STORY

ALLY BEE PHILOSOPHY

We all have a different line in the sand as to what we consider to be ‘sustainable’ fashion. At Ally Bee sustainability means producing collections to a set of environmental standards that far exceed mere compliance with current local and international environmental regulation. It means a ‘cradle to cradle’ commitment to fashion making – seeking out natural fibre alpaca, cashmere and wool yarns produced to high standards of land management and animal welfare, the cleanest processing and dying, and end-of-life biodegradability. It means making a product of treasured keepsake quality, intended to live well beyond one season. It means minimising packaging, plastic usage and office waste and continuing the search for the most innovative ‘beyond compliance’ yarns.

BEAUTIFUL NATURAL FIBRE KNITWEAR, RESPONSIBLY SOURCED

Ally Bee began with a vision to provide a luxury alternative to mass production knitwear for consumers wishing to make an informed & critical choice about new additions to their wardrobe. Design of each collection starts with a consideration of the raw natural fibres, and creating designs work in harmony with the materials. Ally Bee collections are free from acrylics, plastic sequins, transient ‘must-have’ colours or gimmicky trends of the season. The result is beautifully made, natural fibre knitwear collections produced through responsible & fair production, and a gentler touch on the planet.

SPINNING A GENTLER YARN

Ally Bee launched in 2014 with a small collection crafted from commission spun British Alpaca yarns and a select variety of British wool. Small alpaca yarn batches have been produced each season for the Ally Bee collection, and reflect the subtle seasonal variations in yarns from one year to the next. British Alpaca is produced through low impact farming on smallholdings across the UK.

In Autumn Winter 2017 Ally Bee is introducing the world’s first Cradle to Cradle ® certified cashmere yarn to the collection. This Italian spun cashmere merino yarn has been meticulously scrutinised from the raw source of the fibre – from land management and fair payment to Mongolian herders who graze the cashmere goats – through to cleanest processing of the raw fibre. Available in September 2017.

WHY BRITISH ALPACA?

SINCE 2014 Ally Bee alpaca yarn has been spun at the small Two Rivers spinning mill in Dorset, England. Mill owner, Phil Allen,  sourced – and salvaged – spinning machinery for his mill from long established mills from Bradford to Biella in Italy and recalibrated the wool spinning mechanisms to best handle the fine hairs of alpaca. For the Ally Bee knitwear collection, superior portions of alpaca fleece have been carefully sorted from the annual clip collected from herds in the region, with only the best fibre going through the 11-step spinning process to achieve a superbly soft yarn.

Alpaca is one of the most environmentally friendly natural fibres in the world and the benefits of wearing alpaca are beyond the merely sartorial. Alpacas are low impact grazers, they consume less than sheep and do not tear up the top soil like other livestock, and each year produce a rich lustrous fibre. An incredibly durable yarn, the fibre has special thermal properties due to its micro air pockets. In the cold the fibres contract to keep in warmth, and when the weather warms the pockets expand for breathability. Naturally hypoallergenic and containing no lanolin, alpaca stands out as a renewable, eco-friendly yarn with a  gentler touch on our strained planet.

 

Watch the Ally Bee launch video from 2014