As the weather is getting colder, at least here, in Switzerland, I thought of sharing a few tips on choosing sweaters sustainably.
As time went by and I got older and wiser, I realized that the most sustainable way to buy sweaters is in a second-hand store. So if you are in Geneva, I recommend checking second-hand stores: Hazard in Paquis (Rue de Monthoux 34) and GM Boutique in Eaux-Vives. Otherwise, you can buy pre-loved knitwear online on MyPrivateDressing. I did some winter shopping on this website not so long ago.
But as I have friends and colleagues who do not want to buy clothes second-hand, I had to think of other solutions when I talk to them. So how can you choose sweaters sustainably this winter?
Look for natural fibers such as cashmere, wool, alpaca, or angora. Now, none of these is without its ethical and environmental issues. As long as the animals are involved (angora rabbit, cashmere goats, merino sheep, alpacas), one must make sure they are treated well. For example, you can look for certifications, such as GOTS, Responsible Wool Standard, and The Good Cashmere Standard. If you want to learn more about this, check this article where I talk about it in a greater length.
REPEAT Cashmere and Swiss brand Tallis make beautiful knitwear that will last for years. In addition, some of REPEAT Cashmere knitwear is GOTS certified, and Tallis uses only recycled cashmere and merino wool.
I agree, ethical/sustainable knitwear is an investment. But it is worth it as it will last for years.
As you will invest a lot of money, make sure you use appropriate products for washing your knitwear. Or have it dry cleaned. As the latter is quite expensive in Switzerland, I wash my cashmere, merino wool sweaters, and cardigans in special shampoos. I love Wool&Cashmere Shampoo from The Laundress and Special Washing Agent from REPEAT cashmere.
Spray your knitwear with Wool & Cashmere Spray to extend the time between washes and remove the odor. It will give it a nice cedar scent. Afterward, I hang my sweaters outside so that they air out.
I also place cedarwood in my drawers to protect knitwear from moths. I don’t know if it works, but I have not had any moths in eating my precious knitwear so far.
And to de-pill the knits, I use lint removers. I have an electric one and a manual one. Both work well, but of course, the electric one is easier to use.
TO FOLD OR HANG?
The last point is about how to store your knitwear. For example, I fold delicate knitwear that can change shape if you hang it. But I hang heavy knits such as long cardigans and dresses.
Do you have any tips on how to choose sweaters sustainably? Let me know in the comments below.