Anna writes about the vertically integrated wool and knitwear brand using fleeces grown, made and finished in NW England.

What do we all want from our clothes right now? Lockdown continues, and the now familiar days are spent in our comfiest items. New British knitwear brand Herd launched in Autumn 2020, at the perfect time to meet our new daily lifestyle needs. A vertically integrated wool and knitwear brand using fleeces grown, made and finished in North-West England, the fundamental principles of the company are based on the Fibreshed movement, a global philosophy which harks back to a simpler time when we had less access, less choice and more knowledge about where our consumables came from.

Back in 2012 Ruth Rands, Founder of Herdwear and Herd Wool founded Atlantic Kitchen selling wild, organic, edible seaweed in the midst of the slow food movement and seeked to make supply chains transparent, reduce waste and environmental impact. Ten years later the fashion industry is going through it’s own slow-down, and looking for local, sustainable and less impactful alternatives.

The lightbulb moment for Herd came when Ruth was living in America. Through knitting and a journey into the properties of different local wools, she wondered if consumers would make different choices if the garment label carried more information?

Returning to the UK with the idea of making a native, natural, local wool and knitwear brand, she researched and found that North-West England already had everything needed to make luxury knitwear. The makers, farmers, scourers, graders, spinners, knitters… had been doing that for hundreds of years.

Herd Wool is processed from fleece to fibre with no toxic inputs so is completely natural and circular. The buttons are made in England of Tagua nut, a tree which relies on the biodiversity of the rainforest to survive, so the value of the nut prevents Amazonian deforestation

With a goal to rebuild Britain’s textile industry in the Fibreshed philosophy, the first collection features key staple wardrobe pieces with longevity in mind. A cardigan, a hat, the gloves - and while we shop, the lookbook will keep us inspired through the seasons, until life returns to normal and beyond.

By Anna Bance
February 2021


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Anna Bance

Anna is the co-founder of Girls Meets Dress and a contributing editor to the GWG. She expertly guides us round the most covetable online fashion.