& Daughter autumn winter sustainable ethical knitwear

8 ethical and eco-friendly knitwear brands to know

Posted by for Fashion

From one-of-a-kind colourful jumpers to carbon negative knitwear; here are the new ethical knitwear brands to know.

Sustainability is a major buzzword in fashion, but the reality is that the fashion industry is one of the most polluting in the world. 

Designer and founder of Mother of Pearl, Amy Powney, has been on a mission to create a brand that operates ethically and responsibly, she explains: “In truth fashion full stop is not sustainable. Every garment has a footprint no matter, some are better than others, the word sustainable has now been used too freely it’s hard to make its meaning tangible.”

More and more ready-to-wear and accessories brands are creating consciously crafted fashion pieces and the good news is that demand for more sustainable fashion is growing fast.

This season Net-a-Porter reported that almost two-thirds of its customers now shop from its Net Sustain edit, and analysis of their online behaviour shows an increase in shopping with a purpose and showing their interest in brands and projects which are more inclusive and diverse, sustainable and charitable.

Waste Yarn Project ethically made knitwear luxury sustainable unisex jumpers
Ethical knitwear: Waste Yarn Project

WasteYarnProject was launched in October this year by Norwegian-born, Paris-based artisan Siri Johansen. Having previously worked as head of knitwear for luxury ready-to-wear houses Kenzo, Burberry and Pringle of Scotland, Johansen would observe boxes teeming with leftover yarn on factory visits, so decided to do use this forgotten excess material to create luxury one-of-a-kind jumpers, knitted by hand on a manual machine. 

British label Herd also launched this autumn, with a mission to make beautiful, sustainable knitwear to revive and re-energise the traditions of sheep farming for wool in England. With no toxic chemicals used to dye or clean wool and locally sourced fleeces, its knits are not only beautiful, but come with a massively reduced carbon footprint too.

The world’s first carbon-negative knitwear brand Sheep Inc. is fashion-insiders’ go-to for classic, versatile knitwear staples that last forever (they literally have a lifetime guarantee), and it is 100% traceable to origin. 

Launched in 2018, London Cashmere Co is a small label pioneering luxury cashmere which makes beautiful jumpers, cardigans and accessories that nod to the seasonal trends, but are essentially contemporary classics. Everything is ethically and responsibly produced in Mongolia, with a fully traceable and direct supply chain, making them the perfect gift-to-self this festive season.

These are just some of the incredible labels doing great work to further their sustainability credentials, while making beautiful luxury products. Here is our edit of the best pieces to shop from some of the most exciting ethical brands available to buy now.

  • Waste Yarn Project

    Waste Yarn Project knitwear luxury sustainable ethical knitwear

    Wrap up in a beautiful, oversized jumper made from waste yarn. No single jumper is made with the same fabric as the next so it’s totally unique; and super chic and cosy too.

    Shop unisex knit at Waste Yarn Project, £401

  • Herd

    Herd cardigan ethical sustainable knitwear sourced locally

    These pretty and super soft cardigans look great with this season’s midi-length dresses and chunky boots. They are also made from the finest, locally sourced wool and the pieces are all-natural, not dyed or treated with harmful chemicals. 

    Shop Wyre cardigan at Herd, £375

  • London Cashmere Co

    London Cashmere co timeless cashmere contemporary ethical

    London Cashmere Co’s contemporary, considered designs start from just £25. Think classic round neck sweaters and luxury loungewear but also trend-led pieces like this 70s inspired style. It’s the perfect addition to the conscious consumer’s wardrobe.

    Shop Alanna knit at London Cashmere Co, £129

  • Sheep Inc

    Sheep included medium knit sustainable ethical jumper fashion autumn winter 2020

    The world’s first carbon-negative knitwear, Sheep Inc jumpers are guaranteed to last a lifetime and are 100% traceable to origin.

    The unisex, super soft knits are made with zero waste and come in five carefully selected colours, inspired by nature.

    Shop medium unisex knit at Sheep Inc £160

  • Mother of Pearl

    Mother of Pearl luxury sustainable womenswear blake cardigan tan

    This season’s shift towards more comfort-based fashion has seen everyone embrace more cosy silhouettes. Mother of Pearl’s signature oversized knits are the perfect piece to throw over everything from an evening dress to a luxe tracksuit.

    Shop Blake cardigan at Mother of Pearl, £395

  • Damson Madder

    Damson Madder cream ribbed sleeveless knit ethical knitwear high street

    Looking for sustainability and transparency but at high street prices? Look no further than Damson Madder. Knitwear, like this beautiful ribbed sleeveless knit, sits alongside T-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts made from materials including recycled polyester, natural dyes and cotton from organic farms.

    Shop ribbed knit vest at Damson Madder, £65

  • &Daughter

    Fintra Stripe Lambswool Tunic jumper knitwear sustainable, ethical show fashion

    Created by expert makers in the UK and Ireland using natural yarns, slow knitwear label &Daughter values quality, usefulness and a less-but-better approach to consumption. We love this preppy striped knit, styled with masculine tailored trousers and ankle boots.

    Shop fintra stripe jumper at & Daughter, £325

  • Bellemere New York

    Bellemere New York jumper

    New cashmere brand Bellemere New York has created a range of investment knitwear using natural, high quality, sustainably sourced cashmere. Wear this bow detail knit, or one of the brand’s chunky roll neck styles, with straight-leg jeans and trainers for an effortless weekend look.

    Shop Bellemere New York cashmere bow sleeve pullover now, £206

Lead image: & Daughter / WasteYarnProject

Further images: Courtesy of brands

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