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Sustainable Merchandise is Taking Root in Australia!

Steps Towards Sustainability

Sustainable goals are coming into fashion. In a world where we hardly have the chance to sit down and smell the roses, we have even less time to look at what’s in our own wardrobes.

Not many of us consider how our clothing gets from the field to our backs, and you’d be among the majority if you didn’t know all the processes involved in landing a singular piece of apparel on the shelf. Clothing production is a huge problem for the world and just like the challenge we’ve undertaken to move our beers to a high standard of sustainability, we’re also determined to take all the steps we can for our range of sustainable merchandise as well.

WHY IS SUSTAINABLE FASHION IMPORTANT?

Over 65% of all clothing is currently made from synthetic materials, derived from crude oils and fossil fuels. On top of this, the dyes used to colour cheaply made fabrics are often toxic to the environment and harmful to the labourers who breathe them in.

As if pollution wasn’t bad enough, the craftsmen and women making these fabrics may be working in sweatshop-like conditions with little pay and no consideration to their health or wellbeing.

But there’s emerging hope, and it rests in the hands of forward-thinkers within the growing trend of sustainable fashion and management. A new wave of ‘consumers’, including people like you are seeing greater value in responsibly sourced apparel and merchandise.

WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE FASHION?

Sustainable fashion is the act of producing clothing and accessories while paying attention to its environmental and socio-economic impact. This means more natural dyes, fabrics, and ethical working conditions.

The best way to get there is to be educated on making the most of our clothing, rather than purchasing the newest seasonal trend. If anything, 2021 has opened our eyes to many issues happening both globally and in our communities, making it more important now than ever to have these conversations.

Responsible brands are looking to make sustainable fashion not just a trend, but a permanent fixture in the industry. Sites like Good on You are leading the way in sustainable merchandise and fashion education, offering a directory full of brands and information on how their products perform in terms of sustainability. Well-known names from Asics to Zara are up for scrutiny as Good on You provides all the details on what it takes to be an informed fashionista.

We also know how important the earth is to us and are making our own mark by our own Green Feet Initiative. Through this program, we have brought in sustainable practices that recycle water usage, increase our use of efficient energy systems, and have introduced innovative waste management programs, within our brewing process.

But this initiative extends past our main operations, as we’re also working to promote sustainable fashion in Australia through our beer clothing range. These are an exclusive collection of Stone & Wood-branded products just as clean and refreshing as a cold beer on a summer’s afternoon.

HOW DO WE MAKE OUR SUSTAINABLE MERCH?

There are so many reasons to focus on sustainable habits in and out of fashion. Not only is it great for the planet, but it helps every seamstress and craftsman along the supply chain make a living wage in working conditions that see them as more than just human sewing machines.

The best fabrics for sustainable fashion are natural, biodegradable, and easy to recycle. Materials like organic cotton, linen, recycled polyester, and spandex yarn are some of the many fabrics used to make our merchandise.

Not only are they good for the environment due to their ease of access, lack of chemicals in production, and recycling measures, but they look good too! This means you can both look and feel good while wearing your purchase of eco-friendly merchandise; knowing it is also supporting smaller communities to create a more incredible earth. We’re also working towards introducing packaging that is chemical-free, plastic-free, and made with less water and energy than ever before!

OUR COMMITMENT GOES BEYOND MERCHANDISE

The Green Feet sustainability program is our way of making the world better for today, tomorrow, and every day after. We aren’t perfect, but we work every day to lessen our impact on the world we love.

At our brewery events, we’ve introduced reusable cup programs at events that minimise the output to landfill, while our and community clean-up projects are actively involved in reducing the occurrence of waste in the environment. Through the initiative, we’ve even created the first recycled water beer for World Water Day!

From personally separating our waste by hand before bringing it to the landfill to talking with other breweries to raise awareness of eco-friendly and sustainable practices, The Green Feet Initiative ensures do our best to keep you looking your best while drinking the best.

The Stone & Wood team are on a mission to learn about more ways in which we can introduce sustainability and ethical practices while making changes along the way. We will continue to work towards our ultimate goal of providing a 100% sustainable fashion range with an entirely traceable supply chain.

 

 

Check out our range of beer clothing today, and join us as we attempt to be the champions of sustainable merch in the brewing industry. Let’s make our apparel and brewing habits not just a trend, but an established expectation.

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Sustainable Merchandise is Taking Root in Austr...

Steps Towards Sustainability

Read story
What is an Australian beer?

We take a moment to try and understand what it really means to be an Australian beer..

I just got off the phone with a friend. “What do you count as an Australian beer?” I asked him. “Anything, but it’s gotta be cold” came the reply without a moment’s hesitation. So there you have it folks, straight from source.

It’s no secret that Australians love drinking beer. Bring to mind any quintessential Australian scene, i.e friends around a barbecue, surfing in the sunshine, backyard cricket, and you’d be hard pressed not to add beer into the setting. So why do Australians love beer so much? And what actually counts as Australian beer?

But how did it get here?

Beer came to Australia at the same time as Captain Cook. Brought over on the first fleet, beer reached our shore and there’s been no looking back. It was first promoted as a healthy alternative to the rum the convict hooligans were quite fond of guzzling (is it just me or does anyone else have the term ‘some things never change’ spring to mind).

Fast forward to present day, and you will find beer making up 48% of alcohol consumed in Australia, followed by wine at 29% and spirits at 21%.

Beers for here

Australia is a big country. Even in our present day it can seem daunting to attempt to travel the 5000kms from east to west, and that’s aided by our modern modes of transport. So rewind to early settlement dates and it would have seemed near impossible.

This induced a sense of ‘localism’, with people establishing relationships with the only beers they could access, beers brewed in their local region.

Think Western Australia’s love affair with Emu Export, South Australia’s partnership with Coopers, Victorians fiercely proud of their VB, and Byron Bay residents of New South Wales not batting an eyelid as they pledge their allegiance to Stone and Wood.

What’s the magic ingredient?

James Squire successfully cultivated the first crop of hops in 1804. Since then Australia has moved forward in leaps and bounds, producing many of the ingredients needed to make the delicious beverage so many of us enjoy today.

An Australian beer doesn’t need to have all ingredients produced in Australia. Many breweries make the most of globalisation and source different hops and malts from around the world, aiding in creating vastly different flavours and styles.

Contextual Cerveza

Australian Beer is, quite simply, beer made and enjoyed in Australia. It gets hot here. As a generalisation we tend to spend a lot of time in the sun. We don’t ask for much when it comes to good beer. Give us something cold, something thirst quenching and easy drinking, and you can be pretty assured that you’ve jumped through the necessary hops… I mean hoops. See what I did there.

Australian’s love beer that fits in with their culture. Pale ales and the beach compliment each other like fish does chips. Mid strength lagers fit perfectly into the Sunny Queensland scene, easy like a Sunday morning picnic.

We can’t not speak about the Friday- arvo-knock-off beer. A category all of it’s own, the Friday-arvo-knock-off beer is epitome of Australian beer. Flavour, colour, percentage, are irrelevant factors.

What constitutes a Friday-arvo-knock-off beer is a beer drunk whilst savouring the anticipation in the air of the impending weekend, of good times spent with friends in the sunshine.

Beers that are brewed with a lighthearted Australian lifestyle in mind are the beers that Australians love.

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Reading times: 2 mins

What is an Australian beer?

We take a moment to try and understand what it really means to be an Australian beer..

Read story
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF MALT IN BEER?

Let's take a second to talk about Malt...

Let’s talk about malt. What is it? You can’t grow malt. It isn’t something that happens by itself. What you do grow is a grain, and then malting is a process applied to that grain.

Germination in a natural sense is where you have light and water hitting the grain, to the point where it puffs itself up and is full of starch.

This starch is what the brewers are chasing. Barley has the highest volume of starch present, yielding a content of 65% and is hence the most commonly used grain in the brewing process. Wheat, corn, oats and rice also are used.

Malting as a process

Malting is in a sense recreating this natural germination process, but in a more viable manner, which means indoors. Lay out all the grain, with a depth of roughly ten centimetres.

The grain is first steeped in water to encourage germination, then the process is abruptly stopped once the two little shoots, the chitlings, emerge.

This is the point where the grain reaches maximum starch capacity; and is now ready for roasting. Different levels of roasting induce many different outcomes from the same grain.

50 shades of malt

We use malt for many different reasons in the brewing process. One is to affect the colour. It’s a bit of a no brainer but the more you roast your grains, the darker in colour they become.

Pale ales use pale malts, amber ales get their earthy colour from malts around the Cara Munich stage, and dark beers like stout get their rich complexion from using dark malts, which have been roasted at high temperature.

 

Sugar and spice and all things nice

Malts also affect the sweetness of the beer. The more you toast your malts, the sweeter they become. This is due to the fact that as you have heat hitting the grain, it affects the starch and starts converting into sugars.

Next time you have a sip of dark beer, play close attention to the sweetness at the start of your sip. It will only be once the hops come in and balance out the sweetness with bitterness that you will get the rich well-rounded flavour associated with dark beer.

How many malts have you had tonight?

Malt also affects the alcohol content. Brewing is a balancing act. You’ve got water, malt, hops and yeast. While just four ingredients may allude to a simple recipe, brewing is a delicate process that involves getting the balance just right.

When you up the hops in a beer, for example when the brewer is making an IPA, he or she will also have to up the malts to create a balanced result. Up the hops, up the malt and the result will be a higher alcohol content.

Malt provides the fermentables. When you used more malt in a recipe, there is a higher gravity count (just think sugars). When the yeast is added and performs its party tricks, it converts the sugar into alcohol and expels carbon dioxide. If it has more malts to work with there is going to be a higher ABV in the finished product.

In essence, malt provides the sugar source, the starch source, and is the main carbohydrate for the yeast. It is the backbone of labour for the beer, without it there would be no alcohol and no CO2.

Reading times: 2 mins

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF MALT IN BEER?

Let's take a second to talk about Malt...

Read story