Wool is one of the most sustainable fabrics on the planet, and when combined with fashion it makes a bold statement visually and ethically.
With pure and ethical Merino wool and Lambswool as her canvas, Szilvia is the creative mind behind Knitluxe Studio, a British design studio, where sophisticated yet playful winter accessories, gifts and homeware come to life.
Using a vintage knitting machine, this is artisanal craftsmanship at its most traditional. Here, Szilvia’s aim is to make woollen knitwear fashionable, sustainable and timeless by combining traditional knitwear techniques with modern contemporary designs.
Originally from Budapest, Szilvia moved to the UK in 2009 to complete her course in Art and Design, emerging with a degree at Buckinghamshire New University, graduating with First Class Honours, and winning the illustrious Hill Osborne Bursary by the Worshipful Company of Framework Knitters.
Inspired by her favourite cities, London and Budapest, long walks in the countryside, travels and a nod to current active wear trends, Szilvia’s retro-sports designs were initially imagined from urban aesthetics, classical textiles and vibrant colours, translated into bold shapes and patterns.
The textile industry is one of the largest polluters in the world. With reducing environmental impact high on Szilvia’s agenda, yarns used are ethically sourced from the UK and Italy and 100% natural., and she only collaborates with suppliers that demonstrate an equal commitment to sustainability, human rights and company welfare.
Wool is one of the most sustainable fabrics on the planet; sheep are not intensively reared, and are part of the natural carbon cycle, consuming plants and converting their ‘hair’ into wool. There’s also a lot less impact on the environment when we buy and wear wool. Woolen textiles are washed less and at lower temperatures. Wool products last much longer, they can be recycled and are biodegradable on land and in water, whilst not contributing to the microplastic pollution or landfill waste currently baiting the fashion industry. Best of all wool works in harmony stretching with your body and returning to its natural shape, Merino fibres are extremely fine and gentle on your skin. Wool loves the sun, naturally absorbing UV radiation and protecting you from it, and it’s breathable, both warming and cooling depending on the weather…. and we’ve been told that research shows that sleeping in wool ensures a better night’s rest.
Running a small business has its challenges, what do you enjoy the most about running your business?
My favourite part is the making process. I love machine knitting! Even though I have a row counter, I always count for some reason. I love the repetition, the motion, and the sound, it soothes me. Also, I’m fascinated by the fact that I’m creating something from a cone of yarn, and the process is entirely traceable and as a sole trader I oversee every single task that comes with running a business, so I can guarantee that it’s sustainable, one of a kind and of impeccable quality.
Along with knitting, I also love the design process. I enjoy collecting visual research and inspiration, followed by choosing colour, then by sampling, trying out colour combinations, new stitches, and techniques.
How do you approach sustainability?
Every piece is created by hand on a 12gg vintage knitting machine and finished to the highest standard personally by me. I’m fully committed to sustainability and only selecting traceable luxury yarns to encourage ethical practice and to ensure quality. Because I’m making everything myself, I know how each product is made and what goes into the making of it. Every piece is knitted to shape, so the only waste that remains are the yarn ends due to the colour changing and casting on process. These ends then end up in our Zero Waste Pin Cushions as filling.
The luxurious knits are then packed in biodegradable packaging, some of which can be recycled or upcycled.
My new collection, Coastal launches October 2023. I take inspiration from places I visit, and the beachside is always one of my happy places. The colours are all taken from my visual research and photography and offers a variety for people who like muted or more vibrant colours.
All the winter accessories sets have a matching scarf, snood, hat, and mittens. The pieces could also be mix and matched to your existing winter accessories.
See Knitluxe Studio’s profile on the Little Green Book here