French inspired Australian brand Blue Illusion are the latest clothing label to jump on board to tell their traceable fibre story, tracking their woollen garments back to the farms where they were grown.
And as clothing brands around the nation dig deeper into their supply chains to learn exactly where their fibres are sourced, it's wool traders like Fox & Lillie who are supporting them to help showcase their traceable fibre story.
Fox & Lillie connected Blue Illusion back to Boree Creek woolgrowers Aloeburn Poll Merinos, one of the woolgrowers who had supplied the wool for their woollen knitwear garments.
Fox & Lillie operate the largest Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) accredited program in Australia, Genesys.
The Genesys program aims to connect woolgrowers with leading brands both in Australia and around the world who wish to source verified wool.
The Green family of Aloeburn are fifth generation woolgrowers, and they pride themselves on being chemical and cruelty-free.
They haven't mulesed or jetted their self-replacing Merino flock since 2006, using specific genetic selection for less body wrinkle, wool that is resistant to fleece rot and body strike.
This year they joined 6500 ewes and by next year their aim is to increase that figure to 7500.
Jodie Green, along with her husband Andrew and son Tom said they work tirelessly to create only the best sustainable practices for their flocks, as well as for the land and soil at Aloeburn.
"We were one of the first members to join Fox & Lillie's Genesys program and have now been certified RWS growers for five years," Mrs Green said.
"As the consumers of the world become more aware of the provenance of where all their food and fibre products come from, so does the awareness by the consumer as to how those animals are raised to provide a beautiful product.
"Whether that be food or fibre - is becoming increasingly important to people.
"Many companies across the world and Australia are wanting to source ethically produced fibre for their products, so then they can market them to the consumer and assure them that they are using fibre from animals that have come from the best possible production operations."
Brand ambassador for Blue Illusion and media personality Catriona Rowntree visited the Green family at Aloeburn to take Blue Illusion's customers on an educational adventure to get a better understanding about the care and dedication that goes into producing a product like Merino wool.
"I just loved having the chance to meet and learn from this dedicated, happy, funny family at Aloeburn Poll Merinos," Catriona Rowntree posted on her public Facebook page.
"It's one thing to share how lovely our sheep are, but we need to encourage people to BUY and designers to USE this beautiful, sustainable fibre and Blue Illusion has long supported wool growers in her heavenly clothing."
Fox & Lillie's processed trading manager David Martin said Fox & Lillie are increasingly working with brands like Blue Illusion to support them with their wool sourcing.
"Brands are diving deeper into their supply chains and becoming more informed about the fibres they are sourcing," Mr Martin said.
"As a result, we are seeing more collaboration along the supply chain which is a really positive step for our industry.
"Not only are we able to provide traceability to these brands, but we are also able to connect our woolgrowers with the wool products that their fibre has gone into producing."
He said demand for RWS certified wool has developed year-on-year with Fox & Lillie receiving growing enquiry in particular from their European and American customers.
Mrs Green said it is incredibly important to show people that their fibres come from a good place.
"It's an incredible opportunity to show consumers the care and dedication we have for our animals who produce such a beautiful, natural and renewable product," she said.
"The most important aspect under the RWS certification is world wide adopted practice of the five freedoms for animals.
"That is a really important aspect of RWS that animals are raised in accordance to the five freedoms.
"It's a really responsible, sound way or producing animals because we are able to show we are raising these animals in the best possible scenario in the environment we expect them to run in."
"The whole experience with Blue Illusion was very special to us."
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