the town of Boorowa, you are greeted with a “Welcome to Boorowa” sign, and underneath it reads- “Home to Australia’s Best Merino Sheep”.
For generations, Merino wool has been a life blood for the local area bringing in deserved income for the woolgrowers and supporting the community that surrounds it. For it is not only the farmers that make their income from the production of Merino wool, but the local farmhands, shearers, brokers, transporters as well as the extended community- schools, banks, cafes, supermarkets, sports teams and the list goes on. Woolgrowing and the operations around it, keep this town alive.
Returning back to our family property where I grew up, and where my family still live, always stirs up a true sense of pride- as well as the internal pull to return home and live on the land.
For most woolgrowers I know, they would describe what they do as a lifestyle that requires extreme perseverance rather than a job, and I see it the same way. They battle long and unconventional hours, drought, floods, pests, up and down economic results and have little time off, but the aim is always the same; to produce the best Merino fleece they can whilst simultaneously taking care of the land they do it on.
And the result of their work, rarely seen by the farmer themselves- being such a superior and high end fiber for fashion, most Merino wool is sold, processed overseas and worn as luxury fashion garments all over the world.
Those wonderful customers that do purchase and enjoy the the amazing product that is Merino wool, well, very few have any idea of where, how and who is responsible for growing the products they love. Unlike the plastic fibers (polyester, nylon, acrylic), Merino wasn’t made in a chemical lab, it was grown naturally on Merino sheep, managed and cared for by generational famers who support their family and the community that supports them. And this is the bridge I hope to create with Sir W. Merino.
I hope to connect my customers to the places and people that are responsible for producing the Merino fibers that they love. So that when someone buys a Sir W. shirt, they understand they’re wearing more than just a shirt; it’s the next step in a journey. One that began 12-18 months ago, on a local farm in Australia, and one that will continue on for many, many years.
I appreciate your continued support and hope to bring you many more wonderful Merino products in the coming years.