I recently shared my wonderful experience working with yarn and a crochet kit from We Are Knitters. This company is an eco-minded business, and I asked them to share some of their thoughts on that with us. Here is that interview.

we are knitters crochet hook

Get 15% off We Are Knitters yarn or crochet kits by using coupon code KVERCILLOWAK (valid through 10/31/16)

What does sustainability mean to you?

Sustainability means doing our part to make sure that future generations have the opportunity to enjoy the world (both within and outside of knitting) in the same way we have been able to enjoy it. The fabric and textile industry, in particular, has a reputation for being hard on the environment because of the many, many steps that a garment goes through from the initial draft to the item you end up with – we’re trying to do our best to counteract this by implementing green business practices and also by cutting out one step of the garment process – the final production!

Let’s get a little more in-depth into that. What are some of the specific ways that you are a “green” company?

At WAK, we take active steps to minimize our impact on the environment. Some ways that we do this include:

  • Our wooden knitting needles only come from suppliers who have been accredited by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) for their business and practices
  • Our Fabric Yarn comes from Portugal and is made completely from the “cutoffs” of t-shirts. This means that while we can’t guarantee the exact length of the skeins, we do know that the difference is only due to the inherent variety of “leftovers”.
  • We believe that our sheep are like our family – so we want to make sure they are taken care of. We make sure that all of our farmers maintain the highest level of animal husbandry and work to maintain their environment for years to come.
  • Our wools are 100% natural – no acrylic or extra steps here!
  • The paper bags that our kits come in are recycled – and can be reused for a number of different things (one customer even made them into “plant pots” of sorts!).

we are knitters bag

You mentioned your knitting needles, which are made from beechwood (as are the crochet hooks). Can you explain why beechwood is a good choice?

Our needles come from FSC certified forests, so there isn’t the same environmental impact as there is when creating an entirely new product from plastic that won’t break down if disposed of. In addition to their light eco footprint, these needles/ hooks are a joy to work with. They slide more easily and without the annoying clicking sound that can accompany metal needles and hooks. They are aesthetically pleasing and airline safe (normally, always worth checking before a trip since TSA regulations can change!)

And you also mentioned the care of the sheep as an important part of a green business. Can you share a bit more about that?

Yes! Without sheep, we have no wool, and without wool, we have no knitting! We only work with farmers who adhere to the highest standards of animal husbandry, and we also make sure that they are paid a fare wage to do so.

we are knitters merino wool

Is your wool organic?

Our wools are not organic at this time. This is due in part to the fact that regulations in Peru, where we work, are a bit more difficult to determine as compared to the US. However, we are looking into options for moving in the direction of organic wool.

We can always improve, right? Is there any other aspect of the business that you hope to make even more sustainable as time goes on?

Yes, we can always improve! We are currently looking for organic options for our dyes. We are also working to have more green practices within our headquarters with regards to recycling, disposal, eco-friendly lighting, and other small steps that can add up to a big difference.

Why is it important to you that your company is eco-friendly?

We only have one world, and it has supplied us with everything we need to live happy and healthy lives. While we understand that we can’t change the world completely, we can work so that our impact is one of a positive trajectory.

 

Absolutely! What else would you like us to know?

We Are Knitters will continue to take active steps to improve our global impact and carbon footprint – and we hope that we can encourage our consumers and also other companies to do the same.

Get 15% off We Are Knitters yarn or crochet kits by using coupon code KVERCILLOWAK (valid through 10/31/16)

Author

San Francisco based and crochet-obsessed writer, dreamer and creative spirit!

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