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The Australian merino wool clothing line helping the community

Tasmanian brand Smitten Merino has a wool clothing line that has proved not only perfect for travellers, but it’s helping the local community too, writes Kirstie Bedford.

When Nicola and Carl Mason moved to Tasmania 20 years ago, they felt so connected to this isle state it seemed only natural to manufacture locally when launching their merino wool clothing brand, Smitten Merino.

“We recognised that this unique, green island with its own support system and collaborative, innovative ways, was unlike anywhere else we’d lived before,” says Nicola.

“To start a business here, to support the wool growers we had met, to create jobs, to have everything in our business sourced and made locally, meant that we could then give back to the community that supported us and that felt incredibly important to us.”

Blue Maryann and cardi
Smitten Merino Blue Maryann and cardi
Smitten Merino Black Trench
Smitten Merino Black Trench

Smitten Merino’s grassroots

The award-winning business has since flourished, and Nicola contributes its success to traceability and provenance.

“In this homogeneous world, both our customers and our wool growers seem to appreciate the localness of the Smitten story.”

She says the quality of the product undoubtedly comes from being local. “It means we know our patternmakers, cutters and sewing team by name, and can talk to them whenever necessary. I think that our customers and the community respect that whilst it is more expensive to manufacture here, we do it because we care about our community, about keeping jobs here, supporting skilled people. And it’s a show of solidarity in the clothing industry. Australia needs to manufacture what we want to use, drive and wear.”

Smitten Merino Margo dress in black
The Margo dress in black

All-natural garments

Every Smitten Merino garment is made from natural fibres, lightweight and crushable. It has built in SPF, breathes, and keeps you cool or warm as it thermoregulates your core temperature. It also resists spills and odour, meaning while it’s machine washable, you don’t need to wash it often.

For female travellers, a merino capsule wardrobe of a dress, top, leggings, cardigan poncho and scarf provides endless solutions. This is because it can be worn in multiple ways for different climates.

The clothing is made from biodegradable and sustainable fibre. Nicola says that will become increasingly important to people because they care how the clothing choices they make affect the planet and their children’s future.

Remaining true to a sustainable philosophy, nothing at Smitten is left to waste. All offcuts are repurposecd and used as headbands, beanies or mittens. Even your order is reflective of the business’ ethos, with each package arriving in certified worm-friendly 100 per cent biodegradable postage bags.

Black and white check Twiggy coat
Black and white check Twiggy coat
Shiraz drape cardi by Smitten Merino
Shiraz drape cardi

This Smitten Merino article originally appeared in volume 41 of Signature Luxury Travel & Style magazine. Subscribe to the latest issue today.

Read: Create the perfect vacation capsule wardrobe with Smitten Merino