Making beautiful knitwear ain't easy.
Just like any knitting project, our journey required a delicate balance of patience, perseverance and moxie.
We started by taking on some of the biggest knitting challenges: the toughest stitches, the toughest dyeing techniques and working with the most informal sector of the market. We made manuals, created policies, helped knitting leaders create and run their own mini companies that pay taxes, handheld, cried, laughed, and ultimately created a functioning network that has become its own lifeforce, providing jobs for a small army of knitters in and around Lima.
And to do this, we needed the best people we could find, starting with our own team. People who believe in the power of people, in working together as a community, in strong values and being better. People with grit. And our knitters have grit too. They have stories about their first knitting needles being cut wire they found in the field, or pieces of hay. They knit when their families told them girls couldn’t be sent to school, or when their husbands wouldn’t allow them to get jobs. When they had to put their kids through school, gain economic independence to leave unhealthy relationships, or simply provide for their families.
And we built this together. We figured out the trick to hand dyeing and hand knitting, the nuances of the different methods and how to make a garment look just about perfect but with its own voice. We found the sweet spot between having the variation that comes with doing things by hand while still complying with certain necessary parameters that make the garment work and be functional. And sellable.
In an industry that consistently continues to be more mechanized, where artisan craft is replaced by machinery, we made a big bet: let us do high quality hand knits on a large scale. Let us work with women and men in Lima, in some of the poorest neighborhoods, and have them be our partners in the production process.
We managed to scale without losing the humanness of hand knits. Mass Production can be handmade, and we can show you how to do it. Do knitting, but better.