According to BBC reports, fast fashion is a major contributor to greenhouse gases, water and air pollution, creates problematic levels of waste, and often comes with poor working conditions in other countries.
Those who work in the fashion industry have experienced these issues first hand and many of them are determined to challenge the social norms of the industry. One such person is Marit, an accomplished fashion designer and founder of sustainable knitwear brand Marit-i-me.
A confessed ‘numbers girl’ Marit started with a degree in economics in Estonia, followed by a degree in textile design a few years later. Like many fashion graduates, she gained some experience working in retail management. Between that and working as a designer, she was struck by the harsh realities of the consumer industry. In an interview with YCB, she told us it “really made me reconsider every purchase and at certain point turned me against consumerism.”
She soon realised her mission in life would not be to follow trends but instead to create environmentally conscious clothing. For who? According to Marit, the women who wear her designs are self-aware, confident and nonchalant when it comes to fashion trends.
The Marit-i-me brand knows exactly what it is: cosy, conscious, contemporary knitwear. Marit is a lifelong knitter and has a real passion for working with yarn. “There is certain cosiness in knitwear and jersey that woven fabrics lack,” she tells us. “This sense of comfort doesn’t need to sacrifice elegance and this is what I want to prove.”
The proof itself is clear in the curated items available on the Marit-i-me website. In particular, we love the TRUJILLO knit dress which is made from superfine brush alpaca blended with mulberry silk.
Marit’s love for shape and structure shines through here with a figure-hugging, v-neck dress that falls at a stylish midi length. Available in three neutral shades (oatmeal beige, natural white and warm grey) you’ll find a tone that works for you. We’ll be wearing ours with trainers and a leather jacket during the day and then layering with a cardigan and full-length coat for chilly winter evenings.
Speaking of cardigans, you’ll be lusting after this LOBITOS cable knit one which features heavily dropped shoulders and a comfy, oversized fit. The alpaca and Peruvian wool blend is warm to wear and luxurious to the touch, a chunky cable cardigan which takes over a week for artisan makers to produce by hand. A real investment piece, this timeless garment will see you through endless winters for years to come. Choose from charcoal grey, oatmeal beige or vibrant curcumin yellow.
If chunky cable knit is your thing, take a look at the LOBITOS fisherman sweater. Available in five beautiful colours, the high-neck boxy shape is a contemporary twist on a historically masculine design.
Keep cosy with the roll neck and tuck the hem into a tailored skirt or trousers for work. For a party look, wear over a sequin skirt and sparkly boots. From raspberry red to duck egg blue there is a colour for every season.
We asked Marit where she draws her inspiration from as a designer.
“Materials, textures, architecture, people,” she tells us. “I go crazy for neutrals, always seeking for visual harmony. I used to think it’s a phase but centuries have changed.” Her love of texture is exemplified in the OTARA collection which is inspired by origami. The limited-edition cardigan comes in cinnamon brown and light apricot, two warming shades that would look perfect wrapped over a vintage tea dress and your favourite winter boots.
Although Marit takes great pleasure in designing and releasing new garments, she’s dedicated to minimising the number of items we buy as consumers. “I really wish people would give more thought in what they pay for, buy more locally produced and check the labels, appreciate the resources and the earth we live on,” she said. This thread weaves its way through her work and her business, with all garments made by talented Estonian artisans with 100% natural fibre yams chosen carefully, based on their quality and longevity.
Talking about the materials used, Marit says, “yarns very much dictate the looks. Sampling defines what works best with each yarn. Then function comes to play – I think through the function of each garment. They should support each other and the total look.”
This is certainly demonstrated in the MANCORA cardigan which uses a fine alpaca and Peruvian wool blend. The soft knit creates a loose style while the longline shape gives a more elegant look than shorter varieties. Available in beige or grey, this is definitely a piece for women who like a classic, minimalist aesthetic.
For ultimate luxury, we have the ADDO cardigan firmly on our wish list. This blend of mohair and wool is not only resilient but multi-functional, designed to regulate body temperate in both warm and cold climates. The cinnamon hues look just as good in summer as they do in winter making this a must-have addition to every knitwear-lovers collection. Just like Marit, we think that as trends come and go, good quality knitwear will always be an investment worth making. And for those feeling like they need a dose of Marit’s sophistication, here are her words of wisdom: “Always do what you believe in, then you cannot go wrong.”