We wondered if we could build our own globally respected B2C brand. World-class hand knits. And world-kind sustainability. So we created Always Wear Red.
Since February 14th 2016 we have worked with Britain’s best makers. Finding our way. Learning our trade. Learning what ‘world-class’ means. To us and our customers. Since launch, just 1 order has been returned. And 40% of customers buy more than once.
The Early Years.
Using the world’s best materials. We designed and made tiny batches of woollen caps, cashmere scarves and beanies, woven silk ties and hanks, Merino wool socks, handmade leather belts, purses and wallets. The Early Years archive houses what’s left.
Do One Thing Well.
In 2018, we developed a new obsession. 100% Merino wool hand knits – only. Determined to create the world’s very best and most world-kind jumpers, cardigans and scarves, we archived everything else. So we could focus.
A year and a half later we had the designs. The colourway. The British makers. The gender-neutral shape. The indulgent 11 inch funnel necks. The knitting tension. The sustainable supply chain. We were ready to launch. We’d gone from nothing – to something really very special. But it still wasn’t special enough.
So we replaced the yarn. We trebled the amount of yarn in any one piece. We shifted the pattern. Again. We adjusted the knitting tension. Again. And we continued to prototype. For an additional 18 months. So that we’d been prototyping for 36 months in total. We had no choice. We kept finding better ways. And better materials. World’s best means world’s best. And after the first 18 months, they weren’t. We wanted pieces that were unlike anything we or anyone else had ever seen.
After 36 months. We are ready.
Change the World.
We know the world doesn’t need another clothing brand.
70% of clothing is burnt or buried in under 3 years. We don’t wear 80% of the clothes we buy. 30% of all clothing never reaches consumers.
But we didn’t want to change our plan for creating world class hand knits.
So we decided to change the world, and how and why the world buys clothes, instead.
Wear it. Share it. Repair it.
Wear it. Classic design lasts. And quality betters with age. Just like you do.
Share it. We created a unique, gender-neutral shape.
Repair it. We built partnerships with specialist British repairers to help you.
Love the Process. Love the Product.
Our British knitters are paid 50% above average. That way, we get and keep the best knitters. It takes 8 weeks to make anything. We make in batches of (up to) 3. Or to order. So waste is zero.
Our hand knitting is ‘3-end’. Normally, 1 length of 100% Merino yarn would click, click, click through the needles of the hand-knitter. With us there are 3. Everything is 3 times heavier.
Hand wash once or twice each year. Save time, water – and the planet. Anti-microbial qualities of 100% Italian Merino wool means odours disappear. We bundle a wool comb and enough world-kind hand wash with every purchase, to last up to 28 years.
You know the feeling. When you wear something so luxurious that it hugs you into slowing down.
So because you so rarely give yourself permission to pause. To rest. Re-energise. And restore. We do it for you.
So that when you’re ready to go once more. You do your best work.
‘For The Rest of Your Life’ is the Always Wear Red brand slogan. And of course, it has two meanings.
Unique labelling is developed from artwork by Finnish multi-platform artist, Erica Akerlund. Commissioned by Michael Owen, Erica’s one word brief was ‘offness’.
At the end of 2019, Erica imagined a world on pause. Illustrating what she imagined we would all be getting up to.
Erica’s important work is as ironic as it is unforgettable, outrageous and beautiful.
2020 and beyond.
At time of writing. So that’s May 2020. Hand knitted jumpers, cardigans and scarves should be available to buy on the 1st of September 2020 at www.alwayswearred.com.
You can be the first to know when pre-ordering is activated. And when a small number of genuinely one-off prototypes will be available for purchase. By signing up to DOWNTIME at the Always Wear Red website.
Beyond this, we’re looking to achieve better and better sustainability. And we’re developing a buy-back / sell on scheme, too.