Knitwear designer Genevieve Sweeney founded her eponymous brand in 2015, after a career working with some of the most prestigious global designers. Inspired by heritage techniques, the brand manufactures entirely in the UK with a network of knitters ranged across the country. With stockists including Fortnum & Mason and Young British Designers, the jumpers retail from £140 to £400, and accessories start at £15. Drapers speaks to Sweeney about her mission to keep knitting alive.
What is it that drew you to knitwear?
I love the combination of creating a fully fashioned garment as well as a textural fabric all in one. I really embrace traditional artisanal skills and innovation in machinery, as you can create such unique fabrics and styles by mixing contrasting yarns and colours. I find hand-knitting very relaxing and meditative, so even after a hard day, I can switch off with a glass of wine and a film and not even look at what my hands are doing while knitting.
You describe your label as taking an “innovative” approach to knitwear – what do you mean by this?
I work with techniques and processes to make the collections as sustainable as possible. One of the yarn mills I source my yarn from is completely run by solar power and the excess fibres created from the spinning are turned into paper. The dye house uses low-impact dyes and feeds good bacteria to the wastewater to “eat” the dye – after the process is finished the water is clean again to use for agriculture.
For the childrenswear collection, I am working with seamless technology that creates a whole garment in one piece. This hugely decreases wastage and reduces lead times as there are fewer processes. The jumpers are then digitally printed with harmless residue-free inks to give clean fine lines to an illustration.
Read the full interview here