Olivia ThwaitesHip workwear for hard working women

Growing up on a farm in the Otway Ranges Victoria, I knew I wanted to work outdoors. After a stint of helping mum in her gorgeous garden and doing a year 10 horticulture project designing a friend’s garden and growing the plants, I was hooked. I applied for uni but also for a gardening apprenticeship. It was exciting working as a gardener in inner city Melbourne and it seemed a way better option than studying at university. I’m a hands-on person and learn best on the job and not in the classroom, so an apprenticeship made perfect sense to me and I deferred my course, never to look back.

Green Hip Workwear for Women1Along with gardening with mum, I was always selling things, or pretending to sell things. Either in the loungeroom or at the end of our driveway, so entrepreneurialism has been in my blood from the very beginning.

On my first day of work as an apprentice, the workwear I was issued was, to say the least, hideous! It simply didn’t fit properly. I’m tall and the leg length was too short, the crotch was too long and chaffed the insides of my legs and the styling, well, there was none! I distinctly remember saying ‘someone’s gotta do something about this, it’s just so uncomfortable’.

Working on Green HipI progressed to an amazing job working at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, curating the Camellia and southern African collections, but the workwear still hadn’t improved. Ten years later and I was still wearing men’s workwear as the women’s workwear was even worse. I even looked into getting some work pants tailor-made but it was going to cost $250 per pant so that wasn’t really an option.

Once again, I recall saying to a gardener friend while we were working away at the RBG, ‘someone’s got to do something about this. How hard can it be!’ After 5 years of working at the RBG Melbourne, my husband and I decided to embark on an adventure and we followed his job and moved to Thailand.

Green Hip Workwear for Women labelsLiving in Bangkok was an incredible experience and it was here that I was to form my passion of making workwear for women. Suddenly I was scouring the streets of Bangkok for fabric and manufacturers and designing new styles of work pants, shorts and shirts. Gardening was beginning to feel like a distant memory although I still loved plants and learned a lot about tropical gardens. Designing workwear without any formal education had its challenges but someone had to provide all of the working women out there a good quality product that actually fits properly.

I had to find a name and ‘Green Hip’ was born in the back of a taxi stuck in Bangkok traffic. My parents were visiting and I clearly remember us having a great time talking to the taxi driver and when I said Green Hip it just stuck. Green Hip was born – workwear that was designed to fit all body shapes, was comfortable, durable, fit for purpose and, most importantly, designed to fit well.

Green Hip Workwear for Women - monitoring cloth quality in China

Green Hip Workwear for Women – monitoring cloth quality in China

Green Hip Workwear for WomenMy fabric was, and still is what sets my workwear apart, of why my garments fit so well. I developed a unique fabric that is soft from the beginning (stiff workwear is quite simply uncomfortable to wear) and has some stretch to allow for the different shapes that women can be. I also made sure the shirts did not gape, especially for big breasted women so there are more buttons than men’s shirts and the cotton/stretch fabric allows movement while working in difficult work situations.

Green Hip Workwear for Women manufacture in Fiji

Green Hip Workwear for Women manufacture in Fiji

 

All garments have twin-needle stitching on the stress points and bar tacking for extra durability. The coin pocket is not too deep (we don’t have man fingers) so it was easy for the lady tradies to get the coins out. There are extra pockets for personal items, mobile phones and lip gloss – of course! Basically everything I found irritating with wearing men’s workwear, I improved with many additions. The years of product development have paid off, as none of the styles have needed to be changed.

Green Hip Workwear for Women shipment arrivesThe fabric is tested to very high standards for colour fastness, strength and unwanted chemicals, which gives me confidence that it will stand the test of time. Unfortunately, the quality appears to be too good as they don’t fade nearly as quickly as other brands do and re-ordering isn’t required as often! Fortunately, I have loyal customers who continue to buy my workwear.

Green Hip WorkwearI’m really excited about the future of Green Hip with big plans to include more navy blue, khaki and hi-vis styles and I am growing our list of stockists around Australia. Although I love to visit companies face to face, there’s only so many people I can visit in one week!

Olivia at Landcare day

Working with my local Landcare group

 

 

 

I also want to give back to the community and help the environment, so I have pledged that for every garment sold by Green Hip, I will plant a native grass or tree. Every winter I gather friends and customers to plant some trees with my local Landcare or council group which is fun and good for the soul.

Green Hip is now being worn by women in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne, Cairns Botanic Gardens, Yarra Ranges City Council & Hobsons Bay City council are repeat customers.

Green Hip Workwear for Women Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne

I get such a kick out of seeing staff at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne wearing my gear and it’s so nice to know I’m making a difference to friends and other women’s lives by providing a comfortable garment to wear to work every day. I’m getting more and more calls from friends saying they saw someone kitted out in Green Hip and they get a real kick out of it too!

Green Hip Workwear for Women tahi basil seeds

When I send an order of Green Hip workwear, I always include some Thai basil seeds as little reminder about where Green Hip was born.

Green Hip Workwear for Women posting outI believe that Green Hip is the premium workwear available for women and, as a young company, I make sure your business is looked after efficiently and quickly. Let’s face it, we spend the majority of our life at work and we should feel comfy in the clothes we have to wear every day.

Green Hip work wear and green and navyIf you’re a manager of women – do yourself a favour and buy them some Green Hip – they’ll love you forever!

www.greenhip.com.au
olivia@greenhip.com.au

[This sponsored post is brought to you by Green Hip Work Wear for Women]

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Olivia Thwaites

About Olivia Thwaites

Green Hip was created out of the sheer need for great quality, comfortable and stylish workwear designed for women. After many years of wearing work clothes that didn't fit properly and were, to be honest, just unattractive, we decided to do something about it. And so, in 2010 Green Hip was launched; workwear for women, designed by women! Our focus was to create super comfy, stylish workwear that is still highly functional and meets all workplace requirements.

9 thoughts on “Hip workwear for hard working women

  1. Way to go Olivia! Great to see some entrepreneurial spirit creating some decent work wear for women. We’ve all had those men’s pants that are too tight around the hips to fit around the waist, or shirts with too-wide shoulders so that they’ll fit around the bust. Now I can be a stylish garden grub!

    • Olivia on said:

      Thanks Catherine and I must say, I just love the term ‘stylish garden grub’!

  2. Jan Hintze on said:

    in the tropics lighter coloured clothes are necessary – how about maybe light khaki, or a patterned pale green and brown, or something. Dark Green and Blue make for too much sweat. Jan H.

    • Yep, I’m with you on this, Jan. I just can’t wear dark colours in the summer, so I’m hanging out for a light khaki range too.

      • Olivia on said:

        Hi Jan & Catherine,
        It’s great to get your feedback!
        We’re currently working on launching our new cargo pant style and long sleeve shirts in khaki. If you’d like to sign up to our newsletter (easily done from our website) then you’ll be informed of the product launches which are due to launch early to mid next year.

    • Kia Alleb on said:

      I’m in line for something a little more feminine-looking! The dark colours still a little blokey. I spent ages trying to find something when launching my new female-focused business. I need a point of difference and not look like a regular tradie but of course the clothing needs to still be practical.

      • Olivia on said:

        Hi Kia,

        I’m hearing you! Practical workwear in more girly colours are hard to find and I’d love to launch some new products with more unique fabric prints and colours but at the moment my business is focusing on our gardener green (not so blokey), blue and khaki colours along with hi-vis.

        Please keep checking our website or sign up for our newsletters as we might incorporate a one off collection range down the track… Good luck with your business!

  3. Graeme on said:

    You’re a little gem Olivia! I too hate the cut of our uniform at Norwood, payneham And St Peters council. We have a few women here and they have to put up with looking a bit like a wharfie
    Get in contact..

    • Olivia on said:

      Hi Graeme,
      Thanks for your comments and I’m more than happy to get in contact! Would you mind emailing me the contact details for the relevant person for each council you have mentioned and I’ll be sure to follow it up with the female staff there. Hopefully they’ll be working in comfort soon! olivia@greenhip.com.au

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