Will & Bear, is an Australian headwear label created by adventuring loving couple Lauren (Will) & Alex (Bear).
With a love for life on the road and a life lived outdoors, the philosophy behind their brand was to create the highest quality products to last the longest journeys while giving back to the places that they play.
Here Lauren & Alex share their “Why” behind the brand and their next adventure to create more sustainable products using upcycled waste material with the launch of “KEEP IT SLOW” campaign at startsomegood.com
Where did Will & Bear start?
Will & Bear was born on the road. Back in Tasmania a few years ago the inspiration for the brand was sparked. It was our time spent in the wild nature that is Tasmania that first got us thinking about how we could give back to the places we love so much.
A hat to us represents a life of adventure, a necessity to a healthy life outdoors and an item that if designed well only gets better with age, lasting you a lifetime. We saw an opportunity in hats to work on new and innovative manufacturing technologies and materials to help reduce our reliance on new fibres.
How important is it to work with natural materials?
Hats in our first range were made from 100% Australian wool. It’s natural, biodegradable, renewable and can be upcycled. It’s the perfect fit for our environmentally sustainable goals. From the start sustainability played a major role is our designs and every business decision we made so much so that it’s ingrained in the ethos of Will & Bear
So your hats are made in Inner Mongolia? How do you ensure the working conditions?
We visited the manufacturers (who we’ve stuck with for years now) during the research stage. We wanted to be confident in their business practices, that all our partners are Reach, fair-trade, and SGS approved. Our commitment is to continue a thoughtful, responsible & sustainable business.
Why did you choose to partner with trees.org?
Trees.org have demonstrated the transformative power of trees in addressing the global environmental crisis. Through their projects in West Africa, they have shown that “people can leave a legacy of opportunity through sustainable practices”.
This ongoing partnership with an organisation that can affect positive outcomes on a global scale makes us immensely proud.
By purchasing a hat from us you are helping counter the effects of deforestation, as well as supporting families and communities out of poverty.
One hat sold, 10 trees planted. To date, we have planted over 27 football fields worth of trees and help sequester 700 tons of carbon from the atmosphere.
What do you hope to achieve from this launch?
We want to start developing our first “Keep it Slow” range of products, turning upcycled waste materials into brand new products.
This new range of hats will be designed to leave the lightest footprint possible by reducing our reliance on new fibers. These manufacturing technologies drastically reduce the embodied energy of each product we create.
But this isn’t all we want to do, we’ll be integrating more sustainable practices within our current business model and are actively working towards becoming B-corp certified by 2020.
Any advice for someone with a great idea to give back?
Just start! Be proud to stand up for what you believe in. Don’t be overwhelmed by how to help or make a difference. It’s important to remember you can’t do everything at once and every little bit counts. Just remember to keep moving towards a better future.
Thanks to Lauren & Alex from Will & Bear