WHAT IS IT?
During my ethical fashion brand research, I came across an article about the company ‘Wool and the Gang’! As an avid knitter, I have come across this company in the past and actually purchased products from them due to the beautiful range of colours their wool came in which was like nothing else in the market. However, i knew little about the brand as a whole. This article’s perspective of the brand through a lens of sustainability and ethical consumption, was particularly helpful to my research process, acting to streamline valuable information, which I have supplemented through the brands website.
WHO WROTE IT?
I found this post on Medium – a blog space created by the founders of twitter where anyone can tell a story or share an idea. The fact this is a space open to everyone regards to questioning the provenance of this source, it could be argued that the information is not as credible as say a journal article. However based on my personal experience the article seemed well written and since it was largely based on facts rather than expressing an opinion, it’s lack of credibility is not really a major issue.
HOW DOES THIS BRAND INFORM MY RESEARCH PROCESS?
- Has a retail model which is similar to the concept I wish to create, just in the specific context of knitting and knitwear. Wool and the Gang emerged to fill a gap in the market for cool fashion-forward knit products, patterns and materials, just as knitting was beginning to be redefined away from dowdy housewives and nan’s as a fun, rewarding and creative past time.
- Wool and the Gang directly opposes fast fashion through collaborating with young St Martins designers to create exciting innovative and authentically designed products imbued with a distinct creative identity. Each product they create is fun unique, and a statement, and cannot be found replicated anywhere else in the market.
- Wool and the Gang also provide the resources for their consumers to participate in the creation process, through providing the materials and pattern to create their own ‘Wool and the Gang’ style garment, far removed from the outdated knitting patterns of the 50’s previously available. For each product available, there is an option to craft your own for a distinctly cheaper price (This could perhaps be an option for the brand concept, where consumers looking to engage in the craftsmanship as well as the design, could have their pattern cut into the necessary bits to create the garment themselves).
- However whilst consumers are able to participate in the craftsmanship stage of the process, their involvement in the design is limited to wool colour and embellishment rather than the pattern itself. Furthermore this style of participation relies on the consumer having the time and patience to follow through and create the product themselves; something a lot of people don’t necessarily have the time or energy to do.
- Defines itself as brand which provides ‘exceptional design made unique’ – this is a USP I wish to replicate through providing a space where consumers can collaborate their wants with the creative identities and skills of graduate designers to create their own exquisitely designed product.
- Huge ethical conscience – All materials are sustainably sourced, and their supply chain is made transparent and traceable on their website. Furthermore they seem to care greatly about the animals involved in the production of their wool which they attempt to imprint on the consumer, through locating them in funny and endearing narratives on their website.