Our Eco Journey

Our Eco Journey

Here are some of the steps we are taking on our path to being more sustainable.
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Whilst we try and make as many eco conscious choices as possible, we are still learning and growing everyday. The last thing we want to do is damage our fabulous planet, that's why product quality, customer loyalty and sustainability is at the forefront of our decision making. We believe that transparency is the key to maintaining a strong reputation. 
Q&A with Tess Annan

Q&A with Tess Annan

Tess Annan, daughter of Kim and Ray (Founders), pictured here with Shappa, their dog.
 
How different is the company now to when it started back in 2000?
"To be honest, it’s done a real 360. Up until now, we’ve been one of the leading providers of waterproof country gear, with a unique twist, but originally we specialised in hand painted wellingtons and raincoats. The original company name, Welligogs, harks back to the founder’s childhood name for her wellington boots. The designs were bright and fun and completely original. Now, along with our more traditional wax jacket and leather waterproof boots, you will find dresses, sandals and loungewear in our collection. However, in the past couple of years, we have gone back to our roots. We have revived some heritage designs from the wellies, reincarnating them into sustainable socks and activewear." 
 
How is working in fashion different today to when WG was just starting out?
"It is a faster, less empathetic market and that is mainly down to the internet. Since we moved away from rubber wellies to higher quality wax jackets and leather boots, we have always prized ourselves in providing top quality products made from natural materials. The internet has allowed the world to accommodate fast fashion and now, the competition isn’t just for well produced seasonal goods but for cheap, harmful garments (environmentally speaking) that have a shelf life of 2-3 weeks. Although we are starting to see a real change in attitude from people who want to be more fashion conscious and opt to buy fewer, better quality products, the want for a one-night Insta outfit is still huge. We hope that one day, people will be less driven to get quick satisfaction for a single night and think of the longevity of a piece of clothing and where it can take you in the years to come."
 
Why did you move away from wellington boots and towards more luxury leather boots and tailored coats/jackets?
"Mainly because we wanted to offer our customers a higher quality product that was made closer to home. We now look to source as much as possible from the UK or Europe. We have a lot more control of the supply chain of our garments, we regularly visit our factories to make sure the quality and conditions are of the highest standards. By sourcing locally, we are able to make our carbon footprint as small as possible."
 
How is WG unique?
"We provide quality products with a distinctive flare. We have a traditional British quality to our core range but are renowned for our detailing and interesting signature features. For example, the majority of our wool jackets have a signature contrast cuff, collar and pocket detail, and our waterproof coats tend to be a more fitted cut with contrast notes that flatter the feminine silhouette. With our new sustainable activewear range, we have designed a performance based workout set made from recyclable materials with heritage WG prints and features."
 
Where do you get your design inspiration from?
"Our surroundings mostly. The British countryside, it’s rich reds and chestnuts in autumn, the bright colours of flowers you would find on a summer day in a country garden. In 2018, we sent our design team to Mexico to get some different ideas. There is a whole piece about what inspired them, you can read it here."
 
What’s your favorite WG piece at the moment?
"Ooo, it’s tricky. Probably the Putney Blazer. I adore it. We were inspired by traditional gentlemen's smoking jackets. It’s 100% cotton velvet, a slightly longer line, with the most marvellous paisley print. The print is subtle and catches the light beautifully, it looks black to begin with but as you look at it more closely, you pick up the mutlicoloured hues. It’s finished off with our signature features, the WG cuff, pocket and collar detail. Simply sublime."
 
What do you think makes coats like the Louise or the Odette so well loved and popular?
"The cut. Our customers always feedback to us how gorgeously feminine they find them. Traditional British wax jackets tend to be boxy and shapeless for women. Our Louise and Odette are based on the Edwardian riding jacket, the adjustable waist would have been the ladies corset, bringing her in at the waist and the fishtail back would have gone over the saddle."
 
When did you first become interested in sustainability?
"It really began when we transferred from rubber to leather back in 2006. But it has really come into its own in the past three years."
 
Can you tell us a little about how WG aims to do as much as it can to help save the planet?
"Being a small family business we have a lot more control over our carbon footprint than bigger companies and can be super vigilant with the supply chain. We try to visit our factories and make sure the conditions for the workers are up to scratch. We physically see and inspect how garments are made, this is quite rare as the number of companies that actually go and see their productions are quite small. We also opt for natural, regenerative materials and fabrics for our products as much as possible. We are always looking for innovative ways to create products in a more sustainable way. We have managed to now use recycled sole units on our footwear, made from first generation plastic, and are investigating using natural beeswax to waterproof our garments over traditional wax. We also have small, quality collections we bring out twice a year instead of going down a fast fashion path. We try our best to not only use sustainable resources in our garments, but also in our office resources. We make sure to use recycled paper for our printer in the office and in our day to day note taking, as well as having eco friendly printers that use less energy and ink than normal printers. Wherever possible, we recycle our delivery boxes, if they are in good condition and for our swing tickets and neck labels, we use eco-friendly cards or recycled materials."
 
How does WG manage waste?
"We try and reuse as much as possible. We repack our coats in their original plastic, providing the condition is still good. We reuse our cardboard boxes when sending out our orders, again providing they are in good condition. We don’t throw out paper, unless we have to, we use it as notepaper in the office. We try and give things as much of a life as possible, our coat hangers see many different coats." 
 
What are WG’s core values?
"Durable, long lasting products that don’t compromise style or silhouette designed with our customers and the planet in mind. We care about the effect our business has on the planet, we care about our customers and their journey when they buy from us. We want to promote and support local businesses wherever possible and we care that the products we create are beautiful and unique."
Kim & Ray Annan (Welligogs Founders), Tess Annan and Shappa their dog.
Mother's Day with @mud_on_my_mulberry

Mother's Day with @mud_on_my_mulberry

We caught up with Andrea (mud_on_my_mulberry) to discuss the day that celebrates our lovely mums. 
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What does Mother's Day mean to you?
As a new mum (well a year in now!) I guess it’s a love and a bond like no other, watching your child develop and grow into a little person is so rewarding and just fascinating to see.
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What does Mother's Day mean to you?
A day of family coming together for all the mums, step mums, grandmas, great grandmas, aunty’s, pretend auntys, and remembering those special to us who aren’t with us any more. It’s certainly a day of celebration in our family. 
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What is your ideal Mother's Day outfit?
We always dress up for Mother’s Day, Christmas Day etc, we put on our Sunday best, so usually a nice top, jeans and some heels.
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What is your ideal Mother's Day meal?
A roast for sure! My dad is the king of the roast potato, so usually on days like this we gather around mum and dads and have a big roast all together, usually fighting for the end of the meat or the crispiest potato! 
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How does your ideal Mother's Day play out?
Ooooh, well, ideally I’d have had a good nights sleep with Andy offering to see to Grace if she wakes, then breakfast in bed maybe, I’ve got really into pancakes lately, then an easy morning, and as I said, We tend to gather at mum and dad's for a roast dinner. We have a couple of drinks and all just chat and catch up. My nephew is usually entertaining us with something new and of course we now have Grace, who loves a crowd and everyone fights over Grace cuddles because they have hardly seen her since she was born. It’s not going to be the same over zoom this year! :-( 
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We thank Andrea for taking the time to talk to us and for the lovely images she captured with gorgeous baby Grace. Andrea wears our Odette Khaki Coat, Camel Roll Neck JumperSand Suede Trainers & Brown Herringbone Bakerboy Hat
Our Favourite Dog Walking Spots

Our Favourite Dog Walking Spots

Staffordshire - Kinver Edge
There is an abundance of trails to explore at Kinver Edge. There are many routes you and your furry best friend could take, exploring enchanting woodland, glorious open country, ancient hill forts, as well as the rock houses that are infamous in this area. There are plenty of quiet trails here where your dog can roam freely, but bear in mind that it is a sensitive wildlife habitat. There is also a tea room, but dogs must remain outside. There’s plenty of area to picnic outside, but you can also visit the nearby The Cross Inn.
 
Snowdonia - Beddgelert
Beddgelert is a popular walking destination at the heart of snowdonia, the delightful stone-built village is the ideal base for exploring all the classic sights and beauty spots. It offers walkers of all abilities the opportunity to go out and explore the wonderful views, wildlife and habitats that make Snowdonia so special. With beautiful trails through the forestry and up to greater heights, both walker and dog are sure to have a great time.
 
Monmouthshire - Hay on Wye
For anyone interested in the open moorland of Mid-Wales, where red kites might be spotted wheeling overhead, Hay on Wye could be the perfect dog walking spot for you. The route’s crowning glory is its end point at Plynlimon, the highest point in the Cambrian Mountains and the source of the Wye river. Here, you’ll spy the five heads of Plynlimon and see out across Wales all the way to the coastline on a clear day. Check out The Granary as a dog friendly cafe where you can refuel after a walk!
 
New Forest National Park
With beautiful walking trails, the New Forest is a lowland national park which means no large mountains, just beautiful scenery and wide trails through ancient woodland and open country. It’s a beautiful landscape with lots of villages, good visitor facilities and excellent rail and road links. Given the accessible nature of this landscape it’s small wonder that the New Forest has been welcoming visitors since the early nineteenth century. As a National Park it is important to be as accessible as possible so everyone can enjoy this fabulous place.
 
Balmacara Estate -  Isle of Skye
Just 3 miles from the Isle of Skye, you can explore the beautiful Highland crofting estate of Balmacara. The forms of agriculture that are used here are small scale and low intensity, which has great environmental benefits as well as defining the social system of highland communities. Balmacara woods is perfect for families and dog walkers, there are easy walks among the trees and splendid views from the hillside above the woods. Follow the Tree-Spotter trail to explore the dense woodland, or venture further for exquisite views. Take the Skye View trail that winds through the trees to reach the site of a World War II gun battery, which protected the military camp and port at Loch Alsh from air attack by German planes. You'll also see some spectacular views of Loch Alsh, Kintail and the Isle of Skye.
 
Cornwall St. Agnes & Wheal Coates.
 If you head up to St Agnes Beacon, astonishing views welcome you at the top of the hill where guards used to be stationed during the Napoleonic Wars to look out for French ships. The breathtaking 360-degree view is one of the best in Cornwall, and the coastal paths are perfect for any length of dog walk. After you’ve explored the iconic engine houses and mining relics of Wheal Coates, continue along the path to the coastline and downwards toward Porthtowan where you can enjoy some fresh seafood, a stone baked pizza, or a pint at Blue Bar where dogs are perfectly welcome.
Sustainability

Sustainability

Being a small family company, gives us  agency over the big decisions, as well as the smaller ones. We regularly inspect how our garments are made which is rare in itself, and we have a lot of control over the supply chain. We choose natural, regenerative materials and fabrics whenever we can and we’re always looking for innovative ways to create products in a more sustainable way. Our high quality materials are designed to last.
Our Wool:
Our wool jumpers and loungewear are made from raw materials and all natural fibres. As part of our journey to provide sustainable fashion, the IWTO (International Wool Textile Organisation)"wool is all natural, renewable fibre". Our 100% chunky soft merino wool jumper is a traditional guernsey style piece. It’s an incredibly warm item, originally worn by sailors due to its practicality.
Our new loungewear sets are made with a merino wool and cashmere blend, made from the wool of Kashmir goats, our merino wool is our most luxurious yarn. Kashmir goats produce their fine long hair in very small quantities, which makes this pure cashmere very rare and luxurious. A pure cashmere jumper can feel as light as air, however it can be up to eight times as warming as ordinary wool. Our method is to weave two threads together to create the yarn, which makes it stronger and more pliable than other high street jumpers. Our 100% merino wool is also a luxurious yarn which is also all natural, renewable fibre.
Our Cotton
Producing cotton can take its toll on the world, particularly as the majority of cotton is grown in countries facing water shortages. According to the World Economic Forum, water scarcity has been recognised as one of the top 10 global risks to society we’re facing over the next 10 years. Because of this, we use 100% organic cotton in our shirts which has significantly fewer negative impacts on water than non-organic. Farmers use natural methods like composting to fertilise their soil, which makes it healthier and more likely to soak up water and retain it when there is a drought. Pesticides are banned from organic farming, therefore less water is used in the process, because there is no need to dilute the chemicals from the soil. And finally, organic farmers rely on rainfall to water their cotton, so that they don’t put pressure on precious water resources in local communities. 
Our recycled Polyester
Our sustainable activewear is made from recycled plastic bottles, which means that we avoid manufacturing virgin polyester and contributing towards already saturated landfills. We’re using 30% less water in our manufacturing process, saving natural resources and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Our beautiful custom made activewear pieces come in 4 different styles; Noir , Marble , Paw Print and Blue Roses.
 
 
Recycled office resources
We try our best to not only use sustainable resources in our garments, but also in our office resources. We make sure to use recycled paper for our printer in the office and in our day to day note taking, as well as having eco friendly printers that use less energy than normal printers. Wherever possible, we recycle our delivery boxes if they are in good condition and for our swing tickets and neck labels, we use eco-friendly cards or recycled materials.
WG Flex Sustainable Activewear

WG Flex Sustainable Activewear

We cannot wait to share with you our latest arrival: our sustainable WG Flex Range! Our original activewear that is made of recycled plastic bottles. We’re using a smarter, eco-friendly design that reduces landfill waste and is less damaging to our lovely planet. We’re incredibly excited to be creating more sustainable ways of producing clothes and exercising!
 
Why are we using recycled plastic bottles? Our garments will be made of recycled polyester, which means that we won’t be manufacturing virgin polyester. By doing this we’re using approximately 30% less energy in production, saving natural resources and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. We’re also reducing the amount of plastic that ends up in landfills; polyester more often than not takes decades to decompose.
 
Most garments that are labelled ‘recycled polyester’ are made from PET bottles, the process of turning this existing plastic and re-spinning it into new polyester fiber, which uses substantially less energy than the process of manufacturing virgin polyester. The bottles are collected, compressed and then chopped into flakes which are then melted down into small white pellets. These pellets in turn are spun into a yarn that can be made into durable fabrics. Recycled polyester acts in exactly the same way as a virgin fibre, anything you can expect polyesters to do can also be done with recycled polyester.
 
 
 
The range will largely consist of designs that are familiar with WG lovers. Our Laura Rose Design is reminiscent of the Laura wellies, and the endearing Original Paw Print design, yes you guessed it, will be taken from our much loved Original Paw Print wellies! New designs have also been added to this collection.
 
Why this range over any other? The Welligogs Flex range is designed to be sustainable, lightweight and functional. Manufactured using premium recycled polyester fabric, these custom leggings are made with up to 10 recycled plastic bottles. Our custom bra tops are made with our exclusive 240gsm fabric, made from 83% recycled polyester and 17% elastane for the ultimate fit. Designed for all scenarios and work out types, these recycled bra tops can be worn either as an underlayer or outer layer and have removable bra pads.
 
Photographed here, the gorgeous CC Mason.
Written by Miriam Hopkins
 
 
 
Marvels of Mexico

Marvels of Mexico

 

I have been a part of the Welligogs team for several years now. I began working on the trade stands at the various exhibition shows we visit but have recently started focusing on the trade side of the business. Throughout my time with Welliogogs, I have been involved with the design of new products and helped choose the various fabrics we use. Recently, I was lucky enough to join a small team who visited Mexico to gather some ideas for a few pieces of SS19 collection. This is a little story of what we discovered and came up with….. 

As a distinctly British brand, we of course take an abundance of our inspiration from the lush green land we call home. However, for a small number of jackets in chosen collections, we go slightly further afield for the muses to sing to us.  

Keeping very much in line with our core ideals of being comfortable, durable, and fashionable, we always want to provide unique and fresh pieces to our staple collections. For our SS19 range, a few members of our design team travelled to Mexico, to see what inspires their free spirited, enchanting nation.  

We were like kids in a sweet shop…. with the tree lined streets, colourful buildings, and the smells of street food encircling them at every corner, the muses began to softly hum.  

 

Frida Kahlo’s house was a particular favourite. As a pioneer among not only Mexican art but fashion and art across the world, her Cassa Azul (“Blue House”, where she lived with her husband Diego) was a great place to start. 

With her positive outlook on the world, despite having lived with polio since  she was 11 and having been involved in a car accident at the age of 18, which left her with a broken spine, her strength and uniqueness continued to shine through. She was feminine, bold, and utterly fantastic. Her vibrant artwork has been the inspiration for us and many fashion houses to date. We replicate her splash of bold colours with our Kuoni Jacket, a brilliant piece to jazz up these chilly winter months, and our bright tassels, which you can swish onto any of our boots or accessorise with. 

 As great as it is to wear a statement jacket, sometimes one needs something a little more understated but just as chic. Our Phoebe Shirts have always been hugely popular with varying details to mirror the ever-changing seasons. Our new design, Phoebe White, is one of our best yet. We wanted to keep her elegant but simple, unique without being gaudy. We took inspiration from the architecture of Mexico. 

From the Oaxaca state to Chiapas, the buildings are breath taking. The detail in their sculpture inspired us to do an intricate lace effect down the front of the shirt. Whilst remaining a staple, our Phoebe White also becomes exquisitely distinctive. 

One thing that struck our design team was how green  Mexico  is. Its landscape differs massively, from beaches, to mountains, to jungles…. all three surrounded by lush green vegetation. Now in England, we’re not short of greenery and it got our team thinking about bringing back a green raincoat. We haven’t done one for a while and with it being such a rich colour in multiple different climates, why not?! We were debating what style to do, whether to let the muses steer us in the direction of the mountains or the beach… but there is something about classic things that we at Welligogs gravitate towards.  

 

The muses of the ruins triumphed… we decided to do our famous Louise coat in a khaki green. An oldy but a goody, and a wonder she is! Louise Khaki is timeless yet trendy, waterproof yet feminine, pretty yet practical. A must have for this season. 

Pink, pink, pink! From sunrise to sunset, market stalls to fruit, flowers to lakes. Yes, would you believe it, there are pink lakes in Mexico! Los Colarados, naturally coloured pink by the salt and algae. Being literally the colour of candy floss, we couldn’t not be inspired.

Our Ascot Rose Pink with its blush coloured tweed and rose suede detail, one cannot not wear it and smile. In our ever-loved Ascot design, this jacket will swiftly become a firm favourite. 

 Well what can we say  Mexico… you were a feast for our eyes, and we were swept away by your beauty. Muchas gracias… 

 

Written by Tess Annan