How to Support Locals: from Wool Growers to Website Creators
As a Victorian on-line retailer selling baby sleeping bags, we truly enjoy working with local businesses to make and sell our products, and we love promoting the virtues and baby health benefits of using merino wool, a natural fibre grown by Victorian farmers.
Victoria - the 4th biggest wool growing country in the world!
Merineo’s ethos stems from the owner’s passion for merino wool, having grown up on a wool growing property in country Victoria, Australia’s second biggest wool growing state. Victorian farmers make a huge contribution to global wool supply - if Victoria were a country, it would be the 4th largest wool growing country in the world! It's a privilege to acknowledge the work of this hardworking group: 16,919 farmers in number (plus their family members).
Over 90% of the world's finest apparel wool is grown in Australia
Merineo uses superfine merino wool to make its newborn swaddling bags, baby and toddler sleeping bags. Prized for it's luxurious next-to-skin comfort and naturally healthy attributes, it's perfect for babywear. Australia is renowned for producing over 90% of the world's fine apparel wool, so it’s great to promote and support not just Victorian farmers, but Australian farmers also! (Photo on left: Newborn baby sleeping in Merineo. Photo credit: Kiddy Kats Photography, freelance photographer based in Ferntree Gully.)
Unfortunately Australia no longer has the capability to process wool, so after farmers press their wool into 200 kilogram bales and auction it at the Australian Wool Centre, it’s shipped overseas. Merineo purchases its fabric from a woollen mill in Europe, where it's turned into fabric, and flown back to Melbourne to Merineo HQ.
Arrival of fabric into Melbourne
Upon arrival into Melbourne, we pay customs duties and fees to freight forwarding services so we can take delivery of the fabric. Then it’s cut by a local cutter and sewn into baby sleeping bags by local sewing machinists or ‘makers’. Our designs include coloured binding around the edge of the products, also made from merino wool. This fabric is cut by a special binding service located locally in Thomastown. We buy our thread and zippers from suppliers in Richmond.
Each garment has a size and care label attached, and proudly we use a local service, Cash’s in Hawthorn, who make them for us at their factory in Leongatha. Our brochures and hang tags are printed by printers in Tullarmarine, Port Melbourne and Burwood.
Once the garments are made, they are ironed in-house and packaged into boxes made by a Melbourne box making business, and posted to our wonderful on-line customers using another Australian service: Australia Post.
To comply with AS/NZS 1249:2014 (the Australian Standard relating to the labelling of children's nightwear and limited daywear having reduced fire hazard) our products are fire tested at the Australian Wool Testing Authority in Kensington.
Local I.T. services
Our website was created by an Aussie designer and graphic designer, and we use other Australian services including Go-Daddy website hosting service and Canva, to create amazing graphics.
Flying the kangaroo logo
Merineo is proudly a licensee of the Made in Australia campaign. This means our products are listed on their website, and we are licensed to use the kangaroo logo. We pay an annual fee, which is used by the Campaign to promote Australian made products.
So, when you purchase a product from Merineo, your money is paid to local businesses, and the funds paid to the European woollen mill are, of course, invested in buying Australian wool.
Cotton products manufactured overseas do not support Victoria
Compare this to other baby sleeping bags, the majority of which are sadly made overseas, and made from cotton or from a synthetic textile. To start with, cotton is not commercially grown in Victoria, so you are not supporting local primary production. Secondly, the fabric is made overseas, cut, sewn, quality control checked, ironed, packaged – all overseas, and into boxes also printed and made overseas creating no benefit for locals.
For every $1 you spent, 48 cents is recirculated locally
We've had a hunt around for research about the multiplier effect of buying from local businesses, and found research showing that for every $100 you spend on a local independent business, 48 cents is recirculated locally, whereas if you spend your $100 at a larger chain store, it’s less than 14 cents. That 48 cents passes through many local hands; don't underestimate the financial and non-financial benefits this has on your neighbours and their families. We take pride in supporting locals and we encourage you to too!
If you're searching for a go-to shop to buy Australian made products, try Endangered Australian Made in Woodend. This family run business only sell Aussie made products and deserve accolades for their advocacy work!
Look after future generations
When buy your next baby sleeping bag, or you’re about to buy a baby shower gift, or a gift for your newly born grandchild, niece or nephew or your special friend’s baby, pay special attention to whose local economy your hard earned money is supporting. Don’t underestimate the power of your purchase in supporting local business. You too can support anyone from wool growers to website creators!