- A BETTER WORLD
MICHAEL TAYLOR X SIMPLE CHIC WOMEN
"Merino Life" through the lens of Michael Taylor, 6th generation Fine Merino Wool producer, regenerative farmer and talented photographer.
The canvas, for Michael's "Merino Life" photography is a limited edition of Peace Silk Satin scarfs, digitally printed, born and sewn in Australia.
By Mira Mikosic - Founder, Simple Chic
My conversations with Michael first began in 2017 given our familial (over many generations) farming backgrounds, albeit on two different continents. Our mutual appreciation of land, natural eco-systems and each generations custodial responsibility to care for our environment for the wellbeing of future generations.
In the last few years, over lunch we have spoken of collaboration opportunities to help elevate, through awareness and eduction, the beauty and benefits of natural fibres, in particular merino wool.
It takes many human hands and natural resources to create each garment we wear and with this timeless accessory of scarves we want to take you on a digital journey of the provenance of two beautiful natural fibre stories coming together in a very versatile and timeless accessory.
Our "Merino LIfe" scarves come Digitally Born, meaning each is digitally printed with a QR Code which brings the owner to this digital page which showcases its provenance and life journey so far - helping the wearer connect and value its life story.
EUCALYPTUS NOVA ANGLICA
The light blue-green young leaves are synonymous with The New England tablelands of Northern NSW. This Eucalypt forms the basis for the dominant native woodlands in the valleys and floodplains of this region. The grasslands that are sheltered beneath these trees were one of the significant attractions for sheep graziers first visiting this area in the 1830’s. On our farm we encourage natural regeneration through managed grazing to ensure the woodlands are sustained.
This is a small insect loving bird that requires small shrubs or tall grass such as the reeds along our creek for shelter. It may be common but it’s a good indicator of a healthy farm ecosystem that will support these small busy little birds. The female is shades of brown and the male sports a bright blue and black pattern.
Despite their short lifespan these small leguminous Silver Wattles are important as a pioneer species and form a great establishment habitat for other flora and fauna. The hard seeds often germinate after fire or they grow from root suckers when disturbed. The Silver Wattles also have brilliant yellow blooms which attract birds and insects as a feed source.
By Michael Taylor - Owner Taylors Run
Nature is made up of a complex web of cycles. Agriculture is intrinsically entwined in nature. Farms rely upon the natural cycles of pollination and breeding. Agriculture has also changed nature dramatically over the centuries. The Taylor family recognise the big impact they’ve had on the natural ecosystems on their farm since 1840. They are now changing their farm activities to better work with nature rather than against it. Promotion of biodiversity and natural regeneration support the ecosystem services that keep the farm healthy and productive.
Tree reestablishment has been one of the most significant driving goals for the Taylors with over 250,000 trees planted on the farm. One of the main reasons has been the benefits to their sheep and wool enterprise. Not only does it help the ecosystems they need for healthy pastures and soil but simply the shelter that trees provide the animals became an obvious requirement throughout the weather extremes.
Since embarking on this regenerative journey the ensuing benefits and positive changes on the farm have amazed beyond what was ever imagined. The bird life in the skies now is as exciting as the insect and microbial life that extends deep beneath the ground. Above all the sheep and wool health has profited. Bright white and strong wool needs nourishing to grow along with new lambs born each year.
The journey continues though as the Taylors strive to further enrich the biodiverse ecosystem that supports the sheep and wool business. Vegetation maintenance and succession are now part and parcel in the daily working life where a reduced reliance on chemicals and annual species has been replaced by time controlled grazing rotations and a bigger mix of perennial native pastures.
Take a walk, tour and listen to Michael Taylor, our brilliant photographer, on the Taylors Run Farm in Kentucky, New South Wales and learn about regenerative farming, importance of biodiversity and impacts of climate change. Documentary filmed early 2020.
The source of our silk is from India where it is known as Ahimsa Silk or "Peace Silk". Similar to the Ahimsa silk promoted by Mahatma Gandhi.
Peace Silk is a non-violent silk or cruelty free silk, unlike regular silk where the silkworm is boiled alive and toxic chemicals are used to de-gum the cocoon. The Silk yarn made of short lengths of silk obtained from silk wastes, pierced cocoons or floss is what gives yarn its characteristic brilliance.
These silks are spun on special machinery which in some ways is akin to cotton, as it can not be reeled.
The suppliers in India from where this Peace Silk has been sourced, have created a modern form of rural cooperation where it’s important to them that they treat the silk worms, themselves, their community and their environment with utmost care.
By working as a co-op, the production is cleverly decentralised to allow the silk farmers, spinners, weavers etc. to work directly from their own areas. The different units of cocoons, yarns and ready textiles are then connected and stored at a centralised headquarters.
Simple Chic's local Australian supplier of sustainable textiles, including this luxurious and ethical Peace Silk is STSC -Sustainable Textile Supply Chain.
With every Merino Life scarf sold we will be donating 10% of profits to Bush Heritage Australia.
We are proud to support Bush Heritage Australia, an independent not-for-profit that buys and manages land, and partners with Aboriginal people to protect our irreplaceable landscapes and our magnificent native species forever.
Bush Heritage respect, listen and learn from working side-by-side with Traditional Owners, and by working in partnerships with pastoralists and other organisations to have the most impact.