Woolies Jeans: Kiwi shearer aims to bring the product to the world stage

New Zealand entrepreneur Jovian Cummins is taking a break from mowing in Western Australia this week. Photo / Supplied

Could Woolies Jeans be the next Allbirds? Jovian Cummins certainly hopes so.

The young New Zealand entrepreneur, currently mowing in Western Australia, is launching a crowdfunding campaign on the PledgeMe platform on Monday.

He hopes to raise up to $ 500,000 to help him patent designs for merino-lined jeans for workwear and help build a supply chain.

The genesis of the business came in a woolen shed in 2018 when the 22-year-old decided he was “fed up” with the hot, sweaty jeans he was wearing, he said.

He asked his mother for help and the pair took a pair of his jeans apart to get the outline and sewn up a merino liner.

Since then he’d been making the jeans for his pals “in exchange for a few beers” and now he wanted to hire “smart, hard-working Kiwis to help really kickstart this thing and start shipping worldwide.”

Woolies Jeans was looking to raise between $ 50,000 and $ 500,000. The shares were priced at $ 1 each with a minimum investment of $ 250.

“I’ve never experienced much in business, but I know these are some of the best jeans I’ve seen in England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand,” Cummins said. .

“I think I have been able to create the most comfortable jeans in the world for work wear such as farming and mowing. This is because the temperature changes so quickly in these jobs and merino keeps you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot.

“Because of Covid I’m more motivated than ever to push this business onto the global stage because I know so many people who have had their jobs affected and I don’t understand why New Zealand can’t have their own business. of jeans when the materials are produced here, the jobs should also be produced here. “

Wool was the “original performance fabric” that controlled odors, regulated temperature, repelled water, wicks moisture, and resists stains and dirt, while being a sustainable resource.

Cummins had previously received good reviews for the product, saying it had identified “a huge hole in the market”, and people liked the concept of the New Zealand-made jeans as well.

He might not have had a lot of business experience, but he had good people skills and lots of farming contacts.

“I think I have a good eye for what works,” he said.

“I saw the success of Allbirds and know it was started with a crowdfunding campaign, which is why I decided to go the crowdfunding route with PledgeMe.”

Allbirds – which has raised more than $ 100,000 in crowdfunding – is expected to follow Rocket Lab and become the second New Zealander-founded company to field a multibillion-dollar list on Nasdaq this year.

The manufacturer of eco-friendly athletic footwear and apparel, made from New Zealand merino wool and various recycled materials, was founded in 2006 by former All Whites captain Tim Brown and engineer of renewable energies Joey Zwillinger.

Given the border restrictions, Cummins was unsure of when he would return to New Zealand, but apart from mowing he was able to do a lot from his laptop.

He had ideas for other clothing options in the future.


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