ATRIUM MUSINGS » woollens
From wool to wear, that cosy knit that graces your back – do you know where it comes from?
Less accusatory and more inquisitory, this is a question more and more of us are asking –where did it all begin? Do I know and do I mind divulging? The ideal answer to both is yes, but there is an appreciation of the slow-fashion learning curve that can be applied.
Provided the learning does not move at a similar pace.
A quick education? Slow fashion is part of a wider movement toward conscious consumerism, a wholesale change in our attitudes to buying stuff that’s sorely needed to help get us out of this environmental pickle we find ourselves in.
Natural, durable textiles have a big role to play in the slow fashion movement, meaning knitwear has a special place at the sustainable table.
A well-crafted and well-cared-for woollen may take a little longer to make, a little longer to save up for but it can last a lifetime.
Our knitwear offerings marry luxury with a social conscience to create timeless and beautifully crafted pieces from forward-thinking designers.
Here we profile four of these knitwear mavericks and the ethical, mappable materials they use.
Liadain’s trademark woolly bobble hats can regularly be seen adding splashes of colour to the grey, wintry streets of Dublin, but these popular head-warmers are just one part of her ever-evolving collection.
The Irish designer is committed to longevity in the clothing she crafts, weaving each jumper, scarf and hat with sustainability in mind. Liadain’s pieces are shaped from Donegal Merino yarn, a traditional, high-quality and durable material with roots stretching back to the eighteenth century.
The playful colour palette of Liadain’s pieces mirrors the Irish landscape, echoing the tones of indigenous plants like blackberries, fuschia, gorse and moss that at one time formed the basis of the dyes for Donegal yarn.
Young designer Pearl Reddington is blowing the Irish knitwear scene wide open with designs that break the mould.
Woven from a mixture of traditional Donegal Merino and contemporary glitter Lurex, her jumpers become canvases for fantastical landscapes, often with textural additions
Pearl was the winner of a Future Makers Design Award this year. If that doesn't cement her place as one of Ireland’s most important knitwear innovators, then a mention in Vogue.com's feature on "Celtic cool girls", will.
Cashmere wonders woven together with a flair for style and a commitment to the highest quality of materials and the highest standard of manufacturing. Ros Duke's eponymous knitwear label breathes years of experience which go far beyond its 2015 conception.
Earths and greys fill her Autumn Winter 2017 collection, with soft yet spirited pinks poking through in the form of tube skirts and stripes – an inspiration perhaps from her cashmere's Italian origins.
The makings are much closer to home with each of her creations crafted by a small group of knitters at home in Ireland.
Photo Cred: Simon Walsh
With an aesthetic born of traditional Italian and contemporary London influences, A-MM-E is a new label with a mature conscience based in Devon, UK.
The brand embraces slow fashion, producing low-key luxurious classics with a contemporary twist, forgoing short-term trends for long-lasting style.
A-MM-E uses ethically sourced cashmere of the highest quality, woven at an eco-community in the Himalayas.
There, workers are paid a sustainable wage, the welfare of the goats is protected and the factory operates with a minimal carbon footprint. As the company say themselves, “It’s nice to wear something that feels good on many levels.”