Popular eco-friendly hand-knits

Renee Minus White | 5/29/2015, 4:54 p.m.
For fall 2015, chunky knits, bright, bold colors and oversized coats take the lead.
Design by Pure Handknit and Neon Buddha

For fall 2015, chunky knits, bright, bold colors and oversized coats take the lead. Many pieces from Pure & Co.’s Pure Handknit and Neon Buddha’s 2015 autumn-winter collections are fashion-forward and comfortable. In this collection, Pure & Co. brings together two forward-thinking fashion lines: Pure Handknit and Neon Buddha.

Neon Buddha’s fashion line is a lifestyle women’s clothing collection for travel, home, work, yoga and the discerning active customer. It’s a Canadian-designed line for life’s adventures.

Pure Handknit started with a single collection that was sold in Canada. They have rapidly expanded their operations to include the United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Their goal is to increase the definition of fair trade and eco-consciousness from conception to retailer to your closet. The brand employs over 4,500 women knitters in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Their choice to partner their company with women knitters in northern Thailand offers these dedicated women an opportunity to continue this rich tradition.

Ethical work standards are at the forefront of the company’s management strategy. Each member of the staff has company paid health care, including maternity leave. Education is also key, along with paid continuing education that’s offered. Additionally, any excess yarn from the design and manufacturing process is donated to several non-governmental organizations and women’s groups, where it’s used in income-generating projects.

Each Pure & Co. design is handmade by a co-op team of women in Thailand at the company’s eco-friendly facility. The company provides life-altering benefits to all of the knitting employees, including meals, on-campus housing, transportation and opportunities for scholarships to pursue a higher education. Pure & Co also donates 1 percent of all sales to international and local organizations to help effect positive global change.

According to Earth Pledge, a nonprofit organization committed to promoting and supporting sustainable development, “At least 8,000 chemicals are used to turn raw materials into textiles and 25 percent of the world’s pesticides are used to grow non-organic cotton. This causes irreversible damage to people and the environment, and still two-thirds of a garment’s carbon footprint will occur after it is purchased.”

The company has created over 200 new local jobs in Thailand. Part of their production process includes transforming local agricultural waste into electricity to make the company 100 percent self-sufficient and pollution free. They also collect rainwater in a 900-ton reservoir for use in the dye house. Each of their sustainable practices has the potential to increase its environmental contributions in years to come.