Why We Love Swanndri Products

Swanndri is a trademark of New Zealand and one that we are super proud of. Being associated with Swanndri and a key reseller takes us way back to our Kiwi roots.

Swanndri or “swanny” as we call it here was designed by a man called William Broome who trademarked Swanndri in 1914. Broome settled in Taranaki and founded wool knits and felting as a weather resistant clothing option.

You’d like to think that Broome was a Kiwi himself but he was in fact an English tailor who immigrated to New Zealand to start a business when he was twenty one. A man after my own heart with all that ambition!

Swanndri creates heavy duty weatherproof woollen garments that are labelled as tough work shirts, widely used initially by farmers and those outdoors to protect them from the elements. Nowadays swanny is commonly worn on a day to day basis and it’s definitely levelled up in its fashion ranks!

As time moves on, designs improve and are enhanced but the traditional Swanny is a dark plaid with either red or blue criss-crossing stripes over a black base. This hasn’t changed, they are still made in the same way.


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Why is Swanndri such a great choice for a work shirt?

The newer versions of swanndri are made from 100% New Zealand wool. At New Zealand Natural Clothing we are committed to championing the use of local fibres but also heirloom garments that are an investment, this is why Swanndri is one of our top recommendations!


NZ natural fibres mean that Swanndri;

  • Doesn’t cause any itching because of how fine the fibres are
  • Keeps you smelling fresh as a daisy! Merino wool absorbs moisture which means no body odour
  • Keeps you cool in the heat and warm in cold because of merino wool’s capability to regulate temperature.
  • Keeps you drier for longer...merino wool absorbs up to 60% of its weight in moisture thanks to its wonderful wicking. The outer layer also has a wax like coating to stop you getting soaked through in a bit of rain.
  • Doesn’t crease - who wants an amazing work shirt that will protect you and last forever but then you have to iron!

You can learn more about the fantastic fibres NZ has to offer here.


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You may be wondering...

If you aren’t a Kiwi yourself you may be wondering why we’re so interested in clothing that can handle cold dreary downpours.

You might be surprised to learn that the far North of NZ has subtropical summers and the inland areas of South Island can get as cold as -10 C in the winter months.

However most of New Zealand has mild temperatures, moderate rainfall and lots of sunshine!

Swanndri has come a long way and with its updated designs and old school quality it really does offer a great durable option that stands the test of time and weather.

If you’re the outdoorsy type, and a lot of our loyal customers are, Swanndri is the best choice for you. Swanndri offers timeless and comfortable clothing that serves a purpose. It becomes part of your lifestyle and the temperature regulation properties will meet your needs.

It’s super important to us that what we offer as a company is sustainable, rest assured that Swanndri is a sustainable and locally sourced option that we can all be proud of.


Our cotton Piahia shirts are Swanndri - they are our summer uniform option!

Swanndri - the brand

Swanndri is an iconic Kiwi outdoor brand owned by an apparel producer and importer with control of many other brands. They are Christchurch based and contract a Factory in China for most of the production.

This has been an arrangement for many years when Swanndri orders could not be supplied by NZ Manufacturing and the cost of setting up a plant with all of its compliance is not economical. Another iconic brand Line 7 has recently been bought by Swanndri and runs dairy and nautical wet weather gear.

There are some Swanndri socks and accessories made in NZ, there are also some original garments made in NZ as well due to a call to do so by the public. The irony is that the public will not pay the price difference of manufacturing in low production volume, living wage rate countries. The production is very low and Swanndri holds the stock for themselves to sell rather than offer it to resellers.

Is it ethical to import?

The team at Swanndri have assured me of the strict contract they have with the factory. They have staff on hand during production and finishing. They state that there is not a plant in NZ that can match the finish they get from this relationship in China.

Why should I buy Swanndri from NZNC and not direct?

Very good question.

You should buy from New Zealand Natural Clothing because;

  • We are often the best deal as all purchases accrue a 5% rebate,
  • You can buy other branded products from us in the same sale.  
  • Shipping is free $100+ Aus and NZ, $250+ Worldwide
  • All of your sales history is in one place and our customer nurture is a real bonus for you
  • Our stores are “try it on” zones too!


We are fibre freaks here at New Zealand Natural Clothing and we love chatting about what we offer in store and online so please pop in and quiz us on all things fibre, feel the different garments, ask questions, have a laugh - you’re always welcome at New Zealand Natural Clothing!