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Ally Bee ethical and sustainable knitwear was established in London in 2014 and creates luxury knitwear made from traceable, eco-certified and animal friendly natural fibre yarns.
Who we are
ALLY BEE is a contemporary luxury knitwear brand working with 100% natural fibre yarns chosen carefully for their quality & low environmental impact.
Launched in 2014, Ally Bee began with a vision to provide a sustainable luxury alternative to mass production knitwear for those wishing to make a more informed & critical choices.
The first collections were crafted from bespoke-spun British alpaca yarns made for Ally Bee in a small spinning mill in Dorset, and a select variety of British wool. Ally Bee has since expanded its yarn source to include Cradle-to-Cradle ® cashmere & merino yarns.
Ethical and sustainable
We all have a different line in the sand as to what we consider to be ‘sustainable’ fashion. At Ally Bee sustainability means taking a ‘cradle-to-cradle’ approach to design, material selection and making.
A ‘cradle to cradle’ design philosophy means treating the materials we produce from our earth – our cradle – as valued nutrients and ensuring the extraction and processing of these materials causes minimal harm and can be recycled or are fully biodegradable.
Translated to knitwear making, this means sourcing, processing, dyeing, and knitting natural fibre yarns with minimal waste and exploitation of earth, growers & knitters and then, at the end of life, the item must circulate back to the earth as an organic nutrient, leaving no trace.
Fair making and workers’ rights
Ethical & sustainable values are at the core of Ally Bee. Garments are produced with fair reward to the makers. All machine-knitted pieces in the Ally Bee collection are designed in London and made in limited volumes in small factories in Scotland and England.Our manufacturers do not engage in the practice of outsourcing production as ‘piece’ work, instead all work happens in the factory by long-standing members of staff paid a fair wage in a safe friendly environment.
Can I audit these factories to prove this? No, I will leave this to the big companies with auditing divisions and big CSR budgets to engage in this. But I can attest to meeting the workers in these factories and have enough life experience to know this is a fair place to work. I’ve seen little to no turnover of staff in the 5 years I have known my Scottish factory, and that speaks volumes about this workplace.As for my English factory, this is a small family run business yet to employ outside the immediate family – and they play fair. I’ve been ripped off in this business, and anyone I don’t trust will receive no further business from me.
LOW WASTE & SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING
Ally Bee uses plastic-free packaging for customer shipping, using recycled kraft cardboard packing boxes, water soluble packaging tape and no plastic bags. I have returned plastic sleeves to my manufacturers after delivery asking for reuse – however, this has been less than perfect in reuse, but my manufactures always use old boxes for delivery so at least there some reuse in this form of packaging.
Ally Bee British alpaca yarns are bespoke spun from the fleece of small alpaca flocks kept on smallholdings in England, in natural undyed colours, spun in a small one-man-band mill in Dorset. Alpaca are known as a low-impact grazer and eat less than sheep. They are also ruminants, and soft hooved, which means they do not pull up the grass from the roots.For their wellbeing they require shearing each Spring, and shearing specialists are employed to undertake this task with minimal stress to the animal.
Alpacas are a domesticated animal, and part of their domestication over millennia means they have to be shorn each season, otherwise they will suffer adversely from an aged and degraded fleece.Small alpaca yarn batches are produced seasonally for the Ally Bee collection, and reflect the subtle seasonal variations in yarns from one year to the next. Ally Bee alpaca yarns are dye-free. The processing of alpaca differs from wool, and requires less detergents in the washing of the fleece due to the lack of lanolin.
CRADLE-TO-CRADLE ® CERTIFIED CASHMERE & MERINO
These yarns are awarded C2C certification from the Cradle to Cradle Institute, an organisation that has undertaken rigorous auditing across the entire value chain of the yarn journey. From herd and farm traceability, astute land management practices, fair payment of farmers for their fleece and spinning and dyeing using 100% renewable power and clean water dyes.
The Cradle to Cradle Institute demands high standards in all of its certifications to protect the earth, ensure social fairness & advance animal welfare. The C2C Institute is highly regarded in the fashion & textiles industry, and across broad industry sectors, for high standards in environmental assessment and the incorporation of circular economy principles.
BRITISH BLUEFACED LEICESTER WOOL
The pure wool from the fleece of the Bluefaced Leicester sheep is far softer than generic British wool. The yarn in the Ally Bee collection is sourced from British farmers by the British Wool Marketing Board and spun in a mill in Yorkshire. Bluefaced Leicester, as with all wool derived from British reared sheep, is not mulesed.
BRITISH FALKLANDS MERINO
A small quantity of Ally Bee alpaca has been blended in a small quantity of alpaca yarn – this is a wool from non-mulesed sheep, as is all wool derived from cold-climate sheep where the blight of ‘fly-strike’ is not present.
ORGANIC SUPERFINE MERINO
The Ally Bee luxury handknit collection is crafted from a yarn spun from the fleece of non-mulesed sheep flocks fully traceable to the Gostwyck Australian farm with high standards of animal welfare and land management.
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