KITX Responsible Wool
Our Psychedelic Jersey story is a true feat of local supply chain, technical execution and luxury material.
For this story we have collaborated with local manufacturing business Melbourne Textile Knitting (MTK) using the finest Australian merino wool, ethically sourced from Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) certified farms, local printers Parlour Printing, and made locally by Ina in Sydney.
Starting with the fibre itself an Australian Merino wool: a natural and renewable resource. By using pure wool it ensures when the fibre is disposed of, it will naturally decompose in soil in a matter of months or years, slowly releasing valuable nutrients back into the earth. Not only does it decompose, it also uses 18% less energy than polyester and nearly 70% less water than cotton to produce 100 sweaters making it the best choice for our transeasonal pieces.
Knitting fibre to fabric with MTK, an industry stalwart of 85 years. Being one of the few companies to survive the local exodus to off-shore manufacturing by relying on their dedication to craftsmanship and innovation, and use of niche techniques and machinery to continue create unique, quality fabrics. All the fabrics are designed, knitted, dyed and finished in Melbourne from premium fibres.
MTK’s wool is sourced through a local wool broker and is strictly from RWS certified farms, located mostly in the east of Australia. The wool is all RWS certified which centres around many factors including best animal husbandry practices, ensuring it is non mulesed and in many cases from farms embracing regenerative farming practices.
Stephen from MTK describes his work as
“Challenging. I love what we do because it is challenging and pushes us to make more interesting and innovative product.”
By using smaller scale machinery they are able to produce fabrics that are both beautiful and completely original that simply cannot be replicated on a high volume machine; setting them apart in the market place.
From fabric to finishing, Candice from Parlour Printing is 1 of only 2 businesses in Australia that employs this particular process of reactive printing. She uses reactive dye inks which are water based and Oeko-Passport approved and it currently building a post-washing system with filtering which will recycle the water and capture excess ink that is washed out, ensuring it does not end up polluting our waterways. Candice elects to only work with natural fibres.
“Working with natural fibres requires a lot of hands on knowledge that you can only really get through trial and error experience. Each fabric is slightly different and requires its own chemistry and processing techniques.”
The finished fabric is then transported by road less than 900km from Sydney to Melbourne rather that by sea or air over 7,000km. Producing locally, not only supports the Australian industry but greatly reduces the garments carbon footprint.
Once the fabric has arrived to Sydney our customary local production continues with the fabric being cut and beautifully hand crafted by our long-term partners.
- Written by Kristy O'Loughlin, KITX's Sustainability Custodian
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