We’ve all grown up knowing that wool is a big part of what makes New Zealand tick – it’s in our DNA, part of our past and definitely part of our future.
It’s not an easy business, growing the world’s best fibre consistently, year after year. To do so requires a huge amount of knowledge about animal nutrition, soil and feed quality, and how to best care for the land that provides for the sheep that call it home.
Swanndri has been making clothes with one of nature’s most sustainable fibres for over 100 years. While the rest of the clothing industry catches up in rediscovering the miracle fibre, we have never stopped using wool ever since William Broome produced our first bush shirt in 1913.
Trusting the shirt on your back to keep you warm and dry in the harshest of weather conditions is what makes our products so popular. Who better to supply the raw material for our garments than sheep farmers from Central Otago who not only supply Swanndri, but also rely on us to keep them warm?
We caught up with the Reid brothers; Doug, Eddie and Willie.
Swanndri was founded in 1913 by William Broome who produced a wool ‘bush shirt.’ Although Broome was a tailor, he noticed that farmers and forestry workers of the time were not equipped for the tough conditions of Taranaki winters, and that’s what inspired him to create the first Swanndri bush shirt or “Swanni”. The first bush shirt, had a collar and short sleeves and was treated with a secret formula which made the water roll of the back of the garment like water did off a Swan, and hence the name, Swanndri.