Wool in summer? Doesn’t that sound like a very hot and itchy idea? Not according to the husband-and-wife duo behind Melbourne fashion label McIntyre – a range made exclusively with pure Australian merino wool.

“Merino has temperature-regulation properties that keep you cool and draw moisture away from your body,” co-founder Ned Scholfield says. “It’s like body air con.”

Partner and co-founder Raquel Boedo is equally enthusiastic about summer woollens. “Merino is odour-resistant and can absorb twice as much water vapour as cotton and 30 times more than polyester, so no sweaty pits,” she says.

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The label was inspired by a year living on Scholfield’s family-run Victorian wool farm, where the pair really got to grips with their material. Located between the Warrnambool coastline and the Grampians, the farm has been owned and operated by the Scholfields since 1864 – an early ancestor called McIntyre inspired the brand’s name.

Scholfield and Boedo are keen advocates of wool and quick to spruik the textile’s unique selling points. “It is an active fibre that reacts to changes in body temperature, keeping you cool in warmer months. It uses 18 per cent less energy than polyester, and almost 70 per cent less water than cotton,” Scholfield says.

He also points to studies that show wool is 100 per cent biodegradable on land and in water, and that it’s free of microplastic pollution. “Unlike synthetic fibres that are made from fossil fuels, our wool is grown naturally and sustainably by Australia’s grass-eating sheep. When disposed of, wool acts like a fertiliser by slowly releasing valuable nutrients and carbon back into the soil.”

It doesn’t hurt that it looks good, too. McIntyre’s current summer collection, The Great Escape, exemplifies the kind of classic silhouettes the brand is known for, with a range of summer dresses, sweaters, camis and lightweight T-shirts inspired by Grecian-island tours. Colour offerings of Kelly green, Barbie pink and bold tropical orange – and an absence of black – are a luxe nod to lazy summer days.

Maintenance is also low-effort, Boedo says, with all garments machine-washable. “Wool needs washing around seven to 10 times less than cotton. If you think about it, this is a massive saving of water and time because you don’t need to wash your clothes every time you wear them – that’s just so bad for the planet.”

One more thing the McIntyre founders want you to know? The “itch misconception” is a lie, Scholfield says. “We use superfine merino wool. It’s so soft against the skin and feels like a true luxury fibre – no itch here at all. Merino wool is Australia’s national fibre – get behind it. Wool doesn’t have to be boring.”

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