Classic Jumpers To Invest In – and how to take care of them
Image: Babaà Knitwer
Get into the spirit of sweater weather with these classic jumpers to invest in. Plus we tell you how to take care of your knitwear to help it last a lifetime.
Wool boasts numerous qualities, as we learnt when we spoke to Finisterre over Wool Week on the podcast. It’s naturally breathable and odour resistant as well as being natural, renewable and biodegradable. There is evidence that humans have been washing, weaving, and wearing wool since 10,000 BC! In the midst of sweater weather, (our favourite weather) we have rounded up our latest jumper crushes. From fitted, to oversize and maybe even Christmas jumpers, we love these knitwear brands. As well as certifications and assurances to look out for when purchasing a new wool sweater. Caring for your knitwear is as low maintenance as it is important. A good wool jumper can be passed down through generations if properly taken care of.
Tips For Effective Knitwear Care
– Wash gently by hand. Of course you can use a washing machine but keep the water cool, and pop it in a pillow case to prevent damage. To hand wash, the water shouldn’t be more than 30°C. Try Clothes Doctors’ Eco Wash for Wool. Avoid dry cleaning as the chemicals can weaken the natural fibres of the wool.
– That being said, don’t over wash your knits. Pure wool (that’s why investing in virgin wool jumpers is key) is naturally dirt and odour resistant, meaning it needs less washing. Instead, you should air it every now and then outside to eliminate odour build up.
– Dry the jumper flat. Reshape it while damp and lay it flat across a drying rack, perfect for maintaining the shape while drying on both sides. It might take a bit longer, but you’ll have your jumper looking great and feeling as soft as when you bought it.
– Store knits folded up. Using hangers will stretch the delicate fibres and cause your jumper to look misshapen. We also recommend using cedar balls like these ones from Total Wardrobe Care to avoid moths. For more tips on how to moth proof your wardrobe, we got our expert tips from Total Wardrobe Care Founder, Julia Dee.
Best Environmentally Friendly Jumpers
Combining dedicated design and craftsmanship with an environmentally and socially conscious supply chain, NavyGrey is sourcing superfine wool from the softest sheep in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Woolmark certified, each raw fibre lot can be traced back to the farm that produced it. Their merino wool ensures softness, comfort and strength (find out more about merino wool tracing here.). The skin of Merino sheep tends to be wrinkly, and the sheep are subject to the risk of being “struck” by flies, a cruel affliction known as fly strike. Mulesing is the surgical removal of loose folds of skin from the breach area of merino sheep in order to prevent fly strike. It’s a controversial and painful practice (anaesthetic isn’t always administered) that they refuse to support. They work with one of Italy’s finest mills, one of the few spinners able to directly control its supply chain. Any excess yarn is recycled so that waste is minimal. Navygrey also use RePack, an award-winning, globally unique reusable, returnable, 100% waste-free packaging service.
Originally from Madrid, Marta Bahillo had a particular passion for knitwear and natural textiles since an early age. She knew she wanted to create a brand that was sustainable, and make long-lasting quality knitwear for everyday use. All the material used is 100% natural, the yarns are not mixed with acrylics or any other synthetic fibres. A big part of their project is sourcing local organic providers and supporting the local textile industry. The designs are purposely oversized and loose-fitting for extra comfort and durability. The type of oversize jumpers you’d love to steal from your boyfriend. Babaà also take care to ensure that the dyeing process is 100% natural. Their technique uses 60% less water than the industry standard and involves no bleaching and no toxic waste. All of unused babaà samples are donated to CEAR ( Comisión Española de Ayuda al Refugiado ) for their refugees center in Getafe, Madrid.
The Knotty Ones was founded by three best friends, Sandra, Danute and Akvile — who “believed that it’s nice to be cool, but it’s cooler to be nice”. Their love of fashion took a new meaning when, in 2014, they took time off to travel around South East Asia. It was here that they learnt about the dark side of the fast fashion industry. There are millions of garment workers around the world, roughly 85% of them are women, many of them face inhumane working conditions and earn below a living wage. When finding knitwear that was sustainable, contemporary and made by empowered women, they found the selection woeful. So they set out to create a brand that did all of these things. The Knotty Ones source natural and sustainable fabrics while incorporating better practices throughout the supply chain. They employ craftswomen, mostly stay-at-home mums, around Lithuania. The majority of these women live in villages and small towns where jobs are extremely scarce. With every purchase of a Slabada knit (right), your order will fund either an hour-long psychologist consultation for a woman looking to leave an abusive relationship or a domestic violence survivor’s stay at a safehouse.
After living in Paris and London and a subsequent move to a quiet village in the mountains near Madrid, with her husband and their three children, Julie Robinne founded L’ENVERS. Her connection to wool production goes back to 1820 when her “great-great-great-great-great-grandfather” founded a wool mill in northern France. Having realised that she wanted to offer an alternative to the second most polluting industry in the world, she launched a fashion brand that was slow, respectful and with a low impact. L’ENVERS choose natural wool, and practices with a lower environmental impact. All their materials are carefully selected from mills in France and Spain, allowing them to control the manufacturing conditions of the yarns directly. That’s the perk of a small production chain!
Fashion is starting to slowly acknowledge that every body is different: they offer a customization service beyond S/M/L, where you can design your own piece to make sure it fits perfectly!
Disclaimer: The people and models in the images featured are not associated with The Vendeur and do not endorse it or the products shown. This post may contain affiliate links. Prices correct at time of publishing.
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