We believe in merging function and fashion, maintaining transparency and favouring quality above all else. We see beauty in the details. They matter to us. Our products are developed for the traveller. The vacationer. The jet-setter. We believe travel essentials should be better than basic — luxurious, thoughtful and classic. We also believe in giving back, which is why we donate a portion of our proceeds to women artisans in developing countries.
About Lily Winter
Founder and creative director, Stephanie Gray was inspired to start Lily Winter after years of frequent travelling as a freelance writer and as the co-founder of Travel & Style Magazine.
Subscribing to the idea that you should curate your life with things you love and things that last, Stephanie’s goal was to create luxurious travel accessories that were both durable and beautiful, so she began a journey to learn about working with cashmere.
What became quickly apparent was not all cashmere is created equal. Why can one retailer sell a sweater for $50 and another for $500? First, cashmere itself is extremely expensive to produce. It comes from the fine fibres on the undercoat of cashmere goats, which is extremely labour intensive to collect, then the wool must be combed and sorted by hand. For a two-ply pure cashmere sweater you’re looking at more than two goats worth of fibres!
The other factor is the region where the goats are from and how the fibres are processed. Indisputably, the best cashmere comes from goats that endure the harsh winters of Inner Mongolia. But even with the best raw material, the manufacturing of cashmere matters — a lot. With hundreds of years of experience, the mills in Europe — specifically Scotland and Italy — have undoubtedly mastered the process.
Higher-priced cashmere also reflects the quality of fibres used. Longer fibres are more durable, which means less pilling and finer fibres give cashmere its softness. Unfortunately many manufacturers today use short, fine fibres as it's cheaper and initially feels soft to the consumer. Very soon the product will start to pill and look worn out. It's one of the ways brands can call their product "cashmere" and charge a cheap price.
After considerable research, Stephanie enlisted the expertise of an environmentally and socially responsible boutique manufacturer in Nepal who only uses the finest cashmere from select sources. For our product, we opted to source our cashmere from a prestigious yarn manufacturer in Italy. Working directly with a boutique manufacturer has allowed her to ensure a high level of quality without the considerable retail markup.
And the name? Lily Winter was affectionately chosen, as it’s the name of Stephanie’s great grandmother.