Fast fashion has become one of the world’s worst industries for our planet. It creates an incredible amount of waste—material, water, and resources; and is one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions.
Fast fashion has been defined as a “business model based on offering consumers frequent novelty in the form of low-priced, trend-led products”. Between 1995 and 2018 fiber manufacturing for fabric apparel per capita increased from 7.6kg to 13.8kg—that is an 82% increase (1).
Our hyperconsumerist behavior has become an issue. But with the help from slow fashion brands, like Subtle Knotz, we can tackle this issue head-on.
Subtle Knotz is a sustainable knitwear company, producing artisanal garments made from 100% organic, renewable, upcycled, and sustainably sourced materials. Their mission statement is “Revisiting the Essence”, which translates into this idea of inspecting the entire life-cycle of a product, from its essence to the final product.
The idea behind Subtle Knotz came to the founder, Starina Cabral, as an epiphany. She wanted to find a solution to the overconsumption and fast fashion crisis, combining her dedication and love of animals and the environment, her philanthropic nature of helping others, while simultaneously honoring her grandmother and the dying tradition of hand-knitting.
The garments are handmade using yarn from ethical mills that support animal welfare, and knitted by skilled artisans in a female collective in Sri Lanka. Subtle Knotz works off a pre-order model basis to minimize overproduction and overconsumption.
What’s truly unique about Subtle Knotz garments is that they are knitted using a circular knitting technique which creates a seamless tube structure. This means that at the end of the life of the garment, the different materials can be easily separated and new life can be given to them, contributing to a circular economy. Starina points out that no two garments are truly the same, as the beauty of a hand-knit garment is that each stitch is unique as each knitter has a unique style of knitting.
“Imperfections are a sign of human touch and life, which gives each garment its particularity.”
Starina believes that in order for there to be a thriving future, there needs to be more responsible production and consumption of products, and businesses need to work off of regenerative and inclusive business models. We can all start making a difference one subtle knot at a time.
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