life Partners and hat makers Loz (Will) and Alex (Bear) are the couple behind beloved Australian brand, Will + Bear. Like so many great Australian fashion brands of late, the accessible brand has found a growing market in U.S. shoppers looking for lesser known, well-made products. The States have now become the brand’s biggest market — perhaps, in some small part, because of our team’s own hat shopping habits these days!
We’re happy to see growth in brands like Will + Bear who prioritize sustainability. Just this year, Will + Bear announced their partnership with Odonata, a not-for-profit Australian entity that will help the brand embrace regenerative farming. Through the new initiative, Will + Bear hopes to move to renewable and biodegradable Australian wool only for all of their buckets, caps, beanies and more.
We caught up with the brand’s founder to talk sustainability, style — and get a glimpse inside their natural lifestyle …
Us in a nutshell: We’ve been together for 7 years and we started Will & Bear after only knowing each other for 6 months. It was a huge leap of faith, but one we’re glad we took.
We began the brand in 2015 from the road with a plan to create a range that inspired a life lived outdoors and a deeper connection to nature. Our products are designed with circularity in mind and made from the finest natural fibres, our styles are timeless long lasting, to ensure we are kind to our earth.
Our dream for Will + bear is…We aim to be a constant reminder of the natural world and our place in it; to create and grow a culture of people who care for the environment, and to inspire all to preserve it.
Daily life: We love starting the day with a beach walk to set our day up perfectly, then we get to work in our studio at home. As a digital business we regularly connect with our team who all work remotely from various locations. We also try to get out in the garden as much as possible and fill our day with beautiful fresh, healthy food and plenty of fresh air.
When we’re not working we’re… Loz: In the garden — 100%. The garden provides perfect ‘me time’ and gets me out in nature. Alex: Surfing. We live near some of the best waves so it’s perfect exercise and also epic fun.
Our favorite product lately: Our go-to hats are the Andy Oak for Loz for it’s simplicity and classic style and Parker Bone for Alex because it such an easy hat for everyday wear.
Our best-seller: The Calloway Fawn is our absolute best-seller. It is such a timeless style and everyone who tries it falls in love.
Fave outdoor getaways lately Tasmania, Australia. For such a small part of the world it has so much to offer. There are so many cute Airbnb’s along the road or you can hire a van and do it all on the road. The landscapes are spectacular and some of the most beautiful hikes we have ever done are in Tasmania. It also has a cooler climate so it’s a perfect place to escape the warmer states of Australia during Summer.
About the new sustainability Initiative: The Odonata Foundation are leaders in regenerative biodiversity and we are very excited to be working with them moving forward. Through our exciting new partnership, we’re now supporting regenerative farming and biodiversity projects for Australian wool growers. We aim to increase bio-diversity for land holders. Stay tuned for a new style later this year to really help build on this partnership.
Why regenerative agriculture matters so much to us: We really care about where our products come from and how they’re made. We want to look after the land where our materials come from and show the world that farming and fashion can do good for the environment. It is essential, moving forward, that businesses in the fashion industry are changing the narrative and finding ways to realign their company values.
3 other sustainable brands important in fashion now? Our friends at Bellroy are doing absolutely epic things, making a lot of their products from recycled and even vegan fibres. We use them ourselves to keep life on the road organized.
Since circularity is a priority for us, we’re a big fan of shoe brand Twoobs. All their shoes are 80% recycled and 100% vegan materials, but the best bit is that once you are done with your shoes, they take them back and recycle them into playground mats. As they say, fun and functional, something for us to all aspire to.
Our biggest and most important inspiration is our own online community. They keep us honest and ensure we live up to our purpose and values, plus they take us on all their adventures via social media.
Any great tips for taking care of our hats? Store your hats on a flat surface, or even better create yourself a signature Will & Bear hat wall. If your hats go a little out of shape while you’re on the road, you can always steam them back to shape when you get home.
Our best packable hat is the William, perfect for travel if you don’t have much room!