Bradleigh and Mathew filling Envirowoollys with recycled wool stuffing.

Tastex Update 2016

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From the EO

Executive Officer—Vicki Hawker
Executive Officer—Vicki Hawker

2018 has been an extremely busy year, with the launch of our range of new DevilKnits products and the DevilKnits online shopping site: www.devilknits.com.au

An exciting new concept has been the development of Envirowoolly Animal Beanies to compliment our current range of Envirowoolly Toys.

Our new range is geared towards Tasmania’s growing tourist markets, providing additional opportunities for employment. Three new staff members have subsequently joined the Team.

2019 is shaping up to be just as interesting, with The Australian Wooden Boat Festival giving us the opportunity to manage their merchandising on site for the Festival in February for the first time.

Our new products provide interesting and varied training options for our Supported Employees, including traineeships as well as in-house training in Textile Production.

I’m so proud of our highly skilled and professional Tastex Team, who provide assistance for our Supported Employees, whilst also designing and creating our innovative and expanding range of knitted products.

I would especially like to thank our loyal customers. It is your continuing support which enables us to look to the future with pride and confidence!

Vicki Hawker, Executive Officer

Tastex Update

The official annual newsletter of Tastex Knitwear & Uniforms.

Tastex Staff

Vicki Hawker—Executive Officer
Support Staff—7
Supported employees—17

Committee of Management

Maurie Harris
Elizabeth Young
Peter Sully
Stuart Barry
Ruth Drummond
Cecilia Lawler
Mark Herd
John Moore

Tastex Update is designed, and written by Vicki Hawker

In this issue:

The Australian Wooden Boat Festival

The Wonderful World of DevilKnits

“Our Mission”

“The Friend’s School”

Clean, Green Solar—Making Cents

The Australian Wooden Boat Festival

The Australian Wooden Boat Festival

Held across Hobart’s vibrant and bustling waterfront, the four day festival brings together the largest and most beautiful collection of wooden boats in the southern hemisphere.

From it’s humble beginnings in 1994, it has grown to become the most significant event of it’s kind in Australia.

Along with the exhibition of these beautiful boats, the festival delivers a lively combination of incredible local food, live entertainment, music, demonstrations and displays.

When attending the festival, visitors flock to the Maritime Marketplace, the exciting Children’s Circus School, the Tasmanian Fishing Industry display, the International Wooden Boat Symposium, the Shipwrights Village and of course the wonderful display of classic and modern wooden boats across the waterfront.

Tastex has been involved with the festival for a number of years, supplying the  many volunteers with polos, caps and high visibility vests all embroidered with the Australian Wooden Boat Festival logo.

This year the festival’s Director, Paul Cullen, has asked us to not only continue supplying their volunteer gear, but also to manage the merchandising for the festival.

Our Tastex Team will be on site during the festival, selling Australian Wooden Boat Festival merchandise, such as Jackets, Polos, Caps and Tees, all embroidered here at Tastex.

We will also be selling our Envirowoolly Animal Toys and  Devilknits products along side the comprehensive range of merchandise available at the festival.

For the first time ever, people wishing to purchase Australian Wooden Boat Festival merchandise after the festival has concluded, will be able to order on line from our DevilKnits website.

We are enormously proud to be associated with such a prestigious and colourful event, which attracts visitors from around the world!

Students from “The Friends School” love their Glen Mill Rugby Jumpers and School Mascot Bear.

The Friends School have been purchasing their school knitwear from Tastex for many years.

We began by supplying them with our Glen Mill Softwear school jumpers. Then they extended the range of knitwear offered to students to include both our Glen Mill Softwear Vests and Cardigans.

Recently, The Friend’s School Uniform Shop asked us to make Rugby Jumpers for the students. They have proven to be extremely popular, with repeat orders arriving regularly.

All of these knitwear items are made  with our tried and true Softwear yarn which is made from 20% Nylon and 80% Australian fine wool, guaranteeing soft comfortable garments which are not only machine washable but tough and durable.

Our Softwear range is available in a variety of styles. We also design and manufacture to your specifications if required.

 Our talented Tastex Team came up with the idea of making a “Friends School” Bear complete with the school crest embroidered onto the tummy. The bear is made from our knitted woollen fabric and filled with recycled offcuts left over in the production of our school jumpers.

The Friends School Bear has been warmly received, with the school now ordering bears for their students as keepsakes.

Not only are our schools offered a 5% discount on our Softwear range for all indent orders which allow 12 weeks for delivery, we don’t charge freight costs for our school orders. They are delivered to the school free of charge. Another great service which we offer our loyal customers.

Clean, Green Solar—Making Cents!

Tastex is very proud to have successfully undertaken Tasmania’s first community funded solar project commencing in June 2016.

The 30 kW solar array on the roof of our factory building in Glenorchy, was crowd-funded by supporters of Tastex together with an interest free loan from the Citizens Own Renewable Energy Network Australia “Corena Fund,” which is a national project to assist community solar projects.

The generous support of our crowd funding donors, raised in excess of half the funds needed to complete the project which is now operational and providing savings of around 60% of our power needs.

The success of our crowd funding campaign was largely due to the support of Stuart and Rosie Barry from  “Tas Ethical” who matched a large number of donations dollar for dollar with their own. We are extremely grateful to both “Tas Ethical” and to all of our donors. Their generosity and support transformed our “Solar Project from a dream into a reality.”

We can now proudly report that the loan from the Corena fund has been repaid in full. The savings made from our quarterly power bills were paid directly to Corena as loan repayments resulting in full repayment within 2 years.

This amazing project has saved, and will continue to save us around $10,000.00 each year.

For a small Not For Profit organisation who is competing with ever increasing cheap overseas imports, a saving of this magnitude is exceptionally significant.

This saving will now make a huge difference in the support and training we are able to provide for our employees with Intellectual Disabilities and those on the Autism Spectrum.

This opens the door for us to expand our workforce and explore other opportunities for future growth.

Envirowoolly pairs - Beanie and Toy

Welcome to the wonderful world of DevilKnits!

Welcome to the wonderful world of DevilKnits!

As Plato said “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

In tough economic times, it is becoming harder each day to make ends meet. It was definitely down to “Sink or Swim!”, as we have no intention of “sinking” it was time to re-invent ourselves.

The Team brainstormed to find products we could manufacture which would broaden our customer base and add to our range of great knitted products.

Excitement grew as new and innovative ideas were put forward by the Team, many of which we wanted to market towards the growing Tourism Sector which has already embraced our quirky “Envirowoolly” range of animal toys. How to market these diverse new products was a real challenge!

Then we hit on the idea of adopting a fun new name for our new products. Inspired by our popular Tassie Devil Envirowoolly, the DevilKnits name was born.

To make it easier for potential customers to find and buy our DevilKnits products, we designed and launched our new online shopping site www.devilknits.com.au

Australian Made - Our Envirowoolly pair, Koala Beanie and knitted Toy.

The Team designed a whole new range of “Smart Casual” knitwear, including “Variegated” knits and “Chunky” styles which are quite different from our traditional Corporate and Workwear ranges.

Chunky Scarves & Beanies were also introduced in a wide range of colours to compliment our knitted garments.

We have recently added a “Luxury Merino Wrap” to our range, manufactured from 100% Australian Merino Wool and available in three colours, it is soft, comfortable and drapes beautifully.

Now for the “Fun Stuff!”

The Team designed a range of Enviro Animal Beanies, complete with faces and ears to enhance our already popular range of Envirowoolly toys. Enviro Beanies are made in both Children’s and Adult sizes. They are already proving extremely popular, especially as gifts for overseas visitors to take home and for people wanting to give a gift which is not only fun, but Made in Tasmania.

Our list of new products is quite diverse, including both knitted Devil and Koala Can Coolers, Hot Water Bottle Covers featuring embroidered Devils, Koalas or Wombats complete with ears, Knitted Hand Puppets, Golf Club Covers, Head Bands and Bag Tags.

All items in the range which require stuffing, are filled with recycled woollen offcuts from our knitwear production, which has been shredded and used for filling.

Our products are not only locally made, but made with Australian wool. They are also environmentally friendly and therefore tick all the boxes.

The Tastex Team has undertaken a huge learning curve, stepping up to the challenge of designing and making all of these wonderful new products. During the process we have had plenty of trial and error, but perseverance has triumphed, with great quality products being the end result.

Teamed with our already popular “Envirowoolly” range of knitted animal toys, we believe our comprehensive range of DevilKnits products, has something for everyone.

A number of our Team Members have Intellectual Disabilities or are on the Autism Spectrum. Our new product range brings additional opportunities for new skills to be learned and widen the already diverse training opportunities which we are able to provide.

Elizabeth programming a Knitting Machine to make the panels needed for Enviro Animal Beanies

Supported Employees participate in all areas of production. Beginning with operating the knitting machines used to manufacture our knitted fabric, finishing of the embroidery process, manufacture of stuffing, plus filling of the Envirowoollys and the packaging of the finished products.

The “fun” nature of the products also adds to the enjoyment of everyone involved. Time to go shopping: www.devilknits.com.au

Our Mission

To enable people with intellectual disabilities
to experience meaningful employment in a supportive environment.

Tastex Knitwear Inc. - A Special Work of the St Vincent de Paul Society