Wee Woollies News and Press

Straight to the Source - Wee Woollies does NZ May 09 2018

When the opportunity arose to travel to New Zealand as a family to visit the source of our wool we couldn't pass it up. Sourcing the highest quality Merino wool fibre for our garments has been our mission since we launched Wee Woollies more than 5 years ago. It was important for us to know we were using fabric of the highest quality, and that the processes involved in producing it were both safe for the sheep and the environment.

On our quest to source the most ethical, sustainable fibre we discovered ZQ Merino, launched by The New Zealand Merino Company: "to help people understand that their textile choices could be a reflection of their beliefs – you are what you wear – and that Merino, done the right way, was a smart and sustainable choice." Growers show their commitment to the ZQ Merino ethos by meeting the highest standards in the areas of animal welfare, environmental care, and social sustainability, along with delivering premium quality “fit for purpose” fibre. 

It's easy to feel good about what you do when you know the foundation for your business reflects your values, but we needed to see it for ourselves! So we set off on a woolly adventure. After two glorious weeks of sailing with my parents in the Bay Of Islands, we headed to the South Island to Merino country.

Boat life in the Bay of Islands, NZ. 

Urupukapuka Island. A sheep's paradise! 

Our first stop: The New Zealand Merino Co. headquarters in Christchurch to learn more about the innovation and dedication behind New Zealand's Merino wool industry. In true Kiwi style we were greeted with open arms and tremendous enthusiasm for our brand. With the backing and support from such a forward-thinking, environmentally responsible company, who partners with the world's leading brands, we left our meeting recharged and inspired wondering where this journey will take us next. It was absolute validation of what we do and why we do it. 

At the New Zealand Merino Company Headquarters in Christchurch, NZ

After a long journey south though the pouring rain and the remnants of a tropical cyclone we finally made it to New Zealand's Southern high country to the town of Middlemarch in the stunning Central Otago region, famous for its Merino sheep. We could only see a a few feet in front of us the rain was so heavy and had no idea what our surroundings looked like, "worst summer on record" our hosts told us - lucky us! Needless to say, when the sky cleared the scenery was breathtaking. Our first day we toured the farm with our fabulous hosts Lynnore and Andrew. They own and operate 7000 acres of land and at various times throughout the year manage 6000 Merino and cross breed sheep for the wool market.

Lynnore and one of her Huntaway dogs working the flock, no matter what the weather. Middlemarch, NZ.

These NZ Heading Dogs are truly brilliant. Animal and human synergy at work.

Flourishing crops in a stress - free environment nourish healthy, happy Merino Sheep who in turn produce high quality fleece - it's complex science at work and truly incredible to see, especially for us city folk. The Merinos graze the higher, dry land and seek shade and shelter under the giant rocks and boulders. The ewes birth their lambs under these rocks; the perfect natural habitat for Merinos - with extreme ranges in temperature and weather conditions and an abundance of grass varieties for them to feed on year round producing the best wool fibre perfected by nature. 

Where the Merinos roam. Central Otago, NZ

Watching the process at work was awe-inspiring as Lynnore and Andrew worked together with their dogs to move the sheep from paddock to enclosed pens for "drenching" (to control internal parasites) and then out to another paddock. Their experience as farmers and wool experts runs deep, with a lifetime of farming and accreditations in dog training and wool classing and much more. Visiting the wool shed and feeling and analyzing the wool up close was, to me, like coming full circle. Here we were with our three little inspirations putting our hands in the very raw fibre which will eventually become our garments.

Bringing the sheep in for "drenching" to control internal parasites.

Filip and the kids helping get the job done.

In the wool shed. Lynnore explaining micron count and fibre strength. 

Every part of our "on farm" experience blew us away... the kids actually cried when we left, so did we(almost). It could have been the farewell to the litter of puppies, or Ellie and her pony. And for us, home to the world's best Pinot Noir. Well that, and the sheep of course ;) 

A final (teary) farewell to Ellie(the farmers' daughter) and Comet in a paradise like no other.  Outside our cottage, Middlemarch. NZ

If you have any questions about our adventures in Merino country, please get in touch! info@weewoollies.com 

 

 

 


Wee Woollies in Gear Junkie - Keep Kids Warm! December 04 2017

Gear Junkie features Wee Woollies Merino Base Layers as a favourite gear choice for layering kids in cold weather to keep the little ones cozy. 

Read the full review here.


Wee Woollies in Eco Parent Magazine February 06 2017

 


Wee Woollies and Canada Post April 04 2016 1 Comment

We have been so fortunate to work with the the wonderful people at CBC Television, not only pitching on Dragons' Den, but we were also offered the opportunity to shoot a full length commercial with them and Canada Post.

As a small business we rely entirely on Canada Post for all of our shipping needs, so when they asked us to be a part of their Solutions for Small Business campaign, we were more than happy to help out! We had a great crew come out from Toronto to do the shoot in one of our favourite west coast locations. It was a full day of countless retakes in the hot August sun, but we thought we did pretty well, all things considered. 

You might catch us on CBC Television during Dragons' Den on Wednesdays at 8pm or you can watch the commercial anytime online here: http://www.cbc.ca/dragonsden/canadapost/wee-woolies


Financial Post sums up Dragons' Deal January 28 2016

After pitching on Dragons' Den and a subsequent deal with Jim Treliving for our ask of $200,000 for 20% equity in our company, and following some discussion and due diligence, we mutually decided that the best way forward would be for us to continue self-financing rather than give up equity in our company.

We have had nothing but support and encouragement from the folks at CBC and Dragons' Den. The experience itself was terrifying, and watching ourselves on National Television was excruciating, but we have been overwhelmed with positive feedback and a huge spike in orders. So all in all an amazing experience we won't soon forget, but are happy to put behind us!

Watch our pitch here.

Read our post-Den Financial Post feature here.


Wee Woollies Pitches on Dragons' Den January 13th! January 05 2016

The countdown is on! Our pitch is just over a week away from airing on CBC Dragons' Den. It's hard to believe the day is almost here, when it was way back in February of 2015 that we were encouraged to attend the CBC Dragons' Den auditions in our home town of Victoria, BC. In March we heard the exciting news that we were selected to pitch in the Den at the Canadian Broadcasting Centre in Toronto. We were assigned a fabulous producer and spent several weeks preparing our pitch. In May we flew to Toronto, arrived very late, slept very little, and showed up early the next morning (4am our time) with bleary-eyed children ready (well as ready as we could be!) to face the Dragons. Let's just say it was an experience to remember... forever. Tune into CBC Television and find out what happened in the Den!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 13th at 8pm. Outside of Canada - you can watch online shortly after we air.

A bit about the show: One of the most successful Canadian reality programs, DRAGONS' DEN averaged nearly one million viewers each week during the 2014/15 season, reaching one-third of all Canadians. In addition to its success on-air, DRAGONS’ DEN is also a hit online, boasting an active and engaged online community and averaging more than 450,000 page views per month. Full episodes and exclusive behind-the-scenes content can be viewed at cbc.ca/dragonsden. DRAGONS’ DEN is filmed at the CBC Broadcasting Centre in Toronto and airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC Television. Tracie Tighe is executive producer and Molly Middleton and Amy Bourne are senior producers. Dianne Buckner hosts.
Find the show online at:
cbc.ca/dragonsden


facebook.com/dragonsden


@cbcdragon #cbcdragonsden

 


Wee Woollies in Westcoast Families Magazine October 14 2015

We love media that supports local businesses and Westcoast Families Magazine is known for doing just that! Check out their awesome spread of local fashion in the Back to School Issue. Featured is our Merino Pajamas/Base Layers and Limited Edition Merino Tee - Whale Love, with matching Beanie.


Wee Woollies Review by Cragmama August 08 2015

We love it when outdoor enthusiasts like Cragmama get a hold of some Wee Woollies and test them out on their wee ones. Rock climbing mama to two little ones, this family of four is always up for an adventure. You can read the whole review here.


The True Cost of Fashion - where Wee Woollies fits in June 15 2015

"When everything is concentrated on making profits what you see is that human rights, the environment, workers rights get lost... my god we can do better than this." The True Cost.

A powerful documentary exposing the apparel industry.


There are so many steps to making the clothes we wear, from sourcing and producing the fabrics and trim and the impact that has on the environment, to real people manufacturing the final product and packaging and shipping it to the consumer. The majority of consumers are blissfully unaware of the impact of their purchasing choices. Overall the system is gravely flawed. Not every apparel manufacturer falls into the category of "Fast Fashion", but the majority do.

At Wee Woollies​, our merino fabric is ethically sourced from New Zealand where the Merino sheep are treated humanely and the chemicals and processes used to make the fabric have the least possible impact on humans and the environment (Bluesign®). Non organic cotton and synthetics have a hugely destructive impact on the environment and the lives of the people who harvest and produce it. It's an industry that cannot be sustained and should not continue in the way that it is.

We have our products manufactured in Vancouver, Canada, where workers get paid a fair wage and working conditions are monitored to comply with Canadian labour laws, workplace health and safety laws and building codes. We are just a ferry ride away from the place in which the wonderful people who make our garments work, and by supporting our local economy we are contributing to building a stronger economy which in turn is supporting us as a small business. We pay a premium for this, by our own choice, so that the onus is on us and our customers (not the people who produce it for us) to be accountable for our buying choices because yes, we do have a choice.

 

 


Wee Woollies in Quintessentially Canadian Magazine May 19 2015

Last month we were so pleased to be featured in Quintessentially Canadian Magazine's Spring Issue.  A great publication that features everything from people to products to places - all quintessentially Canadian, of course. Have a look at their Spring Issue here!


Wee Woollies makes the "rad" list at Garage Grown Gear March 07 2015

Getting kids geared up for adventure in comfort and style is our main mission. So we were thrilled to see we were number one on Garage Grown Gear's "12 rad small outdoor gear companies outfitting kids". They are a fantastic company seeking out the best in innovative, high-performing and wildly cool outdoor gear. Check out their list of the raddest gear companies outfitting kids here.


Wee Woollies in Active for Life February 20 2015

We love being a part of an active, adventure loving community. After all, that's why we do what we do, and it makes us feel good knowing that our Merino Base Layers are making it easier for families to enjoy the outdoors in comfort, and style! Active for Life is a great resource for families who want to promote a healthy active lifestyle for their kids and you can read what they think about Wee Woollies here.