Will & Bear

Will & Bear produce a range of unisex hats that help protect the environment and combat the effects of fast-fashion. Inspired by the outdoors and a life on the road, Will & Bear wanted to produce sustainable, high quality headwear that could encourage change and give back to the environment. Partnering with trees.org, means for every hat that Will & Bear sell, ten trees are planted on the customer’s behalf.

$20K

Crowdfunded via Dreamstarter

41,680

Total trees planted

27

Equiv. football fields regenerated

700

Tonnes of CO2 captured

With the rise of fast fashion and ever changing trends, the amount of clothing that ends up in landfill is devastating - Australians send 0.5 million tonnes of clothing to landfill every year. One environmentally conscious business that’s passionate about preserving our environment for future generations is Will & Bear.

Born on a trip in a van around the Tasmanian wilderness, Will & Bear founders Alex and Lauren wanted their social enterprise to inspire a life lived outdoors and a deeper connection with the environment. The Australian headwear label produces ethical and sustainable unisex hats, made from 100% Australian wool by expert milliners in Inner Mongolia. A hat represents adventure, a healthy life outdoors and is an item to last a lifetime. It was also an opportunity for Will & Bear to work on new and innovative manufacturing technologies and materials to help reduce our reliance on new fibres.

To further their passion for helping the environment, Will & Bear teamed up with trees.org, a group fighting the global environmental crisis by planting trees in areas affected by deforestation. For every hat sold, trees.org will plant 10 trees; they’ve already planted 41,680 trees - that’s enough trees to cover 27 football fields!

"From the start sustainability played a major role in our designs and every business decision we made so much so that it’s ingrained in the ethos of Will & Bear."

Lauren
co-founder Will & Bear

This dream team continues to challenge the ways in which their business can make a difference, and are currently working on a collection of hats made from up-cycled waste materials to lower our impact on the planet and help promote slow fashion. To support their new ‘Keep it slow’ collection, Will & Bear ran a successful crowdfunding campaign with ING Dreamstarter in late 2017 and raised over $20,000.

This slow range of hats will be designed to leave the most minimal environmental impact possible by reducing reliance on new fibres. Turning materials like paper into straw beach hats, plastic bottles into suede & cotton like fabrics and salvaged wool into warm beanies. These new manufacturing technologies aim top drastically reduce the embodied energy of each hat made.

Alex and Lauren are also looking to integrate more sustainable practices within Will & Bear’s current business model and are actively working towards becoming B-corp certified by 2020.

Impact:

41,680 trees planted - equivalent of 27 football fields - in just one year of business

  • contributing to help the global environmental crisis
  • reducing the impact of deforestation in West Africa
  • helping to lift local communities out of poverty
  • delivering 700 tonnes of CO2 captured
How to support Will & Bear:

Buy social – view the Will & Bear range online

Spread the word - follow and share Will & Bear on social networks.

  • April 2016

    Launch of Will & Bear

    Launch of Will and Bear's first 100% Australian wool headwear collection

  • October 2017

    Successful crowdfunding campaign

    Ran a successful crowdfunding campaign with ING Dreamstarter raising $21,465 funds to fund research and development of the new 'Keep it slow' collection.

  • March 2018

    Finalise research and development

    Finalise research and development, factory visits and implementation of the new 'Keep it slow' range of hats

  • 17 March 2018

    Guest speakers at #RadLivin

    Guest speakers at the #RadLivin event - sharing their journey and inspiring other like-minded people together to follow their dreams and make a difference

  • Jun/ Aug 2018

    Launch 'Keep it slow' range

    First product from the Keep it slow collection to launch