I make no secret of the fact that I think wool is an amazing material. Treat it right and wool will last you for years to come and at the end of its life, it will return to the earth. Plus it’s soft and cosy pulling on your favourite wool jumper should feel like a big hug.
One brand which has mastered the big hug in a jumper thing is Ally Bee. I’ve admired Ally Bee for a while now. You may remember I featured the brand in my autumn knits roundup. Then I was lucky enough to wear one of their beautiful hand knit crop jumpers for the ethical bloggers’ lookbook. This just cemented my love for the brand and I’m now the proud owner of the poncho jumper as well as a few cosy accessories. Every piece is created with a cradle-to-cradle story in mind and is design to last. The yarn used in every piece can be traced back to its origins and is produced in a sustainable, fair and ethical way.
As I’ve learnt more about the benefits of wool I’ve become more conscious of the wool content of my knitwear. Whilst I used to buy jumpers without evening checking the label now I insist on 100% wool. But there is more to buying sustainable jumpers than just checking it’s wool.
Whilst nearly all wool is sustainable as it’s natural and biodegradable. There is more to making a jumper than that. To be truly sustainable we need to think about where our wool comes from. As consumers, we are often left in the dark when it comes to raw materials. Luckily brands like Ally Bee are open and honest about how they source their yarn and where their products are made. Alison (Ally Bee’s founder) seeks out premium yarns where the origin and processing of raw materials can be traced. She works with alpaca and wool sourced locally in the UK and yarns with have been certified to be from a responsible and sustainable source. My poncho and cuffs are made with certified ‘Cradle to Cradle®’ fairwool yarn which can be traced back to the farm.
This yarn is extra special! Not only is it super soft and comfortable to wear it is traceable and sustainable. The blend of 80% Merino wool and 20% Cashmere creates that big hug feeling with a softness no one can resist.
However what makes it extra special isn’t the softness it’s the fact that it’s the only cradle to cradle certified luxury cashmere merino yarn in the world. The Cradle to Cradle Institute demands extremely high standards which protect the earth, ensure social fairness and advance animal welfare.
Fair Mongolian cashmere is spun in Italy with non-mulesed Austrailian merino wool to create the fairwool yarn. The mill has a deep commitment to the environment using hydroelectric and solar power and has the cleanest dyeing processes in the industry. The cashmere comes from Zalaa Jinst white goats from the Gobi Desert. Herders are paid more than the norm and the goats are grazed on lands maintained with sustainable grazing methods. The merino is sourced from a mulesing-free farm with high standards of animal welfare and land management. The result is a wholly natural, sustainable, ethical luxury yarn that can be returned to the earth at the end of its life.
It’s not just the fibres we need to consider when buying knitwear we have to think about who made our clothes. Ally Bee’s knits are all ethically made here in the UK. My Red Poncho Jumper and Cuffs are made in the north of England using Cradle to Cradle Fairwool yarn. This uses an innovative seamless technology resulting in minimal yarn waste in production. Both feel like luxurious items as well as being ethical and sustainable. Whilst my beanie is made from British Bluefaced Leicester yarn spun in Yorkshire and made in the Scottish Borders. 100% British from fleece to finish this is cosy, soft and warm perfect for cold winter days.
I would genuinely love to receive any of the items featured in this post under the tree on Christmas day. If you are still thinking about gift ideas I highly recommend Ally Bee. The cuffs or beanie featured are great ways to introduce someone to the brand and are very affordable. They also have a great range of cosy scarves and snoods which are perfect for the cold winter ahead. And if you’re feeling generous I’m sure your loved ones will appreciate an Ally Bee Sweater. I’m not so secretly hoping someone loves me enough to leave the handknit cropped sweater under the tree for me.
Disclaimer: This post is a collaboration with Ally Bee and features gifted items as well as items paid for by myself. As usual, all thoughts and opinions are my own.