How to find the best sustainable knits this fall!

How to find the best sustainable knits this fall!

Sustainable knits are all the rage. The chances are that someone from your office is wearing one. Your friend has started going on about them. And that one your nan has worn every year for the past 25 autumns? You’d have a hard time arguing that’s not sustainable. Sustainable knitwear is one of our most popular departments, especially at this time of year when the firewood is begging to be burned, and the sofa is looking more and more inviting. It’s our job to ensure your next knitwear choice is both stylish and sustainable.  

What is a sustainable knit? 

Sustainability is the process of ensuring that an activity can last a long time, without depleting natural resources. In fashion, sustainability will usually be applied to a variety of things - most often the materials involved in a garment, the processes involved in making it and the ability of a garment to last. But it can also relate to purchasing habits, as buying way more items than you can use is for sure not very sustainable

To arrive at the point: a sustainable knit will be one that is not only made from low impact materials (more on that to come) but also involves sustainable production practices and can last a long time. Waste should not be an option with knits, seeing as they are such loveable and huggable items of clothing and are very easy to care for.  

Here’s your fix of sustainable knit tips! 

Shop multi-seasonal knits

Before purchasing a knit, consider if it can be worn for more than one season. Right now (early autumn in case you are coming to this late) is the perfect time to be buying a sustainable knit because they are lightweight enough to be used today, can be layered in winter and freshed up in spring. Many sustainable knitwear materials are also thermoregulating - especially merino wool - meaning they’ll adjust to the body’s temperature on warm days too. A 2019 study confirmed that “one third of all merino wool and wool-blend garments are being worn year-round”. 

Trans-seasonal knits should also help you shrink your wardrobe, by reducing the number of different jumpers you need for every season. 

Don’t be sheepish about wool

With winter somewhere vaguely on the horizon, now’s the moment to stock up on your wool collection. Dust off the icicles with beautifully soft shetland or merino wool that traps heat into thick, natural fibres. Wool is better for the environment than synthetics (nylon, polyester, acrylic) because it doesn’t come from fossil fuels and will biodegrade if not mixed with other materials. Add to this its superhuman strength characteristics and you’ve got a brilliant long-lasting material that makes for the perfect sustainable wardrobe essential. 

That said, we’re willing to admit it has some sustainability shortfalls. Those include the conversion of wild land to livestock and potentially high GHG emissions. You will also want to check that the maker of your woolly knitwear uses mulesing-free wool: that is, wool farmed without the use of a painful and cruel procedure. All of our wool knits are mulesing free. 

Not a fan of wool or its animal origins? Then we’ve got good news for you. 

Is this cotton organic?

Yes, you bet it is. This is a question we are sure most of you are now already silently asking yourselves when shopping for sustainable essentials. If you love organic cotton - for its ecological characteristics and its supple softness - then you’ll be happy to hear that many of our sustainable knits are made from that very same material.

They make our fluffiest, and cosiest styles that are as conscious as they are cute. You can read more about the benefits of organic cotton here. 

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle 

As stated in our 2021 eco report, we believe that recycling is one of the most exciting and important developments in fashion. It has the potential to save tonnes of waste, while “closing the loop” within production systems in general. Waste is one of the most pernicious parts of fashion due to issues like overproduction (when too much is made than can be worn) and overconsumption (when too much is bought than can be worn). Knitwear is increasingly made of recycled materials, and that’s true of our collections too. We work with mills in Spain, France and Italy to find the highest quality recycled yarns - using blends that make huge savings in terms of resources and emissions. If you’re worried about the carbon and water impact of your knit, this is the way to go. 

And recycling also applies to last winter’s styles. Got a TWOTHIRDS sustainable knit chilling in your wardrobe? We’d love to see you wearing it again this season.

Invest in your knitwear

Up to 25% of clothing’s carbon footprint occurs after the garment has been bought! That shows the importance of caring for them properly, and washing them only when necessary. Sustainable fashion means investing in your products and showing them the right kind of love. 

Our special feature, 10 tips for taking care of knitwear, is sure to help. But to get you started, here are the essential basics: 

1. Wash less often. Your sustainable knits don’t need to be washed as often as other garments. We recommend spot cleaning or steaming them instead to save water.
2. Use an enzyme-free detergent. Harsh detergents will weaken (in particular) wool’s fibres, causing holes to appear. 
3. Dry them flat. Your sustainable knit shouldn’t be hung up to dry as this can pull the garment out of shape. 
4. Improve your folding game. The same is true of storage - don’t hang your knit up, fold it inwards along the seams to preserve the garment’s shape and create a satisfying wardrobe arrangement.
5. Use natural clothing bags for summer. Organic cotton or linen clothing bags will allow the knits to breathe while keeping moths at bay, and they’re more sustainable than plastic ones. 

We hope this article has provided a helpful introduction to the world of sustainable knits, as well as giving you the tools to find the right knit for you. Ultimately, they are investment pieces that should last a lifetime and pick up a few stories along the way!