Knitwear that lasts forever, from season to season, generation to generation. Aiming out to create the perfect knit, sustainable, affordable yet stylish, Sandra, Danute and Akvile want to help the planet little by little with their natural fibre pieces. Find out more about their beautiful story with us.
q: What was the conversation that sparked your interest in creating your own knitwear brand?
a: The craft of knitting has deep-rooted traditions in Lithuanian culture. For centuries the craft has been passed from one generation to another, but I had a feeling that it was slowly living its last days with trendy fast fashion clothes taking over the streets. There were no brands that made cool knits celebrating the craft but were also accessible to someone in their mid-20s or 30s. It was either fast fashion or truly amazing handmade knits that cost 900 euros or really hideous "sustainable" pieces that felt crafty. That's where the idea truly came from. I couldn't find anything that was sustainable, looked actually stylish, and also celebrated the craft. And just like that, over brunch, two of my best friends and I decided to create it ourselves. We put our savings together, hired our first artisan, and started our journey.
q: When you went traveling to Southeast Asia, what surprised you about the impacts of the fashion industry?
a: It definitely was a very humbling experience. Meeting people who worked in the industry and hearing their stories firsthand just didn't sound right. Working for 12 hours a day with no weekends, no breaks, and not earning enough to buy essentials like food. This was just a daily reality that I was absolutely ignorant to in my 20s. Not to make this sound super cliche, but I don't think I really realised until then what impact I was having on other people. My shopping habits were directly fueling the exploitation of other human beings around the globe. I really wanted to prove that "fashion" could be done properly, making a positive impact on the communities.
q: What sets you apart from other knitwear brands?
a: We want our consumers to get to know people who make their clothes on a personal level. This is such a big aspect of the brand. But at the end of the day, we want you to get our knits because of these timeless, super high-quality pieces that actually look cool.
q: What is your design process like?
a: We draw a lot of inspiration from Lithuanian culture and Baltic pagan roots. A lot of our styles, shapes, and colors are inspired by Baltic mythology, local landscapes, nature. We love a good oversized sweater. We typically partner up with young up-and-coming female designers. Just the way we strive to empower our garment workers, we want to make sure that we create opportunities for underrepresented talents throughout the entire production chain.
q: Why is it so important to you that you support the rural community in Lithuania?
a: Honestly, first and foremost, it's about showing that fashion can be done the right way. That style and purpose can go hand in hand. Your purchase quite literally can have an impact on creating opportunities for women to earn fair wages, to have financial independence, to have voices in their families and their communities. I'd say it is more about sisterhood than anything else.
q: What advice would you give to brands wanting to be sustainable?
a: It's trendy to use the word "sustainable" right now, but for it to really work it really needs to be built into your brand's core.
q: Any styling tips you’d like to give to our customers?
a: A good oversized knit works with everything - jeans, summer dresses, suit pants, you name it. It is seasonless and never goes out of style.
Having seen firsthand the impact fast fashion has had on the planet, founders of The Knotty Ones have made it their life misson to educate people and do their part on saving the planet, one small step at a time.
They also wanted to create a brand that celebrates craftsmanship and gives women in the rural areas of Lithuania the opportunity to have a voice and utilise their talents. This is a huge part of the company ethos, they want to create fair economic opportunities for women who are less fortunate, to give them a chance at a better life for them and their families.
The Knotty Ones' design concept are largely based on Lithuanian culture and Baltic pagan roots - a chance to represent their under-represented culture and showcase new up and coming talents through their production chain.
Of course, apart from trying to form a sustainbale environment for the brand and setting an example for new brands, they also wanted to create a brand that is cool and trendy, proving that being eco-conscious doesn't mean unfashionable.
We admire the courage of The Knotty Ones, for them to step out of their comfort zones, experience the world, and then go on to create a brand that not only educates, but also provide a better quality of life for those around them.
Let's try and be more like them. Think eco-conscious. Let's save the world one knit at a time.