What I’m Wearing: Will & Bear William Brown Hat
One of our biggest criteria when we’re looking for a brand we want to get excited about is that they out-design competitors in their field that don’t apply the ethical and environmental standards we personally believe in. This isn’t always an easy task. More often than not, you find companies or fashion labels that focus only on design. And it shows. Their products are usually incredibly good-looking, but quality and ethics have fallen by the wayside. On the other hand, there are companies with admirable standards, sticking to their guns when it comes to doing right by the environment and right by others…but, somehow, that focus seems to have distracted them from the design of the product itself. I guess what I’m saying is that ethical and environmentally conscious companies don’t always make pretty things, or make things as beautifully as we’d like them to be. I don’t think this will be the norm for long. I think as the fashion world slowly shifts to ethicality and sustainability, design standards will continue to rise, too. Will & Bear, a hat company based out of Australia, is one of a large handful of companies proving this to be true. They are one of those few and far between brands that not only deliver on aesthetics and quality, but also refuse to cut corners when it comes to their environmental policies and the degree to which they care about every person involved in their supply chain.
Will & Bear makes hats. Simple as that. They’ve partnered with trees.org so that for every hat they sell 10 trees are planted. The wool used in their products is sustainably and ethically manufactured from small, family owned businesses in Mongolia, and, when it comes to environmental polices, Will & Bear ticks all the boxes. You know that when one of their hats is delivered to you, they don’t just know where it went, but where all the byproducts of its manufacturing end up, and you can trust that they make sure those byproducts don’t go on to cause needless harm to our planet or to the communities they’re disposed in. All the hats are unisex and (in my opinion) versatile, durable, good-looking and comfortable.
When you’re living on the road, especially when you only have one bag, it really matters that every piece of clothing can work in multiple countries, in multiple environments, in multiple cultures. I love that I’m as comfortable in a Will & Bear hat walking the streets of Rome as I am on the beaches in Croatia or escaping a five-minute downpour in Santorini. I haven’t always been a hat person, and I’m not a huge fan of trends, but I’m also honest, and I think pretty much everyone is aware of the fact that more and more people, girls especially, are going for hats these days. It’s an accessory thats always been around, but in the past couple of years seems a little less unusual (can I blame social media?).
I love throwing a hat on when I don’t feel like wearing a particularly unique outfit or when my hair is having a moment of independence, or when I’m a little cold or the sun is a little too bright. There’s a confidence that comes from wearing this sort of wide-brimmed look, and although it might take a little extra confidence to put the thing on, in my experience, it gives you a bit more confidence once you’re wearing it.
One of the first times I had to go to an event as a “blogger” I was super anxious. I’m introverted and sometimes a little bit shy and was nervous that the way I’m able to project myself through my writing was going to be what others expected of me when I arrived at the event in person. So, I wore a hat. And for some odd reason it made me more comfortable, like I could simultaneously be the articulate outgoing person I am in my writing, and the quieter, more observant one I am in reality. If you’ve seen Big Daddy you might be familiar with the scene where Julian has a magic pair of glasses, and every time he’s nervous to meet someone or in school, he puts them on and thinks he’s invisible, then he isn’t nervous anymore and instantly feels calmer. Hats kind of do that sort of thing for me, and I don’t think that experience is unique for me alone. They’re simultaneously this confidence booster/comfort blanket. It’s a dichotomy I’m a fan of, and, if you’re going to reach for one, why not reach for one that’s serving others and serving the planet, passionately, diligently, and continuously.
Anna Lisa & Porter
*Thank you to Will & Bear for sponsoring this post, as always, all thoughts and opinions remain our own