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Good quality fine knitwear that isn't wool

(37 Posts)
PaperdollCartoon Sun 11-Sep-16 11:35:19

Just that really. I don't wear wool for ethical reasons, and I'm on the look out for some nice fine knitwear, mostly neutral/navy cardigans and slim jumpers that will last, look good and are soft. I have a couple of Zara bits that have worn well but all their recent pieces have weird splits in the cuffs that drive me insane!

All ideas welcomed smile

KanyesVest Sun 11-Sep-16 11:44:03

I like red herring in debenhams. They have cardigans and jumpers which are mostly cotton with just enough stretch to keep a nice shape. Not too expensive and a good range of colours.

BikeRunSki Sun 11-Sep-16 11:50:41

Land's End do a good line in high quality cotton knitwear, but I can't comment on its ethics.

PaperdollCartoon Sun 11-Sep-16 12:16:02

Thanks both, neither places I'd have looked so really helpful.

BikeRunSki Sun 11-Sep-16 14:01:47

Gap too, but their ethical credentials are somewhat suspect too.

BeMorePanda Sun 11-Sep-16 14:10:35

There is more and more bamboo knitwear available these days.

PaperdollCartoon Sun 11-Sep-16 14:13:41

BeMorePanda I'm coveting bamboo yoga/workout wear but don't think I've seen knitwear?

RaisingSteam Sun 11-Sep-16 14:57:11

Wool overs silk/cotton knitwear is a very fine knit and wears well.

ZaraW Sun 11-Sep-16 15:48:39

Slightly off topic but Izzy Lane sells ethical wool. Knitwear made from rescued sheep. Expensive but quality is amazing. They also sell ethical silk.

cheeseandmarmite15 Sun 11-Sep-16 17:15:21

Cotton cashmere from Charles Tyrwhitt

I love their crew neck jumpers.

PaperdollCartoon Sun 11-Sep-16 18:16:59

ZaraW definitely not off topic! I'll give them a look.

Cheeseandmarmite cashmere is wool, but from cashmere goats instead of sheep, but thank you for thinking smile

SesameSparkle Sun 11-Sep-16 19:23:07

Fat face does most of their knitwear in cotton. Uniqlo do soft cotton knits. And you could also try people tree for ethical fashion and organic cotton - I also think I saw some neutral coloured/navy cardies in their sale section.

ginghamstarfish Sun 11-Sep-16 19:31:52

Land's End Pima cotton is excellent, have their cardigans in 5 colours.

olderthanyouthink Sun 11-Sep-16 19:38:26

Please educate me... What's unethical about wool? I'm not looking for a fight, just never occurred to me.

olderthanyouthink Sun 11-Sep-16 19:53:13

By never occured to me, I dont mean I didnt realised it might not be pleasant for the animals themselves.

BeMorePanda Sun 11-Sep-16 20:32:35

I got a summer lightweight jumper from Hush made from bamboo. It's lovely but I've only washed it once do can't comment on how well it wears.

Like this - though the Autumn ones have some wool in them so not for op:

PaperdollCartoon Sun 11-Sep-16 20:33:57

Thanks Sesame, I definitely think I need to find a Uniqlo, keep seeing things I'd like but I don't have one in the big town I live in (so big and so many shops I've never felt the need to go elsewhere since living here)

* OlderThanYouThink* no problem to ask, it's not something many people think about. I'll try to keep my answer concise.
1) Sheep in the past would naturally shed their winter wool in summer, they've now been inbred to produce way more wool than they would naturally, keep producing it all year and not be able to shed it themselves, meaning they produce more wool (and more money) for the farmer but not great for them.
2) they've also been bred to have very wrinkled/concerntina skin, which means more surface area for wool to grow on, but also means sheep are much more likely to get cut whilst sheering.
3) in commercial wool farms sheerers are usually paid per sheep not per hour, meaning it's in their interests to go as fast as possible, often cutting the sleeps skin. They then quickly stitch the sheeps skin without anaesthetic before moving on to the next one.
4) due the excessive amount of wool excrement will often get stuck in it around their bottoms, attracting flies possibly causing a condition called fly strike which can ruin the wool. To prevent this farmers practice something called mulesing, which involves cutting off not only the wool but also the flesh around the bottom and leaving it open to the air. I don't need to tell you how painful this would be for the sheep. Counterproductively this often leads to other infections.

Of course there are some farms where the sheep are really taken care off (though will most likely still have been very inbred) but it's so hard to trace that wool once it's into the system, it's easier to just completely avoid. Cashmere goats are generally raised in cooler climates (Mongolia and China particularly) and taking their wool is not only very stressful for them but leaves them vulnerable to the cold weather. Ultimately in all cases the animal is being used as a product for human gain.

PaperdollCartoon Sun 11-Sep-16 20:36:23

BeMorePanda that's really nice. Hush is another brand I'd never heard of pre-MN. I clearly need to broaden my horizons!

BeMorePanda Sun 11-Sep-16 20:38:51

There are also potentially ethical issues with silk:

BeMorePanda Sun 11-Sep-16 20:39:43

Op Uniqlo have an excellent online shop with more available online than instore.

PaperdollCartoon Sun 11-Sep-16 20:42:14

BeMorePanda I've generally avoided silk as well, though tbh I've not really had the money to buy it so it's not been much of an issue so far. I've had a look at Uniqlo online, I generally prefer online shopping, but I worry about sizing in new places

BeMorePanda Sun 11-Sep-16 20:46:08

I don't think the quality of Hush, for the price, is all that to be honest. It's ok. But more than I would usually pay. But I don't spend much in clothes.

I do love that jumper though.

You can get £10 off your first order if you decide to try it:

cheeseandmarmite15 Sun 11-Sep-16 20:46:54

My daughter is a vegan and she won't wear wool.

It's difficult as she quite likes some of the ethnic/fair trade stuff ans a lot of it is made from wool.

BeMorePanda Sun 11-Sep-16 20:48:22

I would say Uniqlo is fairly true to size. They do great kids stuff too and are famous for their thermals.

You'll probably want to avoid their down jackets and vests though.

olderthanyouthink Mon 12-Sep-16 07:34:40

Thanks PaperdollCartoon
I googled a little last night and came to the conclusion that there really aren't any good fabrics because everything has issues. Even bamboo fabric production has a lot of harmful chemicals. I guess, the best you can do is choose the least of the evils within your budget.

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