12 years ago when I started West Indies Wear, we were sailing around the Caribbean islands, living the dream..... albeit on a very tight budget. Adjusting to the tropical heat became our way of life, as we had sailed from the cooler temperatures of Southern Africa.
Every day we got up early and got our jobs done, so that by midday we were back on the boat, hiding from the afternoon sun..... we hibernated away, coming out again only for late afternoon cocktails. Here I am hiding from the sun under the awning.
Being a trained fashion designer since I was 21, and someone who cannot walk passed any rack of clothing without FEELING the fabric.... I couldn't help noticing that the local markets and villages sold predominantly polyester and viscose clothing. Fabrics that filled me with dread in that heat.
.... and so began my obsession with natural fabrics. These islands need cotton I would think to myself, however I never did think to do something about that thought until my colleague from Billabong South Africa said "why don't you start your own label?"
So West Indies Wear was born with a collection of pure cotton fabrics. Last season we added a 100% pure cotton hang tag to all of our pure cotton garments, so that you guys could easily recognize which fabrics are BEST for the island heat.
Did you know that cotton is grown on a bush, first the bush flowers, then the flower falls off and the cotton fibers grow out of the pod that was the flower. Here is a photo of a ball of cotton growing out of the pod.
You see how there are twigs and seeds mixed up inside the cotton balls, that has to be combed out of the cotton, to get it clean before yarn can be made from it. Here below, is a great photo of my friends who were driving through the cotton growing area of Australia and stopped to take photos of the massive rolls of cotton, that have just been freshly harvested.
As there are hardly any cotton processing plants remaining in Australia nowadays, most of this cotton is exported to garment manufacturing countries like India & China.
Here is a photo of our new PURE COTTON hang tag on the new Heliconia Tunic for Summer 2020.
For the new collection, we took it one step further with the PURE COTTON hang tag and added some fun facts to the back of the tag.... here is what they are.
Thank goodness for that, as I also have an obsession for island colors ....but that is another story.
Click here to shop our pure cotton soft Heliconia Tunic.
Want to remember this tunic? Click the PIN IT button below so you know where to find it when shopping for your summer goodies.
One love x