I met Brooklyn resident and recent FIT grad Meghan a few months ago at an informal meeting of the NYC Fair Trade Coalition. As we went around the room introducing ourselves and reciting the customary information, Meghan revealed that her day job is in conventional fabrics but her passion is sustainable knitwear. She explained that she thrifts for sweaters, unravels them, washes the yarn, and re-knits them into hats, mittens, and scarves; I was instantly intrigued. I mean, this is a trifecta of sustainability — recycled, zero waste, and locally made! Meghan's venture is called 'A Wool Story' and is available on Etsy. Still intrigued by her process, I've asked her to share her story and to answer a few questions.
when did you start a wool story?
I started A Wool Story back in 2011. I was already selling on Etsy using conventional (acrylic blend – yuck) yarns and had one style using recycled yarn that received a lot of positive feedback. Once I discovered a way to use natural fibers and minimize my carbon footprint, there was no going back to run-of-the-mill chunky acrylic yarns.
what inspired you to use recycled yarn?
I started becoming interested in sustainability and as I learned more about how synthetic fibers are made, it really turned me off to them. I also really enjoy the creative challenge of using recycled yarns. It makes everything I create limited edition because once I use up all the yarn from a sweater, I can't just buy more of that same yarn. I like knowing each style is a limited run of unique pieces.
what do you see as the future of sustainability?
As people become more aware of global warming and the scarcity of nonrenewable resources sets in, I think they will really start to reevaluate their own lifestyles and see that fast fashion/synthetics aren't sustainable. It's really simple to start on a sustainable path that can begin with wearing clothing that's vintage, artisan made, or from recycled materials. I'm hoping as more people get involved in the sustainable fashion and lifestyle movements, others around them will become aware of their own impacts and the simple lifestyle changes they can make to reduce their carbon footprints.
what or who inspires you?
Jenny Gordy from Wikstenmade – I love her beautiful color combinations that make the simple silhouettes of her designs so unique and lovely. Her aesthetic is amazing and never fails to inspire me. Marlee Grace from Have Company – I admire her excellent curation and community building. As I work on improving my entrepreneurial skills and building my business, I look to young creatives like her who I can see making it work. Rose Beerhorst from Brave Hand Textiles – I love her crochet recycled t-shirt yarn rugs. She inspires me to keep using recycled materials even when it seems like nobody cares about sustainable materials/it's too much work.
what do you do while you knit?
I enjoy listening to podcasts while I knit. I especially like to listen to Grace Bonney's design business podcast After the Jump, Marlee Grace's Have Company podcast, and This American Life. I sometimes watch movies and television shows that don't necessarily require my 100% attention.
what are your aspirations for a wool story?
I would love to be able to work on A Wool Story full time and sell online and wholesale. Currently working toward this goal! I would also love to sell the recycled yarn and my knitting patterns to other knitters.
WHERE CAN I BUY YOUR CREATIONS?
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