If you asked me what the favourite part of my job was, I would have to say discovering up-and-coming brands. There's a unique thrill that comes from stumbling across an unknown label when browsing a rail in a fashion boutique or meandering through Etsy. Instagram in particular has made it so much easier for even the smallest of brands to get noticed, and it was thanks to a repost from A Virtual Vintage Reworked Market that I came across Mad Brown Knitwear.
A quick click-through to their Instagram feed and I was besotted. It's not just any brand that could convince me to buy a woolly jumper in 30 degree heat, but Mad Brown Knitwear's reworked cable knit jumpers are unlike anything I've seen before. All of their designs are made using pre-loved pieces that have been lovingly mended and reworked using coloured wool, which is woven between the cable knits. From tonal pinks to rainbow hues, each one possesses its own distinct character.
"I’ve always loved traditional knitwear, and I really valued the level of time and work that went into each garment. I wanted to find a way of treasuring the craftsmanship of traditional knitwear, while also bringing in some colour and creating new pieces that were sustainable", says founder Madeline Brown. "For me, it is so important to use the materials we have already and I think it’s beautiful knowing that a jumper has already been loved and has the scars to prove it."
"Most jumpers that come in are usually in need of some sort of repair. It may be holes that need stitching up or the replacement of a worn collar, so every knit starts with this slow process. Choosing the colour scheme for each jumper is the best bit, I use colours that I think will truly enhance the traditional patterns. Depending on the jumper it takes up to 30 hours to carefully embroider the coloured yarn into the knit. The long process is worth it to see the garment transform."
I was very tempted to opt for the brand's custom-made service, which allows you pick a particular jumper style and colour scheme, before it's handmade with your specifications, however I ended up falling for a pre-made multi-coloured knit in shades of blue, red and orange, and I can honestly say that it could be mistaken for a designer creation. Cosy and versatile, I'll be wearing mine with everything from denim to midi dresses come autumn. Scroll down to see how I'm styling my jumper and shop Mad Brown Knitwear's beautiful creations.