The story of Once Was Lost

A partnership between two corners of the world, Once Was Lost brings the almost forgotten weaving techniques of our past to the modern fashion and decor world.
Words: Thea Rowan

Andy and Laura Wortlock from Once Was Lost

Once Was Lost was created by Hervey Bay-based husband and wife team, Andy and Laura, with the focus on ethically handmade artisan wares. Andy and Laura believe that all items produced should help to benefit the world, therefore each item in their collection has the fair trade stamp of approval. In a world of fast fashion and exploitation, Once Was Lost truly is a breath of fresh air.

Once Was Lost ethiopian artisan

Made with love

All pieces are designed by Andy and Laura from their studio here in Queensland, and hand-woven by their incredibly talented artisans based in Ethiopia. No machines are involved in the manufacturing of the scarfs, throws or cushions, and each item is a true labour of love, delicately spun and hand stitched. This helps to preserve the techniques, while also providing sustainable employment to the skilled creatives that Once Was Lost partner with.

The Marlo scarf
The Sabi scarf

Lost and found

Once the high quality Ethiopian cotton has been picked, the balls of cotton are passed onto the expert dying team. A collection of locally grown flowers, plants, herbs and spices are used to create the colours used to stain the material, meaning each dye is environmentally friendly and ensuring, once again, that each step in the production process adheres to the Once Was Lost‘s sustainable mantra. Once the cotton has been washed and dried the bundles are given to the skilled weavers, who often work from home,allowing them to still be connected to their community and family. It’s a work life balance that is unheard of in the manufacturing and production business.

Once Was Lost is a true testament to Andy and Laura. Their passion for people and ethically produced products shines through in each and every uniquely made item.

Amara scarf in charcoal


Basu scarf in indigo
Harrison throw and cushion


Once Was Lost homewares collection
Meeko scarf in blush


You can read more about Andy and Laura’s life and inspirations in The Creatives, in the latest Summer issue of Queensland Homes magazine.