With Canadian weather, I need sweaters that will keep me warm, and natural fibres such as wool, cashmere, and cotton are the best options.Â Here’s my roundup of awesome brands making beautiful knitwear that are ethically made and, in most cases, sustainable and eco-friendly. They’re in different price ranges, $$$$ being the highest.
September 2020 update: I’ve added more chic knitwear brands to this list for a total of 13 brands.
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Everlane‘s cashmere sweaters starting from $100. Their affordable basics and transparent pricing are making them a powerhouse in the ethical fashion industry. I purchased my first ethically-made sweater from Everlane. I think they can do more to show us how they source their materials and whether their methods are sustainable, but they are a good entry brand for high quality knitwear.
$$ â€” $$$
2. Naadam Cashmere
If you’re looking for the best cashmere available, I can’t think of a better brand to buy from than Naadam Cashmere. Like many of the other brands on this list, they’re direct to consumer, which means no middlemen and there’s no traditional price markups because they work directly with herders. They have a sustainable supply chain in place, with aÂ for-profit/non-profit model that invests in the long-term health of the goats in Mongolia, and supports herders with higher wages.
3. Ally Bee
Ally Bee is 100% British, from alpaca sourcing (an eco-friendly, natural yarn) to production. They minimalize their impact on the environment with their production methods, and use only natural fibres.
4. Krochet Kids
Krochet Kids hasÂ non-profit status, providing employment opportunities to vulnerable womenÂ in Uganda and Peru. Some of their less expensive items are made with acrylic, or an acrylic blend, which I would avoid in favour of their sustainably sourced 100% alpaca.
$ â€” $$
SiizuÂ is a direct-to-consumer brand similar to Everlane. They use eco-friendly materials, and I’m loving a lot of their pastel-coloured sweaters already. Best of all, they’re a really affordable brand for the quality they offer.
6. Amour Vert
7. People Tree
UK brand People Tree‘s knits are 100% Fair Trade, using natural fibres like organic cotton and wool. They often have good sales, so some of their sweater price points can rival those of fast fashion stores.
$ â€” $$$
8. Tempest + Bentley
Tempest + Bentley has some of my favourite designs in knitwear. Their sustainable luxury sweaters are ethically sourced and made in the U.S. Â Ecocult calls them the most sustainable sweaters on the planet.
9. Wool and the Gang
Why not make your own sweaters and accessories with sustainably sourced knitting kits from Wool and the Gang? Project difficulty level range from Beginner to Advanced. The kits are also neat gift ideas.
$ â€” $$
UPDATE 2020: Here are more ethical knitwear optionsÂ
$$ â€” $$$
Spanish label babaÃ makes quality knits using wool and cotton from local Spanish farmers. If you follow fashion bloggers, especially those with boho style, you’ve probably seen the oversized cardigans on Instagram.
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