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This New Style from Aussie Hat Brand Will and Bear Supports an Endangered Bandicoot

Published October 21, 2022

Sustainable headwear brand Will & Bear have partnered with Odonata Foundation to support regenerative farming and biodiversity projects on Odonata’s Tiverton Sanctuary in western Victoria.

Will & Bear will donate a portion of profits from their new wide-brim, wool style called Percy Eucalyptus. The hat is made from 100% Australian Wool, and in time, the wool used will be sourced from the very sheep who share the sanctuary with the protected bandicoots.

Using wool as the base material for their Percy Hat (as well as many other hats in their range) is an intentional choice and reflection of the brand’s commitment to circular sustainability. The natural, biodegradable fibre is one of the most responsible materials, even more so when sourced from regenerative farms. 

Tiverton Sanctuary is a 1,000-hectare predator-proof sheep farm focused on leading regenerative practices, including incorporation of Australian native animals, such as the endangered Eastern Barred Bandicoot.

The sanctuary is fully integrated into a sheep farm, protecting bandicoots from external predators, allowing the (distinctly adorable) Australian native marsupials to improve the soil health of the area, which in return improves the wellbeing and wool of the sheep. Odonata’s world-first conservation efforts have helped lift the species from ‘extinct in the wild’ to ‘endangered’, and the support of Will & Bear from sales of their Percy Eucalyptus hat will help the team on the ground further their conservation efforts.    

A couple of decades ago, many people believed that the Eastern Barred Bandicoot had been completely wiped out on mainland Australia. However, the discovery of a small population living at a tip in Hamilton in Western Victoria, drastically changed the trajectory of the species. 24 bandicoots were returned to Mt Rothwell Sanctuary in 2004 to establish Odonata’s Eastern Barred Bandicoot breeding program and since then thousands have been bred and released; several generations later Odonata can boast establishing the longest self-sustaining most wild population of Eastern Barred Bandicoots on the mainland of Australia at Mt Rothwell.

Importantly Odonata is also demonstrating the positive impact native animals have on our landscape through improving soil health. It’s a game changer for how Australian farmers and landholders can uplift regeneration efforts and outcomes.

“For Will & Bear, and for Odonata, a hat is so much more than a hat – there is so much value built into the Percy Hat, it’s a huge achievement for business and native wildlife in Australia. Not to mention the reforestation, regenerative agriculture and carbon drawdown that it creates.” says Sam Marwood, CEO of Odonata.

Will & Bear’s partnership with Odonata forms part of their diversified commitment to sustainability, which also sees the brand plant one Australian native tree for every hat bought.

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