Our story begins with a vision to support children, parents and Waldorf schools. In 2010, with great courage and quite a bit of naiveté, we started a parenting centre that offered programs, opportunities for building community and products that would support health giving lifestyles. Warmth and Weather was one of those ideas.
As a young mother, Heather had designed her own children’s fashion clothing line and had suffered from the chemicals in the fabrics. She had been watching the ‘fast fashion’ industry and its impact on the environment and on those in the industry. She wanted Warmth and Weather to offer clothing that was making a difference in the well-being of the environment, individual health and the industry.
She had also experienced the essential clothing that children and families needed. Young children need clothing that allow free movement. She also knew, from being a Waldorf Kindergarten teacher, that the child from birth to seven is developing their body from a fine invisible substance called warmth. Children need base layers that foster warmth and wool by nature is warm. Children and families thrive outside in nature and that led to needing good quality weather wear.
So, Warmth and Weather called her to research organic merino wool clothing and healthy weather wear. The search led to European manufacturers who for generations have produced wool clothing and had gone towards organics. We began importing organic woolens from Europe and it took months to receive the shipments. When they arrived they were like treasures from afar. We placed them on our store racks and delighted in providing the clothing to our local community.
Arlene had been offering programs and developing a community of parents and adult educators. We had taken our first steps into offering parent programs, building a community and offering healthy products.
But what about other families beyond our community? So Heather started the on-line store for others to access this high quality clothing in Canada. We had the foundation of Warmth and Weather. Arlene moved into working with summer intensives and the New Adult Learning Movement. www.newadultlearning.com
When the parent centre closed in 2012 because the landlord needed the space back, the on-line store and the inventory went with Arlene when she moved to Thunder Bay, on the great shores of Lake Superior. Thunder Bay is also called the Lakehead, as it is the central shipping point for the Great Lakes between western and eastern Canada. Arlene and her husband Joe, who operate Mercurius Canada, a supplier of Waldorf art and school supplies, joined their daughter Logan and her family.
Warmth and Weather offered retail sales and began cooperating with Mercurius Canada in supplying Waldorf schools and stores with the clothing. Heather went back to a Waldorf school and has grown in her work with WECAN, the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America.
By 2018/19 Warmth and Weather needed to take a step and we hired an employee. Heather and Arlene are delighted to welcome new energy to the company as Jared Foulds joined us this spring as our new Administrator.
We look forward to growing our offerings of organic woolens and partnering with Waldorf, Forest schools, childcares and not-for-profit organizations to support the spiritual/cultural sphere.
Thank you for stopping by. We appreciate your interest and support for clothing that is making a difference!
Heather Church and Arlene Thorn, Summer 2020.