Of all the fabrics and textiles in the world, it’s hard to imagine one that evokes as much emotion as cashmere. It’s a yarn that literally makes us feel ‘warm and fuzzy’…which is why Belynda Macpherson knew she was on a good thing when she came up with the idea for her unique clothing label Banjo & Matilda. She still remembers the first time she wore cashmere.
“My mother use to make me ballet wraps out of cashmere because I hated the scratchiness of wool – so that’s probably when the seed was planted. I always feel comfortable and reassured in cashmere because I grew up wearing it,” Belynda said.
She says there aren’t many yarns in the world that have the power to transform a person’s mood.
“Cashmere is so tactile. When someone touches it – they smile and reminisce, or they want to hug you. It makes them happy. People definitely feel something when it comes to cashmere,” she said.
With her love of cashmere locked in at an early age, Belynda and her partner Ben decided to launch their own knitwear collection in 2008. Founded in Bondi – it was cashmere with a beachy-twist.
“When we created the brand there wasn’t anything out there like it. People thought cashmere was all about twin sets and pearls and conservative ‘ladies’. We entered the market with the idea that cashmere shouldn’t just be something you wear for special occasions. It should be something you wear every day,” Belynda said.
She says it was important to capture the freshness of the ocean, warmth of the sand, and soulfulness of the surf – in a range of knitwear made with supreme quality and integrity. The brand also aims to break away from the modern concept of throw-away-fashion by creating pieces that will stand the test of time.
“The one thing we learnt early is that if you don’t have a point of difference – you’re dead. Unlike any other time in the fashion industry – we entered the market in 2008 in a financial climate where there was no room to be frivolous or indulgent – we had to have a strong brand identity,” Belynda said.
Five Cashmere Laundering Commandments
Have you been spending excessive amounts of money each year on having your cashmere clothes dry-cleaned? Did you know that it’s actually better for cashmere to be hand-washed? The only time it’s recommended to dry-clean a cashmere sweater is if it has certain delicate features trims such as wooden buttons.
- Machine wash on a delicate cycle
- Use only cold water or your sweater will shrink
- Use a good wool wash
- Avoid fabric softener – it does the opposite for cashmere
- Dry it flat in the shade or use a very gentle spin cycle
To check out the beautiful range from Banjo & Matilda and learn more about caring for your cashmere clothes, head to their website.