KnitLab North expands team to meet demand

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Cramlington, United Kingdom

With ‘Made in Britain’ high on the agenda for the UK’s fashion retailers, North East Sustainable Fashion Design and Prototyping facility KnitLab North is growing.

North East entrepreneurs, Jo Lennon and Jo Storie, founders of KnitLab North, have invested in new machinery and skills to keep up with the increasing demand from customers on retailers to provide more sustainable and British made options.

Joining the team is Kate Myerscough as a Knitwear Technical Developer. In this new role Kate will support the team in bringing to life their client’s ideas into knitted samples and micro-production. Kate graduated from the University of Derby with a degree in Textile Design specialising in Knit before gaining experience developing knitwear for brands across the UK and Europe. Kate further bolsters the team’s skills meaning KnitLab North can quickly support more brands looking to grow.

Speaking about her appointment Kate said: “It’s great to be joining such a forward-thinking team when it comes to sustainable fashion. The opportunity to work across such a wide variety of projects means that we’re working on everything from fashion brands to field to wardrobe British Wool heritage pieces. It’s the variation that makes KnitLab North such an exciting place to work – you’re never sure what’s going to come in next”.

With London Fashion Week fast approaching the team are delighted to be supporting so many British Brands looking to capture the attention of the UKs retailers. The impact over the last few years with Brexit and Covid19 means the team are seeing a boom in new independent start-ups in the fashion industry. The unique facility based in Cramlington, Northumberland means the team are best placed to help brands produce smaller sustainable collections they can use to test the market.

The team offer a knitwear design studio with onsite facilities to support clients, bringing together prototyping and micro-production with commercial and marketing expertise to help new brands bring products to market.

The design studio that brings a design and collection to life, from sketchbook to shopping basket, is looking to support anyone looking to create British knitwear collections. It also promotes responsible and sustainable manufacture, offering more manageable solutions to fast-fashion and aims to support clients bringing their own products to market.

Commercial Lead, Jo Lennon, at KnitLab North, said: “We have had a very busy first year, locating to our first premises at B.Village, Cramlington, expand our prototyping and manufacturing capacity and now welcoming Kate onboard. Launching a new business during a pandemic has certainly been a challenge but it’s one that we’re enjoying diving into.

“We’re delighted to be using the most advanced knit technology in the world and from a waste perspective it is the future. It also enables us to present an alternative to fast fashion.

“We want to help support anyone looking to create knitwear – whether its students, start-ups or professionals and to really champion British design.”

Head of Design and Development, Jo Storie, said: “We’ve been through the design and development process in the UK and we struggled to find the support we needed to make small volumes to test the market.  We experienced a number of challenges and want to support other people who may face the same barriers we faced when taking their product to market.

“We want to create a hub by bringing the industry together and to foster talent. There is a real skills gap and our goal is not just to prototype but to educate and inspire the future generation. Bringing Kate onboard also increases our ability to train future technicians and technical designers to support the UKs fashion industry. It’s something we’re already working with the region’s universities to develop.”

The team want to nurture and support anyone looking to build a knitwear business whilst championing British design with a specific focus on promoting sustainable and quality yarn.  They believe there is a real gap in the market and following BREXIT there has never been a better time to buy British goods and support British manufacturing.

KnitLab North website

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