Meet the yarns

Meet the yarns

Knitwear is a big story for our Resort 22 collection, and for the brand’s move forward into veganism. It was the final frontier, so to speak, after ditching silk. And we’ve never used leather. So, over the past year, we’ve applied for PETA certification and have been working towards transforming our collections to remove any animal-derived materials. 

Researching and seeking out alternatives to wool was a challenge the design team relished. Traditional wool makes way for four, innovative ‘fancy yarns’ -all sourced from premium mills in Italy that are passionate about natural fibres. Because this is the other thing about removing wool from your collections, if you care about the environment you can’t just replace with synthetic fibres, like acrylic, which a lot of non-wool knitwear is made from. 

“It was important that the decision not to use wool did not impact on our commitment to natural materials”, says co-founder Shafiq Hassan. “For the time being, there are few natural and biodegradable alternatives that will give the same warmth and comfort as wool, but we do not believe we should replace natural wool with oil-derived synthetics. We are optimistic that new textile innovations will soon result in natural alternatives and vegan ‘wool’.” 


First up, there is a ‘hairy’ organic cotton where the fibres undergo a combing process to create a strong and compact yarn with a fluffy texture that is then knitted in a fisherman’s rib stitch to give the fabric a luxurious, lofty volume (see the chunky hoodies and shrunken crew neck sweaters). This is the brand’s 100% vegan, organic cotton alternative to wool. The yarn comes from IGEA, an innovative Italian mill based in Prato - a specialist in creative ‘fancy’ yarns since 1964. “Yarn which is combed is more expensive because it uses finer fibre than carded yarn, is more regular in its structure and the combing process is extremely time-intensive”, says our knitwear designer Nora Wong. 
Image: Organic Cotton Fisherman Rib Crew Neck Knitted Top, Shop Now

Another material innovation comes with a regenerated cellulosic rib selected for its elegant, silk-like properties and rich colours. This yarn is produced from pre-consumer cotton waste (‘linters’) that would otherwise be destined for landfill. “This yarn has produced our most sensual and lightweight knit fabric to date”, says Nora. The team has worked closely with specialist mills in Italy that share our passion for combining creativity with a strong ecological awareness. This viscose yarn comes from the BE.MI.VA mill in Florence that has this wonderful mantra: “Love, Ecology and Fashion is our karma and it is spread through the collections where creativity and sustainability move in the same direction.” 

Image: True Knit Viscose Rib Keyhole Top, Shop Now

Traditionally, a cable jumper would be made from wool. “We have re-imagined it using an organic cotton/recycled polyamide blend cordelette yarn, selected for its unusually crimped, textural appearance”, says Nora. “This story continues our celebration of craft, with a patchwork design of the most classic hand-knit structures: the cable.” The yarn is sourced from Italian mill IGEA, the same supplier as the fluffy cotton detailed above.

Image: Organic Cotton Patchwork V Neck Knitted TopShop Now

The supplier of the yarn used in our chunky knit hand-linked pieces is Filpucci, one of the most prestigious mills in Italy, with a focus on creativity, innovation and sustainability. “We have used a super-soft tape yarn, spun from ultra-light recycled polyamide filling, encased in a 100% GOTS-certified organic mako cotton” says Nora. The mako cotton is picked by hand in Egypt. “Hand-picking the cotton avoids the use of harsh chemical products that are commonly used in mechanical harvest methods. 

The fibres are remarkably long which results in an extraordinarily smooth and resistant yarn of the highest quality.” 

Image: Organic Cotton Patchwork V Neck Knitted TopShop Now

Finally, a word on hand-linking…

A lot of thought has gone into the construction of the knitted pieces, too. Every knitwear piece in the collection is ‘fully fashioned’. This means that each individual garment piece is engineered so that it is made with no extra fabric - a ‘zero waste’ process. Whilst the garments are knitted by machine, the construction of the seams is done by hand in a process called ‘linking’. “In this story, we want to celebrate the people who make our clothes”, says Nora. “The seams on the sweaters - which we designed to be external rather than hidden - are hand-wrapped, balancing technology and craft.”