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The Backstory

The story behind Ministry of Yarn, Australia's ethical yarn store

Firstly, welcome to Ministry of Yarn! I can't tell you how seriously excited I am that you are reading this, because it means that this big idea that I had, to start selling reasonably priced tshirt yarn in Australia, has actually happened! I'd love to take a couple of minutes to tell you how it all began, and of our big plans for the future.

It all started with my old Etsy store, Bacino Boutique.  After stopping work when I had our first baby, I really felt like I needed some kind of creative outlet.  Always having had a bit of an entrepreneurial and maker's bent, I took the next logical step (ahem...) and started making and selling silk flower hair accessories on Etsy.  This was fairly ironic, as I think I've personally only ever worn such a thing once, possibly twice, in my life.

Anyway, after a couple of years, I had the sudden and somewhat disturbing realisation that I didn't even like making hair accessories. What on earth was I doing?! That's when I decided to revert back to my childhood love of knitting and crochet.  I'm not quite sure exactly how it happened, but I soon discovered tshirt yarn.  I bought a couple of balls to crochet with and (boom-tish) I was hooked!  That's when I realised how difficult it was to buy tshirt yarn from within Australia.

So many colours of recycled tshirt yarn to buy in Australia

Quite a few hours of relentless research later, I accidentally found a couple of tshirt yarn producers, and realised that I could potentially import some, and become a seller myself! I seriously remember thinking to myself, "If it's so easy to do this, why doesn't everybody do it?"  It was a couple of months after that that I discovered the answer to that question...

I think all up, it took me about 18 months from deciding on a supplier, to actually receiving my first order of yarn - a metric ton.  To be fair, this also factored in an interstate move, but I quickly discovered why finding a reliable supplier is so important.  You can easily end up sending a lot of unanswered emails, waiting months, and receiving a bulk order that only partially resembles the original buying request that you supplied. Dealing with the disappointment of that part has been challenging.

One thing that hasn't been challenging though, has been the sense of excitement for the future, as the scope of our plans for Ministry of Yarn have grown and changed beyond just tshirt yarn. I have tracked down a few fairtrade, high welfare and organic cotton and wool yarns, and I am eagerly awaiting the right time to introduce them to you.  I have also partnered with the lovely Jocelyn of In Stitches Sydney to produce some beautiful crochet patterns, which will be released as soon as our pattern testing phase is finished.

Beyond this, in our striving to be socially and environmentally responsible, we:

  • Donate a minimum of $1.00 from every order to Compassion's Mum's and Babies program
  • Use 100% recycled content paper for all of our labelling and receipts
  • Ship with a carbon neutral courier company, where possible
  • Are committed to providing only fairtrade/recycled content or high welfare yarns

Thank you for coming on board, and being a part of our story. We take great delight in sharing in your creations too, so please tag us in your maker photos on social media, or use #ministryofyarn so that we don't miss out on seeing your skills in action and can potentially repost them, so that everyone can be inspired.  Thank you for helping us to work together and really start making a difference.


2 comments

  • Thanks so much Jacy! I’m so glad that you found us too – we’re working on trying to make that happen more often! Let me know if I can help with your plans. :)

    Ministry of Yarn
  • So glad that I found you! The best tshirt yarn around at such a great price. I have big plans for your yarn X

    Jacy Kattan

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