10 December 2014
Jade Harwood is CoFounder and Creative Director of Wool and the Gang, a pioneering fashion brand that's bringing back knitting as a viable means of production for generations to come.
Can you tell us who you are, where you were born and where you are now based?
Jade Harwood, born in Southampton, based in London.
How would you describe Wool and the Gang?
Wool and the Gang is a fashion brand doing things differently in a sustainable way. Each WATG item can be handmade by you or made unique by one of our Gang members.
How and where do you make your work? Can you describe your making process?
All of our design work is carried out in our studio in Dalston, London then we travel to Peru where we work with a group of artisans who work with us to create the designs for our collections. The making process for us begins with the textiles. We love the endless possibilities there are between the different kinds of yarn and how you create on all the different needles sizes.
What tools and materials do you use in your work? Do you have a favourite material and is there a tool you couldn't do without?
We have a long time love affair with wool, in particular chunky wool like our Crazy Sexy Wool. Working with this yarn brings instant gratification as you can see your work growing within 5 minutes. We couldn't live without our notebooks, it's where we keep all our ideas, sketches and endless to do lists.
What initially sparked your desire to start Wool and the Gang and what drives you today?
Out of a passion for sustainable design and to make knitting sexy, fun, fast and easy. :)
Can you remember the first thing you made?
My Grandma taught me how to knit when I was 7 on teeny tiny needles. My first attempt was a blanket for my teddy - it's about the size of a stamp. I still have it in fact.
What do you feel the role of makers and designers is today?
It's all about the maker movement. It's like after the industrial revolution there was the arts and craft movement. Ours today comes after the technology revolution, makers are rebuilding the connections between values and products.
Who in the world would you most like to buy one of your designs?
Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia
Can you tell us about any upcoming projects?
We've been invited by Apple to run a panel discussion on sustainable design in December. Such a huge honour to spread the word of wool!
Many thanks Jade! For knits and tips, take a look at the WATG blog.