From farm to yarn: Hemprino

Success is built from belief in your vision, perseverance, and courage in the face of adversity, and these local farmers producing world-leading hemp and merino blend knitwear are doing just that.

Three farming couples – Prue and Paul Ensor of Glenaan Station, Siobhan and Christopher O’Malley from the West Coast, and Harriet and Clint Bell from Canterbury, had a vision to produce luxury merino clothing. Easy enough to say; not so easy to do. Especially when the overarching goal was to blend their merino with hemp.

“It took three years of research and development, and sourcing the world’s best spinners to work out how to blend the two fibres together,” Harriet says. Breakthrough saw the prototype crew neck jerseys spun in Wellington and knitted in Tauranga. The brand Hemprino was launched.

“Hemp, being one of the strongest yarns, provides durability, combined with the finest merino. Customers love how the garments are warm yet so soft and light,” Harriet explains.

Sustainable farming practices and biodiversity are paramount to the brand. “Through the Hemprino brand, customers are a part of the journey of their knitwear, from the merino sheep that produce the wool on the hills of Glenaan Station, to the people knitting it in the Tauranga workroom.

Family is at the core, and customer satisfaction is fundamental to driving the business. “We have enjoyed significant customer growth these past 12 months, much of it being repeat customers. We learn and evolve from their feedback. Happy customers mean that we’re on the right track.”

Expansion into retail outlets nationwide, as well as increasing its international presence, is planned for 2024. “When packing orders from our Methven warehouse, for a customer in Colorado, for instance, it can feel a bit unreal. Sometimes, I slip in a small note to ask what they like about the brand,” Harriet says. Thoughtful and personal touches guarantee that the name Hemprino grows from strength to strength.

Previous Post

From Here on the Ground: Christchurch Art Gallery

Next Post

On tour with Mel Parsons

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *