The Ultimate Guide To Sustainable & Ethical Knitwear Brands

Knitwear not only keeps us warm and cozy in winter but also on chilly summer days. Especially natural materials like wool have a temperature-regulating effect, meaning they can hold in your body heat when it’s cold, while helping your body cool off when it’s hot. But as much as we love all-natural fibers, blending them with virgin synthetic materials (e.g. polyamide, polyester, viscose) shouldn’t be a dealbreaker. – Why? Because they can prevent pilling and can make the garment more functional and durable. In general, however, a garment should be made of at least 70% natural fibers.

So when buying wool, look for the following certifications: GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and RWS (Responsible Wool Standard), which ensure that the wool comes from farms that manage their land in a progressive way and respect animal welfare.

Most used fibers:

Cashmere, merino wool, wak wool, made from 100% Upcycled Yarn

Product range

Sweaters, cardigans, tops, dresses, bottoms, beanies

Price range

$32-$200

Based in

Hong Kong

Delivery to

Worldwide

This eco-luxe sustainable knitwear brand uses exclusive upcycled virgin yarn (=never used!) from the luxury fashion industry to create all of their timeless quality pieces. Through their 22x partnership program, 22 factor wishes to inspire also other brands and designers to use their revolutionary waste-minimising 3D Knitting technology to produce smart on-demand knitwear.

Most Used Fibers:

100% baby alpaca wool

Product range

Cardigans, sweaters, hats

Price range

$80-$360

Based in

Hamburg, Germany

Delivery to

Worldwide

Divinely soft and warm: ACHIY uses 100% baby alpaca wool (Oeko-Tex® Standard 100, GOTS). Good to know: the name “baby alpaca wool” doesn’t mean that it comes from a young alpaca but is called “baby alpaca wool” because of the fineness and rarity of the wool. Available only in small batches, the sweaters are inspired by the lives, traditions and spirituality of indigenous communities in Peru that knit every single piece carefully by hand. ACHIY celebrates their knitters as true artists whose unique stories you can read on their website.

Most Used Materials

llama wool, cashmere, yak wool, linen

Product range

Sweaters, cardigans, scarves, beanies

Price range

$175-$615

Based in

Denmark

Delivery to

Worldwide

Aiayu started their mission in Bolivia, inspired by the local people’s knowledge and craftsmanship with llama wool, a phenomenal material that was hardly introduced to the world. By now the sustainable knitwear brand boasts also other materials but the mission has remained the same: to offer made-to-last-a-lifetime pieces in a natural color palette (without chemical dyes!) that cherish the culture, traditions, and histories of their origin communities and the environment.

Ethics

100% merino wool, alpaca wool, mohair wool, yak wool, organic cotton

Product range

Cardigans, sweaters, dresses, tops, bottoms, scarves, beanies 

Price range

$70-$315

Based in

Spain

Delivery to

Worldwide

L’ENVERS pieces come in timeless editions that outlive seasonal trends. All of them have been knitted in local, small family-run ateliers in Spain that work with ethically-sourced and non-synthetic materials such as merino-, alpaca-, and mohair wool or organic cotton (GOTS) and hemp from French and Spanish spinning mills. To keep local traditions alive, L’ENVERS works closely with artisans and also tells the story of each of them.

Ethics

100% merino wool, baby alpaca wool

Product range

Scarves, cardigans, sweaters, headwear, mittens & socks, dresses, skirts & pants, coats

Price range

$70-$520

Based in

Antwerp, Belgium

Delivery to

Worldwide

Baby alpaca wool is one of the softest and most delicate fibers in the world. And it’s the core material of LN KNITS’ colorful sustainable knitwear (Oeko-Tex® Standard 100) for women, men and kids. Founder Ellen Kegels sources the material from alpacas that are kept in herds that graze at an altitude of 3500m to 5000m above sea level in the Peruvian Andes. The label provides fair work to hundreds of local talented Peruvian ladies who knit every single piece by hand so they can earn a steady income to support their families.

Most Used Fibers:

100% corriedale wool, 100% merino wool

Product range

Sweaters, cardigans

Price range

 $390-$595

Based in

Portugal

Delivery to

Worldwide

One-of-a-kind sustainable knitwear made from super fine merino and corriedale wool that embraces the natural color range. Rather than dyes, ound only creates different color shades by mixing yarns in a variety of ways. All of their beautiful pieces are handcrafted by women artisans in the rural areas of Uruguay (home to the world’s finest Merino herds!), ensuring they work under the best human conditions so they can be financially independent.

Most Used Fibers

Cashmere, 100% merino wool, 100% lambswool

Product range

Sweaters, cardigans

Price range

$330-$3300

Based in

Germany

Delivery to

Listed Countries

We are all guests on this earth but our impacts stay. Which is why THE GUESTLIST provides a platform that is committed to creating a future of consciously-made, timeless, slow fashion products. All items are made-to-order, including their curation of selected sustainable knitwear brands. Keep in mind that it can take 4-6 weeks to complete the manufacturing/quality testing, before they deliver to you.

Most Used Fibers

100% certified organic wool

Product range

Sweaters, pants, tops

Price range

$265-$290

Based in

Berlin, Germany

Delivery to

Europe, Israel, USA

Sustainable fashion activist Anna-Laura Kummer offers capsule collections that consist of minimal and versatile sustainable knitwear. They use only low-impact materials including certified organic wool that use plant-dyes only. The slow fashion label also has a close relationship with their ethical production teams around Europe and Morocco. You can also see the true cost of their garments on their price transparency page.

Most Used Fibers

100% Merino wool, Recycled wool (ECOWOOL), 100% linen, organic cotton

Product range

Sweaters, pants, cardigans, tops, hoodies

Price range

$110-$545

Based in

France

Delivery to

Worldwide

If you’re looking for stylish sustainable knitwear, BASERANGE might be for you. The collections boast knitwear basics with clean lines, contemporary cuts, and easy silhouettes (nice oversize pieces). The brand works closely with innovative partners and the majority of their high-quality knitwear is made in France using mainly natural or recycled fibers.

Most Used Fibers

100% sheep wool, 100% cashmere

Product range

Sweaters, cardigans, beanies, ponchos

Price range

$90-$600

Based in

New York, USA

Delivery to

Worldwide

This designer knitwear label from New York only has a few but remarkable items to choose from. Their “chameleon sweaters” stand out because of their adaptability. You can wear them in many different ways; as a scarf, hoodie, cardigan, and more. Each product is unique and individually handmade in a slow-fashion environment, honoring skills and time. – All items are only manufactured once you order them.

Most Used Fibers

100% Alpaca wool, 100% Merino wool

Product range

Sweaters, dresses, pants, leggings, scarves, beanies

Price range

$90-$595

Based in

Berlin, Germany

Delivery to

Worldwide

Colorful unisex pieces with a vintage touch that are fairly knitted by hand in Peru, supporting local handicraft. Every item comes in limited batches and only uses pure, premium materials. In appreciation of the beautiful nature in Peru, their different hand painted patterns tell unique stories about waterfalls, flowers, and animals.

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