The Campaign for Wool is a worldwide initiative that highlights wool as an eco-friendly, fashionable and durable fabric, an attitude trumpeted by local knitwear label Standard Issue. In celebration of Wool Week, which runs from May 26-June 2, we chat to Standard Issue design assistant Zosia Mnich about the brand’s philosophy and zero-waste garments.
What is Standard Issue’s philosophy?
Standard Issue was born out of a love for quality yarn, beautifully cut garments and thoughtful manufacturing. From the beginning, our goal has been to produce clothing at an artisan level, to create collections where the touch and durability of the end product is just as important as the silhouette.
Why is Standard Issue supporting the Campaign for Wool?
The Campaign for Wool shares so many of our values. We make all our knitwear in New Zealand to support the local industry. Our clothes are made to last – the opposite of disposable fashion, and we want Standard Issue to be worn by people who support these values. Not only this, but wool is a superb fibre with so many qualities that make it a perfect match for our knitwear.
What are zero-waste garments?
Using a Japanese wholegarment knitting machine, these knits come off the machine as-is, then we just do a once over with hand finishing to attach the labels and to ensure it is perfect. The whole process takes 87 minutes per sweater.
What are the benefits of making zero-waste garments?
Being zero-waste is great for the environment. It has a very small carbon footprint from minimal raw material and energy use, and it creates nothing for landfill.
How are these garments different from regular knits?
Most knitwear is made up of separate pieces which are manually put together. Our knitting machines can knit the entire garment in one continuous piece, no seams whatsoever – similar to 3D printing.
What are the benefits of seamfree knitwear?
Seamfree construction is incredibly comfortable, well-wearing and made to last. As seams are often the weak-spot of garments, this method eliminates this problem. True sustainable design.
What is the appeal of merino compared with sheep’s wool?
We are big fans of Merino here at Standard Issue as its versatility and durability are unmatched. Merino can be spun into superfine weights which other wools can’t manage, and we use this to create some of our fine gauge sweaters and cardigans. Merino is great for next-to-skin garments as it wicks away moisture from the skin, regulates body temperature and is beautifully soft.