Noble Wilde is a New Zealand-based clothing company that produces high-quality garments from possum merino and other natural fibres. With a strong commitment to sustainability and ethical production, Noble Wilde has been crafting luxurious knitwear in Christchurch since 1982.
In this article, we’ll explore the origins and evolution of the Noble Wilde brand, their use of innovative possum merino fabric, and their dedication to sustainable manufacturing. We’ll also provide an overview of their production process, from spinning the yarn to quality control.
A Christchurch Brand Since 1982
The Noble Wilde story begins in 1982 with the founding of the Weft Knitting Company by Hugh Douglas. Specializing in elegant woollen garments, Weft established itself as a producer of high-end knitwear.
In 1998, Weft discovered an exciting new fibre – possum merino. This innovative blend of possum fur and merino wool inspired the company to create a new line of luxury knitwear. Embracing the principles of “luxury without compromise,” Noble Wilde was born as a way to showcase the wonders of possum merino.
While the company has evolved over the decades, expanding into new fabrics like linen and adopting plastic-free packaging, its commitment to quality and sustainability has remained constant. The Christchurch roots are a key part of the brand’s identity and all Noble Wilde garments are still produced locally at their Canterbury factory.
Elevating Possum Merino to an Art Form
At the heart of Noble Wilde’s offerings is their use of premium possum merino fabric. This unique textile blend pairs the softness and warmth of possum fur with the strength and breathability of merino wool.
Often considered a pest in New Zealand due to their effect on native forests, possums are sustainably trapped and their fur harvested for use in garments. When combined with merino, natural fibres renowned for its comfort, the result is a luxuriously soft, lightweight fabric perfect for knitwear.
Noble Wilde elevates this innovative textile into an art form, using it to create refined wardrobe essentials like sweaters, cardigans, loungewear and more. The addition of possum fur gives the Merino garments enhanced warmth, a supple drape and covetable softness.
Commitment to Sustainable Production
In line with their brand values, Noble Wilde prioritizes sustainable practices in their manufacturing and business operations.
As mentioned, all Noble Wilde garments are produced at their Christchurch factory. This allows them to closely monitor all stages of production and reduce the environmental impact of transporting materials.
They use non-toxic dyes and detergents in their processing which are biodegradable and eco-friendly. The possum fur they source comes from sustainable trapping practices.
By manufacturing locally, they can ensure all garments meet their rigorous quality standards. Each piece goes through multiple quality control checks before leaving the factory.
Their warehouse and fulfilment operations are staffed entirely by women, providing employment opportunities in the local community.
The Production Process
To understand Noble Wilde’s commitment to quality, it’s helpful to explore the key steps involved in creating their knitwear:
The process starts by dyeing the possum and merino fibers which are then blended and spun into yarn. This ensures consistency and durability.
Knitting the Garments
The possum merino yarn is used to knit garments on speciality machines. Some pieces are fully fashioned for a seamless finish. Linen garments are cut from woven fabric.
Washing and Finishing
Garments are laundered using eco-friendly detergents and then go through various finishing treatments to enhance the look and feel of the knitwear.
Each garment is carefully examined by hand, checking for any flaws before being approved. This quality control step guarantees only the best pieces are sent to customers.
Warehousing and Distribution
Their female-run warehouse prepares online orders for smooth delivery to customers all over the world.
This meticulous production process enables Noble Wilde to deliver stunning, ethically-produced garments that meet their unwavering quality standards.
Noble Wilde’s Commitment to Sustainability
As a brand relying on natural fibres, Noble Wilde feels a responsibility to protect the environment and reduce their ecological impact.
Some of their sustainability practices include:
- Using non-toxic and biodegradable chemicals in production
- Sourcing possum fur from ethical trapping programs
- Local manufacturing to reduce transport emissions
- Recyclable plastic-free packaging
- Providing employment opportunities for women
They are constantly evaluating ways to become more sustainable, from manufacturing processes to distribution. This environmental stewardship is core to their brand values and culture.
For over 40 years, Noble Wilde has been defining luxury knitwear with their use of innovative fibres and ethical production methods. Their possum merino garments provide unmatched comfort and warmth, elevating sustainable materials into coveted artworks.
By refusing to compromise on quality while caring for the environment, Noble Wilde has established itself as a model of sustainable fashion. Their Christchurch heritage informs their brand story and their continued leadership in eco-conscious practices points the way forward for the fashion industry.
Frequently Asked Questions
When was Noble Wilde founded?
Noble Wilde was founded in Christchurch, New Zealand in 1982 under the name Weft Knitting Company. They began producing possum merino garments in 1998.
Where are Noble Wilde garments produced?
All Noble Wilde garments are knitted and sewn at their factory in Christchurch. They pride themselves on local manufacturing.
What makes Possum Merino special?
Possum Merino is a blend of possum fur and merino wool, giving a lightweight, soft, breathable and warm fabric that is perfect for luxury knitwear.
Why is possum considered sustainable?
Possums are an introduced species in New Zealand that damage native forests. Using their fur supports regulated trapping practices that protect the environment.
What is special about merino wool?
Merino wool comes from Merino sheep and is naturally moisture-wicking, breathable, antibacterial and insulating while being soft on the skin.
What types of garments does Noble Wilde make?
They produce knitwear essentials like sweaters, cardigans, dresses, tops and loungewear primarily using possum merino but also luxury linen fabrics.
Does Noble Wilde use eco-friendly manufacturing processes?
Yes, sustainability is a core value. They use non-toxic dyes, recycled packaging, local production and ethical practices at every stage.
Where can you buy Noble Wilde garments?
Why are their products more expensive?
The use of premium natural fibres and sustainable production in New Zealand means their garments are priced higher than fast fashion. But you get what you pay for in terms of quality and ethics.
The images on this page are the property of Noble Wilde.
This article was originally published on Garden Globe