As winter is in full on frigid mode, consumers are reaching for their knitwear. Because a quality sweater will be made from wool or luxurious cashmere, they are ideal for the cold months ahead. Here are 15 knitwear designers to keep your eyes on.
St. John Knits might not be cheap, but they are quality and ethically made in California which house their workers in a sustainable building. The factory is setup in such a way to conserve water and energy, limit transportation and waste of building materials, improve indoor air quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their properties. In addition, they pay their workers a living wage.
Irish born and San Francisco based Margaret O'Leary has dressed some of the most famous women in the world including, Madonna, Marcia Cross, Jennifer Garner, Kaley Cuoco, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Halle Berry. It’s her dedication to sustainability and fair trade that has landed her this elite clientele.
Knitwear company, Acne has been a part of the Fair Wear Foundation since 2008. The main goal of the foundation is to monitor and improve labor conditions in factories. The FWF developed the Acne Studious Code of Conduct which all suppliers must abide by. Every year FWF prepares a ‘Brand Performance Check’ on each member where performance is evaluated and graded.
Adam Lippes is available at Nordstrom and his knits are not cheap. He says he is sustainable because of the kids and not his customers. This translates to sensibility for Lippes as he only sources materials from responsible farms and working with American manufactures exclusively.
Alejandra Alonso Rojas designs unisex knitwear and has graced the pages of Vogue and WWD. She is a fourth-generation hand knitter who combines traditional practices with experimental techniques to create a truly unique line. As a CDFA member, she supports responsible manufacturing and sustainable production practices.
Andreeva, Beth Pilger operates Pilger Designs which relaunched back in 2013. As a vintage wear lover, she specializes in handmade knitwear that has old soul. Each of her collections are based on sustainability as she aims to incorporate materials and pattern rooted in nature.
One of five designers to participate is in the CFDA Fashion Future Graduate Showcase,Chia Lee was born and raised in Malaysia. Lee’s tag line is “Not Just a Label.” Because of her love of traditions passed down through generation, her knits have coffee shop culture aesthetic with Perspex-beaded tops and dresses.
By only using Pima cotton and baby alpaca, Hesperios are another knitwear company who is making a positive impact on the environment. They only source material from a single family owned factory in Lima, Peru. Their first hurdle has been attempting to replace the plastic used for shipping. While they haven’t found an alternative, they are committed to finding one.
Since the death of its founder, Kate Spade New York has switched their focus to a younger and more socially conscious demographic. The result of this move has been the implementation of sustainable fabric sourcing. The company has ranked high on the CSR and the ESSG metrics since 2016.
Leo & Sage might charge $378 for a single sweater, but you are getting quality craftsmanship and gorgeous materials. From their website, leoandsage.com, they say Leo & Sage is a modern collection of highly curated knits and ready to wear with a strong emphasis on luxury fabrications and architectural silhouettes designed under the creative direction of Pauline Nakios.
Les Copains has been making a name for himself in recent years even capturing a spotlight in Vogue Magazine last spring. The reason is simple, Copains’ attention to detail and sourcing some of the finest fabrics in the world make his luxurious knitwear stand out in the crowd. And with lower than average price points, consumers won’t need to mortgage their house to buy a simple cardigan.
Family owned and operated Orley started with 5 simple sweaters and since 2012 the trio has been making waves in the fashion industry. They made their womenswear debut at the CFDR Incubator in 2015 to the delight of onlookers. Orley is known for their attention to detail and a youthful aesthetic. Sourcing the finest fabrics, the three design knitwear for hipsters.
Pas De Calais got its name from the town in northern France and has graced the pages of every major magazine. With traditional dyeing techniques, the label creates their own textiles from luxurious silk, wool and cashmere. Their knitwear has a combination of vintage and contemporary undertones. With a keen attention to detail, consumers can expect the finest craftsmanship in ever sweater they offer.
Ronny Kobo is a globetrotter who gets his inspiration from different cultures. His knitwear is both sophisticated and casual. His clothing is great for women on the go and world travelers.