A little while ago I went on a trip with Helen Kaminski down to Victoria to celebrate the launch of their Pure Merino Wool collection for A/W 19. The aim of the trip was to learn about their sustainability journey and the way they’re now incorporating beautiful Australian merino wool into their hats, using an innovative new technique. I’ve long been a fan of the brand, and have worn their pieces a lot, so I was interested to see the direction they were steering this collection.
We stayed at the beautiful Jackalope Hotel in the Mornington Peninsula, which was purposely chosen for their sustainable initiatives on site. Some of their practices include collecting rainwater for use, using solar panels, and an on site waste water treatment and recycling system, not to mention the ‘farm to fork’ principle used at all their restaurants. We were even able to forage in the kitchen garden to help us discover more about the local produce and how it ties into the sustainability ethos of the property.
My favourite part of the trip was having the opportunity to visit Barunah Farm where we were able to check out sheep being sheared and learn more about how Helen Kaminski is using Australian merino wool in its collection. In their pledge to be fur free by 2023, Helen Kaminski has worked with partners to innovate a new grade of wool felt that is comparable to the lightness, softness and appearance of fur felt hats. Pure Merino wool is 100 per cent natural and renewable, plus is biodegradable in soil so it ticks a lot of sustainability boxes. Given that 80 per cent of the wool used in fashion globally comes from Australia, this is heartening to know as it’s one way to help reduce our impact on the environment.
The hats itself are gorgeous. So soft to the touch and lightweight too, making each piece a true pleasure to wear. Felt hats are a constant in my winter wardrobe, and I wear them to autumn racing events often so it’s good to know that there’s an alternative to hats made using fur, that’s comparable if not more superior. I also like the fact that it’s one way to support the Australian wool industry and a great way to help the in our important and pressing quest to act consciously and more sustainably.