From the likes of Kate Spade, Jonathan Simkhai, Altuzarra, Giambattista Valli and Stella McCartney, crochet inspired many Spring/Summer 2020 collections. Why? Our guess is because of it’s sustainability; crochet creates a textile by using one hook to interlock loops of yarn, the most sustainable yarns being, wool, silk, up-cycled, organic cotton or Tencel. Slow fashion, as defined by Good On You is “an awareness and approach to fashion, which considers the processes and resources required to make clothing, particularly focusing on sustainability.” With this sentiment, crochet is the ultimate return to handmade, slow fashion.
However, the revival of this trend on the high fashion scene is also dependant on its versatility. It’s not only a sustainable style but one that can be transformed through many patterns and into many different garments, on the SS20 runway we saw crochet dresses, tops, swimwear, trousers, jumpsuits, shorts - you name it. It’s the perfect mix of creative freedom, artistic expression and environmental awareness. With crochet featuring in this many runway collections it’s official - gone are the days of crochet being labelled ‘old-fashioned’, ‘twee’ or unfairly associated with anything ‘granny’ - esque. Now think chic, classic and sexy - as the brands we have picked prove.
We have put together a list of our favourite crochet brands that will help you style crochet for the summer - as a style formerly attributed to jumpers and winter hats, our perspective might need some refreshing. From all around the world these brands are dedicated to craftsmanship. But also, through crochet, these brands are helping local communities, preserving culture and recognising how important art therapy is. They all explore crochet not just as a trend but as a lifestyle.
Let’s start with swimwear - a textile made of yarn for swimwear might baffle some people however, it’s one of the most innovative trends for the summer - not to mention wildly aesthetic on Instagram. Akoia Swim were mentioned in Vogue three times in 2019! In Vogue Paris as ‘The Green One’, Vogue France as one of the sexist bikinis for the summer and British Vogue as one of the ten best-crocheted swimwear. Last summer, those articles introduced us to them so, by now, you’re probably obsessed - we certainly are!
They are a Bali beachwear label founded by three teenagers! Reo Palmer, Inka Williams, and Frances Elliott were raised on the island of Bali and have created a brand that celebrates their culture, whilst preserving their beautiful environment. With all-natural materials and no plastic packaging, all their garments are handmade by Balinese women artisans, allowing them to work within their community and support their families.
A brand built on the beautiful journey from anxiety and depression to finding meditation within crochet. Designer, Dominique, worked in Southeast Asia against human trafficking where she helped women find freedom but also encountered the darkest parts of humanity. Crochet has become her form of meditation, she creates patterns in beautiful dresses that are not driven by fashion but by inspiration to be your best self. With each garment given a female name, they are intricately woven with personality, just like each woman who wears them. Also, their bohemian bridal-wear completes the chic and classical transformation of crochet, it is the ultimate statement in this style’s revival.
This brand sheds light on the importance of art therapy and how the thoughtful and intricate journey of crochet is just as profound as the garments created - it really is more than just a trend.
“We are sustainable fashion” a declaration made on the homepage of this brand. However, Nannacay is much more than fashion, it’s a new social fashion project: Creative Hands Changing Lives. It’s a project founded by Marcia Kemp whose travels have led her to crochet, yet now works to bridge the gap between people who need help and people who want to help. All their one-of-a-kind bags and accessories are handmade by artisans from Peru, a marginalised group, Kemp’s project offers them a possibility of a better life in crochet techniques inspired by their tribal roots and reflective of their country.
In Kemp’s words, “the difference between Nannacay and other fashion brands is that is isn’t just about fashion for us – the aim is to transform people’s lives. The women who buy my bags admire simplicity and beauty, but they also want to give back to society.
Based in Byron Bay, along Australia’s East Coast, She Made Me is a handmade crochet resort wear brand designed by Chloe Dunlop. This is a brand based on minimal luxury and timeless style, inspired by Dunlop’s travels to exotic and remote lands; she finds treasures in textiles, textures, native colours and landscapes. All inspire her collections, which are handmade by women artisans in Bali.
Their latest collection ‘Love Note’ is a celebration of the women who wear the brand, in Dunlops’s words, "She Made Me is about the girl and the way she makes you feel… She is effortless, beautiful, confident and she can make people feel – love, lust, admired, respected.” With each garment taking up to 2 weeks to make, ‘She Made Me’ is all about love, persistence and instilling a human connection within each garment.
We wrote before of the versatility in crochet and now we come to crochet footwear. Arteana, founded by Veselina Chebanova, offers luxury footwear without compromising our planet or it’s people, all their products are handmade in Italy, whilst all their material is sourced from certified, sustainable suppliers in Europe.
Their organic cotton crochet detailing on their Italian leather shoes in artisan techniques such as Granny Square Crochet and Shell Stitch Crochet, creates an elegant summer style for women searching for, what they call, “La Dolce Vita.”
If you’re intrigued and delighted by these crochet summer styles, you should also consider knitwear. Another style notoriously associated with the word ‘cosy’ - it’s an exciting innovation for summer. House of Sunny was listed as one of Vogue’s must-have knitwear brands for the summer, and although mixing up the terms knitwear and crochet comes with controversy, we couldn’t resist mentioning this brand. So for our last brand, a little something to keep you exploring, even after you’re familiar with crochet - knitwear.
House of Sunny, founded by Sunny Williams in 2011, acts against fast fashion by producing small sustainable runs of collections. Their two collections a year allow for them to research sustainable materials, and even innovate with e-flow technology jeans, vegan leather and anti-wastage prints. Their knitwear collection is designed for an effortless, everyday style and meant to elevate your wardrobe whilst transition through the seasons. There is no need to purchase new styles every season when you’ve got pieces like these in your wardrobe!