WA wool buyer launches six-colour range of woollen polo shirts

Headshot of Bob Garnant
Bob GarnantCountryman
Email Bob Garnant
WA Merino Co founder Steve Noa.
Camera IconWA Merino Co founder Steve Noa. Credit: Countryman

A WA wool buyer has launched a line of woollen polo shirts with the hope of dressing corporates and mining employees in the “quality” fibre.

Endeavour Wool buyer Steve Noa will next month launch his first range of shirts through WA Merino Co, after setting up the business a year ago.

The woollen polo shirt, called TheMerinoPolo, is a short-sleeved, collared shirt made of 87 per cent Merino fibre.

Mr Noa said he held a lifelong passion to put wool on the backs of the general population and realised the potential when COVID started to change the way people dressed.

“I set up my WA Merino Co business 12 months ago to produce TheMerinoPolo, a woollen polo type shirt that is extremely comfortable to wear all day long,” he said.

“Working with Endeavour gave me the opportunity to purchase greasy wool and gain direct access to the garment stage, working with processing companies in China.”

Mr Noa said the shirts were made for 18.5 to 19.5 micron wool and 13 per cent rayon for durability, with each shirt costing $66.

The shirts come in five colours including royal blue, navy blue, charcoal grey, black and dark green.

Mr Noa said the sky was the limit, with the potential to provide more elaborate, custom-made designs in the future.

“Initially, I will be offering a design that comes with all the quality and benefits that wool has to offer,” Mr Noa said.

“My goal is to attract corporate and mining interests that can appreciate an investment in wool and in doing so, support WA farmers.

”“It is hoped they will see the value in their employees wearing smart, but casual shirts that can be branded with the company logo.”

In his first year of production, Mr Noa has budgeted for 230 bales of wool sourced from WA and Victoria.

The fibre is being processed at Diyang Merino Textile in Jiaxing China and spun at Xinao Industrial Co. in Jiaxing, China.

The first shipment of 2500 men’s and women’s shirts is expected to arrive in Perth on September 15, with an “encouraging” direct and online sale wait list.

“I have travelled to China for 30 years during my career in the wool industry and I will utilise this experience for efficiency,” he said.

Mr Noa said he would work on a very competitive margins in the market place and offer large order great value to large clients.

“It seems polo-type shirts are being worn more freely in today’s dress-down society, but they don’t have to become uncomfortable and smelly,” he said.

“Woollen garments have the capacity to breathe better than those made with synthetic fibres.”

Mr Noa said wool allowed body sweat to evaporate quickly and the fibre’s natural properties minimised body odour.

“WA Merino Co’s woollen shirts will be machine washable, and with some care in drying through lying the garment down, they will last a long time and become more comfortable in the process,” he said.

“I also have an ambition to use only WA sourced wool, to increase the volume of the State’s wool supply sold into the market.”

To find out more, visit wamerinoco.com.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails