W1 – The 100 Mile Wardrobe

Prior to the conception of W1 Hundred, we had been contemplating the concept of a 100 Mile Wardrobe. The idea of clothing made from either locally grown or milled fibre. Using locally grown dyes. Making the clothing items, by hand, locally. A small carbon footprint, and support of local economies.

We are fortunate to have our workshops based in both Central Alberta and on Pender Island, British Columbia. Central Alberta is home to mills processing both sheep and alpaca wool. Pender Island, and the surrounding area, are home to many sheep farms and fibre events.

Alpaca fibre milled in Innisfail, Alberta. In this piece the “mill to finished piece” distance is 31km.

Locally grown and processed wool is a huge luxury. It involves paying farmers a fair price for the fibre, and working with small mills that process in small batches.

Our 100 Mile Wardrobe pieces tend to be time, labor, and skill intensive pieces with a focus on hand work and craftsmanship.

Each year we create a few 100 Mile Wardrobe pieces. The quantity of pieces produced is always dependent upon the amount of locally produced yarn we can acquire.

A toque made of alpaca, milled in Linden, Alberta. This item features the mountain inspired Echoing Peaks textured design.

We feel this is possibly the most ethical way to produce knit and woven pieces. We love that this concept gives us the ability to support our local economy and work with a domestic supply chain. We feel it is an important project to pursue, and it creates a unique opportunity for customers wishing to invest in classic, timeless, ethical clothing.

And you may have guessed, this is where our name, W1 Hundred, originates from. “W” for wardrobe, “1” and “Hundred” for our ambition of creating pieces within the area of 100 miles. Our name reminds us to stay true to our goals of working with natural dyes, naturally derived fibres, local materials where possible, and of course, crafted by hand.

We like to think of what we do as un-industrialized clothing. Clothing that is an investment in both craftsmanship and concept.