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Ethical Knitwear That Nails This Season's Trends And You’ll Love Forever

Living
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One of the best things about winter is looking to refresh your wardrobe. While we love secondhand shopping and swapping sometimes investing in an ethical knit that will last for years, is a real treat. 

Check out some of these British ethical knitwear brands, they're all nailing key autumn/winter trends with pieces you'll end up loving beyond this season.

Georgina Wilson-Powell 14 October 2019

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While wool may not be for everyone (scroll down for our overview of wool as a material), there's no escaping, that responsibly produced it reduces the microplastics you're releasing into the ocean, it's needs washing less and will keep you toasty warm all winter.

These brands are British based and slow fashion orientated but have enough of a nod to make sure you don't feel left out from this winter's key fashion trends.

Ally Bee

Ethical knitwear designer, Ally Bee’s Alpaca Wool Pebble jumper ticks off the growing number of ethical knits that use responsibly sourced alpaca wool. Here it’s mixed with a touch of Falklands merino yarn, spun in Dorset and knitted in Scotland to make it a real British bit of knitwear. 

It nails this season’s brown and oatmeal colour trend, while the simple shape means you can dress it down with boyfriend jeans or dress it up with a bright necklace and boots for meetings.

All of Ally Bee’s eco knits are chemical free, sourced responsibly and fully biodegradable. Everything comes in plastic free packaging.

Ally Bee Ethical knitwear

Oatmeal tones work for everyone at ethical knitwear designer Ally Bee

Genevieve Sweeney

Nailing the geometric patterns is British knitwear brand, Genevieve Sweeney. Ethical knits here mean slow fashion, timelessly stylish jumpers that are made from Scottish spun cashmere and handmade in Scotland. This one is inspired by 1920s textile art.

Want a heritage piece that will last longer than this season’s trend? Investing in an ethical cashmere jumper gives you guys an easy, throw on option for years to come, plus you’re supporting a much maligned British knitwear industry and lowering your wardrobe’s air miles. 

genevieve sweeney knitwear

Men's knitwear can be ethical too. Check out these Scottish knits

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Lowie

For bright shades and Fair Isle inspired ethical knits, British sustainable fashion brand, Lowie, have a fabulous range of round neck jumpers just crying out for a cold day and a roaring fire. 

Over the last year, we’ve seen mainstream fashion embrace a new found love of the colourful ‘ugly knit’ jumper but Lowie make much more beautiful versions.

They also nail the return of the roll neck jumper trend by offering a crop top version made from alpaca and merino wool. Make it extra ethical. Lowie’s Sophia jumper is made from 100% recycled cashmere.

They’re certified by the Responsible Wool Standard too. All of their eco knitwear come with Lowie’s free lifetime repairs policy.

lowie ethical knitwear sweater

Fair Isle knits get an ethical makeover at Lowie

Valentina Karellas

Melange is a knitwear trend that is everywhere in 2019. (Melange simply means that the jumper uses more than two colours. So now you know). Valentina Karellas definitely ticks that box, these wild-style knitwear designers are all about deconstruction and definitely give old-fashioned knitwear a shake up.

This slow fashion brand only creates each eco-knit when you order to avoid deadstock and each piece is one of a kind, all handmade in London. Each jumper is made from surplus stock yarn from large factories and named after a road in London. Nothing is thrown away or wasted, even the smallest threads get upcycled into other products.

ethical knitwear for winter 2019

Handmade and one a kind, invest in melange knitwear that will last more than a season

Study 34

Green knitwear will be everywhere this winter, it’s one of this season’s most accessible trends for knitwear. 

If you’re looking for an ethical knitwear piece but want something at a lower price point, try one of Study 34’s cosy eco-friendly wool scarves.

Made of 100% alpaca wool (so good for people like me who are allergic to wool), these soft, wide scarves are handmade in Newcastle and are the perfect thing to snuggle on, especially on public transport. 

Green scarf from Study 34

Nail this season's green knitwear trend with this cosy dark number from Stufy 34

Is wool ethical?

The debate around whether or not wool can be called ‘ethical’ or not is a little wooly (apologies). 

If you want to have a totally vegan wardrobe, it is not for you. 

However, some wools are produced more kindly and sustainably than others and as such can be a sustainable and high quality option. 

The problems with irresponsible wool:

  • Shearing sheds can be brutal places where animals are seriously hurt. 
  • Felling forests to make space for grazing grounds has a hugely negative effect on the environment. 

Why responsible wool is better:

  • The Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) is a mark to look out for. This organisation ensures that farms use best practices in their treatment of animals and land. 
  • If wool is certified organic, it will be void of pesticides and parasiticides. They will have not been used on pasturelands or on the sheep themselves.
  • GOTS seems to be the only organisation that can truly certify whether wool is fully organic.
  • Wool needs to be washed less, doesn’t need to be tumble dried or dry cleaned which uses less energy taking care of it. Properly looked after, it can last a lifetime.
  • Wool doesn’t shed microplastics, so if this is your main concern, wool wins over synthetic materials.

Want more ethical fashion ideas?

This brand started their own British merino flock to make ethical knitwear

Cream of the crop: Welcome to plant based knitwear

Download our A-Z Guide to Ethical Fashion here.

Discover more eco-fashionistas in our Facebook group

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