Ally Bee was founded by Alison Baker in 2014. This luxury knitwear brand has been built on a strong foundation of inherent sustainability and strong ethics. Alison has been committed to designing for sustainability, transparency, traceability since the very first moment that she considered creating her own brand.
How did Ally Bee begin?
The Ally Bee concept and brand came into being after I became fed up with not being able to find a jumper made with materials of both high quality and known provenance. To start with, I wondered what it would take to make a luxury alpaca sweater with yarns produced and knitted locally. After a lot of hard work and research, I found out it was possible, and Ally Bee was born!
What about your business makes your heart sing?
I love matching a design with a beautiful, traceable, low impact yarn and watching the formation of a beautiful garment to be loved and treasured for many years. A gentle footprint is central to Ally Bee creations - all yarns are natural fibre and as such, fully biodegradable. The knitting yarn that we use also need to be created with careful land management and animal welfare, and knitted in garments and accessories in low volume with minimal waste in the making process.
Do you have a signature product, something that really sums up what your brand is about?
The side-split knitted vest is the embodiment of the Ally Bee design philosophy - the luxury superfine merino yarn has a Cradle-to-Cradle ® certification meaning every step in the yarn production process has been audited for low impact - this fibre is farm-traceable & cruelty-free, and is spun using hydro power and a clean water dying process, then knitted on manually operated hand-frame machines by a specialist knitter, so there's minimal waste in production.
What about Plum & Belle feels like it has particular synergy with your brand?
I'm delighted to showcase Ally Bee knits with Plum & Belle, a refreshing online meeting of minds on careful sourcing and a gentle impact on our precious earth. I hope the Ally Bee concept influences other fashion brands to take the challenge and start imposing stricter environmental standards on design and making.
So many of the Plum & Belle values are beautifully aligned with the Ally Bee brand:
- Natural materials - Alison only uses natural fibre
- Recycled/reclaimed/reused - some items in the collection are made from recycled cashmere
- Minimal waste, pollutants and emissions - the C2C products have a very strict emissions and pollutants test attached to the certification
- One off/limited edition - most products are made in small volume, occasional one offs/very low volume such as Ally Bee hand knits
- Conserving traditions - Ally Bee manufactures in the UK, keeping alive specialist knitting traditions
- Made in the UK - everything is UK made except the hand-knits which are made in India in a B-Corp certified artisan studio
- With certification - C2C and Reverso recycled cashmere and hand-knit merino all have certifications.
Alison creates one collection per year, with a focus on Autumn Winter so we'll be adding in new styles from her when Autumn comes around. To see what we have in our offer from her collection now, just click here.