We offer two collections at Wilderling, the first is our foundation range of Merino garments/accessories, and the second is a bespoke collection of garments to style with the merino range. Wilderling was born in the mountains of Central Otago, where we have four very distinct seasons. When considering our environment we knew we wanted to design a range that would take children through all of these seasonal changes. As babies and children grow so quickly in their first years of life, we want to ensure that our clothing is trans-seasonal and made to last. Each piece in the capsule collection can be mixed and matched, and we do not differentiate between boys and girls, more through styles of garments in various colour-ways. Letting you choose the style and look which best suits your child’s personality and needs.
Through our Capsule Collection we offer a range of high quality clothing, made to be worn and loved. What does quality look like? At Wilderling, quality looks like thoughtful design that is beautiful yet functional, research such as wear and wash testing, the finest fabric selection, high quality construction techniques that take longer to implement but give a better result, and lastly attention to detail and finishing. All of the aforementioned aspects that make up our garments take time – time to sample, test and wear to determine performance. Time to research and source the best fabrics and trims. Time to talk, meet and discuss in order to build lasting relationships with our manufacturers and suppliers so that they understand what Wilderling’s mission is and how important their role in the process is. As a result of this, Wilderling will bring out collections as and when they are completed, loosely following the changing seasons, but not to follow trends and fads. We believe in the journey, not the end result. The journey of life and of living. Our hope is that every item be unique, with the love and care that is poured into each piece felt by the children who wear them, and the babies who are wrapped in them.
Natural Fabrics: our Capsule Collection is made up of a variety of different fabrics which all have one thing in common – they are all made from natural fibres. While it can be argued that almost all fibres are technically from nature, we go one step further and define a natural fabric as those whose origins are from cellulose (cotton, bamboo, flax and jute) and those from protein (wool, hair: alpaca, cashmere, mohair) and silk). The rest of the fibres that make up fabrics are classed as manufactured fibres and we strive to not use these in our collections for reasons associated with the harmful manufacturing processes to produce them and their inability to be biodegradable. Generic names of manufactured fibres include: Polyester, viscose, modal, triacetate, nylon, acrylic, and elastane to name but a few. By law, all clothing must be labelled with the country of origin (where it was made) and what it was made from (the generic names for the fibres used to make the fabric).
High Quality: our Capsule Collection features the finest natural fabrics as well as highly skilled construction techniques to ensure the finished garment is made to the highest standard in craftmanship. We take the time to consider the best sewing techniques to use in the making of our clothing and have not standardised this process as a one-size-fits-all model. Some seams will be fully encased (French seams), while others will be fully lined to hide all seams. Hems are double rolled and sleeves are correctly set in. Collars are fully fused and top-stitched, pockets are beautifully lined and there are darts, pleats and carefully constructed plackets and button stays. Such attention to detail and time needed to make the garment, creates a finished product that is not only beautiful to look at, but is durable and able to withstand wear.
Trans-seasonal: the idea behind the Capsule Collection, as previously stated, is to have clothing that is made for layering. With the ability to layer, you can add or remove pieces of clothing as the weather changes. For instance, a dress from our collection could be layered with a merino turtleneck, woollen tights and boots in the winter. With a jacket overtop on a chilly morning. Come spring a merino long-sleeve top could be layered without tights. And in summer the dress could be worn on its own, barefoot in the sand at the beach. We envisage our Capsule pieces forming an all-year-round wardrobe for a child, meaning they get maximum wear out of them before passing them down to younger siblings or friends.
Functional: it is all very well to have beautiful clothing but not at the cost of functionality. We want children to experience the joy that is childhood, and as such they need the ability to move and play. When designing each piece in the collection, we carefully consider movement, the age of the child and how the child or baby will be able to be dressed. For instance as babies spend most of their time on their back, we have designed our rompers to not have closures on the back or decorative features that may cause discomfort or make it harder for a caregiver to take on and off the child.
Adjustable waistbands: with our trousers, we have designed them to have elastic in the waistband which can be further be adjusted to fit a wide range of waists. It wasn’t enough to just have elastic, we wanted the elastic itself to be adjustable. From the outside the trousers look like a well constructed pair of fitted pants, but inside you see the careful design is hidden inside a waistband and easily accessible for adjustment as a child grows and develops.
Age appropriate design: as parents ourselves, we are aware of the changing needs of children at all ages. Dresses are annoying for toddlers learning to crawl or babies who lay flat on their backs. Therefore we offer dresses from age 1year, and instead offer a romper from 0-3 months which is more practical through its ability to be fastened under a nappy and not ride up when the child is held.
Timeless fabrics: while we are naturally drawn to current fashion trends, we are conscious of fads that are more associated with the fast fashion industry where getting the latest ‘look’ out to the public every 6 weeks is the goal. Here at Wilderling our guiding principles are aligned with a more considered approach to fashion. We want our designs and fabrics to reflect this and to be passed down throughout generations without dating.
Designed to last: through using the best quality natural fabrics, and making the clothing to the highest construction standards, we have created a collection of pieces that want to be treasured and looked after for their lifetime. We encourage the wearing of clothes and the celebration of everyday. Wear, enjoy, wash, mend and pass down.
There is no denying the harmful impact that the manufacturing of clothing and textiles have on the environment and the people that work in the industry. While this has quickly become ‘normalised’ by big fast fashion brands, it doesn’t need to be our future. And it is not only in textiles, it is our food and every aspect of our lives that has been outsourced over the years for production. We are so removed from the process of how it is that things appear on shelves in supermarkets and shops that we are desensitised to it. We don’t know, what we don’t know. Slow, considered business practices want to know more, do better and not hold profits as the benchmark of ‘success’. We want to educate ourselves and our customers, we want to ask questions and share our findings. We aim to create transparency and accountability for our processes and continuously strive to improve and change in order to get there.
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