Running the busy outdoor clothing business, Kiwi Country Clothing, leaves Liz McGuinness no time for ‘faffing around’ as she says.

This no-nonsense lady, from Ireland, spent many years in NZ and learned the secrets of good quality outdoor clothing that protects the wearer from the worst of weathers.

Now back in the UK, Liz is on a mission to dress farmers ‘older and colder, and to help people with health issues dress for bad weather.

Liz says: “I was born cold, having always suffered terribly in wintertime, and as soon as I found this range of products in NZ over 20 years ago I never looked back.

“Anything I had been wearing for 10 years or more in NZ, I decided to make part of the product mix I would bring back to Ireland. Ironically, I am now my own patient, as I was diagnosed with systemic Scleroderma two years ago, so I cannot tolerate any form of cold or damp weather these days. Possum provides the best solution for me for warmth, and the rainwear is the best I have found anywhere in the world. It is 100% waterproof, yet 100% breathable.”

Her collection includes a range of Possum merino which is a blend of superfine merino lamb’s wool and eco-friendly possum fibre. It is 55% warmer than merino, 35% warmer than cashmere, does not pill or ball, needs little or no washing. Regardless of outside temperature, it keeps body temp at 36.6 degrees. The range will rig you out from head to toe. From farmers’ socks you don’t wash to amazingly warm gloves, socks and a range of accessories which keep you remarkably warm in the harshest of temperatures. (Check online for the range of socks for diabetes and poor circulation with no seams and a soft top, and gloves for Raynaud’s and neuropathy issues post chemotherapy or radium treatment).

The welly boot farm sock likewise performs to keep feet warm, clean and odour free and are known to heal chilblains and cracked heels.

Gloves for super-cold hands and for those who suffer from Raynaud’s syndrome, scleroderma, arthritis, and poor circulation. Also, the practical, yet luxurious possum shoe and boot insoles provide instant comfort and warmth for the coldest of feet and are an ideal Christmas present.

Five years ago Cork University hospital in Ireland approached Elizabeth about supplying footwear and hand wear for their patients who had suffered trauma to their hands or feet and resulting cold intolerance. It is a proven source of pain relief.

Now Kiwi Country Clothing supplies products to eight hospitals across Ireland, and looks set to be introduced to OT departments in UK hospitals next year for people who have severe pain or cold intolerance. They now make bespoke hand wear, footwear and possum products for joints (knees, spines, ankles, wrists, elbows). See website for details.

If it’s waterproof gear that you seek, and who doesn’t need it in this climate? Kiwi Country Clothing has a fantastic range of Outback oilskins. They are 100% waterproof, and cleaning instructions are detailed… hang and hose.

Rather randomly Liz has a very successful range of handmade cotton underwear. No riding up, no VPL, no sweat. Ideal for horseriders, yoga lovers, runners, cyclists, anyone really that appreciates comfortable underwear.

More recently, they are now deemed the best underwear for stoma wear... for those who have had colon surgery, as they are soft, strong, and breathable, hold everything in place and sit high above the pouch.

They are wonderfully comfortable and each piece made by hand on small domestic Singer sewing machines.

The irrepressible Elizabeth, is more than happy to sell over the phone or via the website or call 086 893 1953.

She says: “ I’m always delighted when people call me directly, as discussing their needs allows me to provide them with most suitable product for them I also carry product not listed on the website, and I always prefer to speak directly with my customers. I will take calls seven days, 8am to 10pm… that’s the farmer in me!”

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• Possum fur is a recycled product in New Zealand. Possums are ethically culled by the Dept of Conservation in NZ as they eat all bird life, strip our stunning natural forests in NZ of their vegetation, and carry TB. They are not native to NZ. Anything made from possum fur in NZ is deemed an eco-friendly product. We do not upset animal rights, as they understand the devastation which possums create in NZ.