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BTS Of McIntyre’s Transparent Supply Chain

by: Well Made Clothes Staff | 2 months ago | Features

Image: McIntyre's co-founders, Ned Scholfeld (CEO) and Raquel Boedo (Creative Director). Image source

 

Ned Scholfeld and Raquel Boedo, the co-founders of McIntyre knitwear, decided to launch their label after spending one year working on Ned’s father’s Merino farm, soaking up, and being inspired by, over 150 years of Merino wool farming in the family. Here, Ned takes us behind the scenes of McIntyre’s transparent supply chain.

 

WMC: You’ve got a multi-generational family history with Merino wool. Can you tell us a bit about this?
Ned:
We sure do, I grew up on a Merino sheep farm in Western Victoria. Our family has been farming this land for over 100 years, and it was first settled by my ancestor Duncan McIntyre in 1846. We have been running Merino sheep on the property ever since. Growing up on a sheep farm was awesome! Lots of adventures to be had, and an amazing sense of freedom. 

Can you walk us through the production of a garment: from sourcing the wool, to having it spun and dyed, to having it knitted, to the finished product? 
We source 100% Australian Merino wool [here] in Victoria. It is then spun and dyed in China, and we knit the garments in Melbourne, Ballarat, Sydney and Vietnam. 

Why is being made in Australia important to you?
Australia has a long history of making quality knitwear and we really enjoy working with family-run factories, to make great quality locally made garments. 

What are the biggest challenges of making quality wool products locally?
A lot of the production went offshore in the 1990s. Nowadays the factories that are left are really small and don't have the newest equipment, which can limit the things you can make here. Our strategy with this has been to make classic styles here in Australia. However, the biggest challenge is for the factories to find skilled staff who want to sew and finish knitwear. We really need younger workers to take up some jobs in the industry for it to continue to grow. 

Are there also benefits to producing in Australia from locally-sourced raw materials?
For us the benefits of making in Australia are the fact that we can easily drive to our factories and talk through design changes, production issues and quality control. When making overseas these things can be much more difficult to manage. 

 

 You can shop our selection of McIntyre knitwear over here

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