Time was, anyone who wanted an item of clothing either had to make it, or if they lacked the skills to do it themselves, turn to someone who could. To a large degree the practice was wiped out by the mighty cogs of the industrial revolution, but the skill set was not.
Sewing, knitting and crocheting are all crafts that have been handed down through the generations. And in this age of sustainability, they are coming into their own.
One group that is knitting and purling its way into the minds and onto the bodies of environmentally conscious Europeans, is Grannies Inc.
Run by Barbara, a German based in Macedonia, and her son Martin, who lives in London, Grannies Inc. was born out of the belief that there are as many people out there who want to wear carefully made woolens as there are people who want to make them.
Anyone ordering a Grannies Inc. garment, agrees the design with the knitter
"My mother, Martin's grandmother loved to knit, and made much more for us than we could ever have worn," Barbara said. "We thought there must be a lot of people who would like a grandmother like that. That was how we got started."
In part, the project is about connecting those with a time-honored skill and those who enjoy wearing something handmade.
"We want to connect the peorson who makes the product and the one who will wear it," Barbara continued. "That creates an appreciation of the product that leads to an appreciation of others."
But there is also the environmental element and the drive to move away from unsustainable disposable fashion. "Each item we produce is unique," Barbara said. "Which means customers have a much greater appreciation and wear the product for a lot longer than they would an industrially made garment."
What's more, the grannies – who are located in the UK and Macedonia – knit with pure wool, which is a sustainably produced natural fiber that is conspicuously absent from many of the pullovers that will be given pride of place in shop windows this winter. Clickety-clack.
The grannies only use wool to knit their unique pieces