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.”
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.
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
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.
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.
London Cashmere Co
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.
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.
Mother of Pearl
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.
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.
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.
Bellemere New York
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.
Lead image: & Daughter / WasteYarnProject
Further images: Courtesy of brands