When Taylor Yates began, although handbags were at the forefront of our minds, we always knew there would be more. Our founders Karen & Ellen have a collection of favourite pieces, shapes and styles ready to be updated and they have started with knitwear for 2022.
We are a team of radical thinkers, we always challenge the norm. How do you create a responsible, sustainable collection, without causing further harm to the planet? To ensure the new collection aligned with our values and morals, attention to detail was everything and it meant our thoughts were consumed with how we were going to create soft, beautiful, timeless pieces worthy of our Taylor Yates mark.
Our handbags are created with longevity in mind, soft, luxurious and beautiful, our knitwear had to reflect these traits. The first step of our process was understanding what shapes and designs were the most timeless and what can be worn all year round. After much consideration and research, we settled on the slipover, deep v and slash neck. These styles have been loved for many years, are versatile and can be worn at any age. Creating sustainable, beautiful pieces but also creating inclusive pieces, making everyone feel welcome at Taylor Yates.
At Taylor Yates our intention is to be understated, minimal, effortless, inclusive, season-less and beautiful, when we measured these alongside our potential new knitwear line, it just made sense.
To ensure we kept waste in our production process to a minimum, we decided we would develop several different swatches of material so we could analyse them alongside each other and make an informed decision.
The next question we asked was, “How can I find someone to knit a sweater for me?”
It was important for us to find someone that held the same values as Taylor Yates and was based in Northern Ireland so we were delighted when we found Orla through instagram, a textiles designer, maker and creator. She understands the importance of producing high quality knitwear with the ultimate softness, comfort and warmth so she was the perfect fit for us.
We decided on 100% Merino wool, with the aim of a luxurious soft feel. When we developed our initial swatches. Unfortunately they weren’t the softness we had initially envisioned, so we worked closely with Orla to understand why and finally settled on 2 ply Merino wool, which is a wonderfully lightweight yarn, just like our handbags! Its delicacy helped us achieve the fine, durable and soft feel knit we had dreamed of. Merino wool is already naturally thinner and softer than regular wool so the fact we were able to develop this even further was hugely exciting.
Our wool is sourced through the RWS, Responsible Wool Standard, “a voluntary standard that addresses the welfare of sheep and the land they graze on” which is extremely important to us. Merino wool is also biodegradable, it decomposes naturally in soil making it environmentally friendly.
Our Merino wool is also “Made in Green by OEKO-TEX®”
"The Made in Green label verifies that an article has been tested for harmful substances. It also guarantees that the textile or leather product has been manufactured using sustainable processes under socially responsible working conditions.”
Once we had the styles and material confirmed, it was time to move onto the finishings of the design and the name of the collection.
With the words understated and minimal in mind, we wanted our styles to have a natural and effortless finish. We decided on a rolled edge hem, a style that is super versatile and easy to wear for any occasion and all year round.
Finally, the collection name. If you know Taylor Yates, you will be familiar with our story. How each of our bags are named after women Karen grew up with and who made a strong and beautiful impact on her life. We wanted to echo this personal feel with the knitwear collection. It felt natural to name it after our maker, Orla. Helping our vision come to life, Orla has become an important part of the team.
Each piece is handmade to order, allowing our customers to find the perfect knitwear piece. Not only perfect quality and sustainability, but also in the style and fit. The colours are typically Taylor Yates, neutral and beautifully understated keeping them timeless and versatile. The fine knit allows them to be worn all year round, paired with linen trousers and satin skirts in the Summer or over shirts and suits in the Winter.
We have put time, effort and love into the creation of our first knitwear collection. We hope you love them as much as we do.