An Ethical & Sustainable Knitwear Directory
One thing that I’ve been struggling to add to my wardrobe is knitwear. There’s nothing better than pulling on a cosy woolly jumper on a crisp autumn day or on a cold late summers night. I already have several snuggly knits that I love wearing through the colder months but regrettably they are all high street finds. On the hunt for the perfect ethical and sustainable jumper I decided that I should actually be looking for a wide range of brands that I could share on here, to help others to find their own perfect knit. I did a little research myself, asked for recommendations on Instagram and spent some time investigating which brands used sustainable practices but also cared about human and animal welfare - here are the results. Have a look here to see the full conversation with recommendations on my Instagram.
I have a little bit of an obsession with Babaa’s knitwear. I’ve spent a long time browsing their website and am fairly certain I’m going to finally take the plunge and invest in one of their jumpers or cardigans. Yes, they’re expensive but these are knits you’re going to get a lot of wear out of. The only hard decision is which style and colour to go for, as they have so much choice available. Their knits are made in a small family-run knitwear factory in Spain, handcrafted from 100% natural Spanish yarns and Italian organic wool. They detail where and how each different type of their wool is sourced on their website, giving complete transparency. As they say themselves, these are simple, timeless knits that are designed to be cherished forever.
French brand L’Envers design their knits with a slow and sustainable manifesto. Their simple, timeless designs are made in small production runs from organic cotton and natural wool, and knitted in small family-run workshops in Spain. Their beautifully crafted knits focus on timeless designs that can be pulled on over any outfit. I particularly love their simple cardigans and cosy merino wool jumpers that would be just as perfect for long winter’s walks as for snuggling up indoors. I also love how they steer clear of fashion fads and concentrate on creating timeless pieces that you’ll wear for many years to come.
The Knotty Ones
I love the chunky textured knits designed by The Knotty Ones. Their knitwear provides more statement fashion-forward pieces that also manage to remain timeless. They’re effortlessly cool with a distinct cool-girl aesthetic. Founded by three friends who couldn’t find sustainable contemporary knitwear, the brand focuses on making beautiful knits that have minimum impact on the environment. One thing I really love about them is their commitment to employing craftswomen who are paid fairly, work in safe environments and enjoy what they do. They also operate a scheme where you can donate an extra €10 directly towards funding the dreams of the women who make the knits.
Good Night, Day
I’ve admired Canadian brand, Good Night, Day for many years, originally following owner Tara-Lynn’s blog back when I first got into blogging. The brand is run independently by Tara, who hand-knits every piece on a made-to-order scheme of limited runs. If you have our eye on one of Tara-Lynn’s garments, you need to follow her on Instagram and keep your eyes peeled for her opening her shop to orders. This way of working means that there’s absolutely no waste involved, as each knit is made specifically for her customers. Every single piece is beautifully designed, creating fashion-forward knitwear that you’ll fall in love with. If you’re a keen knitter, Tara-Lynn also sells a book of knitting patterns for you to make your own versions of her designs.
If you’re looking for super-cool designs that are completely different to anything else available, take a peek at The Knitter. Nicole’s knits are loud and proud, flaunting clashing colour combinations and striking patterns. Designed and made in New Zealand and Peru, she focuses on supporting small communities, ethical labour and sustainable practices. Her ‘happy knits’ are handmade using traditional methods, knitted in the home rather than in large factories. Organic yarns are gathered from local farms, with mohair yarn from New Zealand and alpaca and sheep wool from Peru coloured using low-impact dyes.
British brand, Navy Grey make everyday classic knits that are designed to be worn over and over again. Rachel, the founder of the brand, was inspired by a jumper belonging to her mother that she couldn’t find anything like. She created Navy Grey to replicate the same jumper in different designs and colours, always focusing on sustainable practices. Merino wool is ethically sourced from New Zealand, dyed and spun in Italy and the jumpers are manufactured in a small factory in Portugal. Limited production runs cut down on wastage and ensure an acute attention to detail. Every single stage of the production is designed with sustainability in mind - from their Devon-based solar paneled distribution hub to the recycled tissue paper used to package their parcels.
If you’re looking for delicate everyday knits that you can layer as the seasons change, Spanish brand Counting Clouds are perfect. Their ethereal knits value timeless design, sustainable practices and artisan practices. If you’re not after a ‘fashion’ knit and are looking for something more classic, this is the brand for you. Committed to working with small local factories, founder Elena uses high quality natural yarns and small production runs to ensure sustainable practices.
If you’re interested in sustainable fashion, you’ve probably come across Everlane. This North American brand focuses on transparency, sharing the true cost and mark-up of every single product. Their garments are surprisingly affordable, especially when you consider that they work with only the most ethical factories around the world - ones that work with brands that charge a lot more than they do. Everlane don’t focus solely on knitwear, but have a large section of their site dedicated to knits of various shapes and materials. Their overall aesthetic is simple and timeless, offering garments that are designed to last forever.
I discovered Nygårdsanna on my recent trip to Sweden - a rail of their beautiful linen garments were hanging in a shop I visited. Based in Sweden, this work-wear inspired brand draws inspiration from nature. Each garment is designed to be loved for years to come, and they’re proud that their customers pass on their clothes to future generations. Although there are two seasonal collections presented each year, these are designed with a slow fashion manifesto rather than adhering to fast fashion trends. Their knitwear collection is only small, but offers a selection of jumpers, knitted vests, shawls and accessories that you will love for years to come.
Tradlands is a North American store that focuses on creating comfortable, classic clothing for women. Founder Sadie was inspired to create the brand when she often found herself gravitating towards menswear to avoid trend-led clothing. Not only do Tradlands make clothes that are designed to last longer and be worn more than fast-fashion alternatives, they also have a commitment to using consciously sourced fabrics and ethical factories. Their knitwear collection is due to launch any day, offering a range of practical and stylish jumpers that won’t go out of style.
All images are the brands own.
Disclaimer: I have previously worked with Everlane on a separate campaign but their inclusion in this post is in no way sponsored.