*ALLY BEE is open for business during Covid-19, you can find the full range online at ally-bee.com.*
ALLY BEE is a British contemporary knitwear brand working with 100% natural fibre yarns chosen for high quality & low environmental impact, including British alpaca, British Bluefaced Leicester and eco-certified cashmere & merino.
Launched in 2014, Ally Bee began with a vision to create an environmentally sustainable luxury alternative to mass production knitwear. The first collections of jumpers, scarves, hats & gloves were crafted from British alpaca spun in Dorset and British Bluefaced Leicester wool.
British alpaca flocks are reared in small flocks on smallholdings across the UK, and are grazed on lush pasture and kept to high standards of animal welfare. They are provided with shelter from the cold, and receive vaccinations and supplements in addition to a dental check and toe-nail clip at shearing time. And these sociable creatures are rarely left alone - they must have a companion alpaca by their side otherwise they become lonely and become physically ill.
Alpacas must be shorn each Spring for physical wellbeing. The softest part of fleeces collected from farms in south of England is hand-selected by a specialist alpaca spinner in Dorset and bespoke spun for Ally Bee, in delicately blended natural colours. Alpacas originate from South America and this is where the majority of the alpaca yarns are supplied on the global market. So why choose British alpaca? Ally Bee Founder, Alison Baker, explains, “I discovered the softness and quality of British alpaca fibre almost by chance,” she says. “I saw its virtually untapped potential as a yarn for beautiful ready-to-wear knitwear that both supported small British industry, and was gentle on the environment.'
Commission-spinning British alpaca yarns has been a road less travelled and not an easy one. Due to lack of reliability in supply of UK alpaca fleece, Ally Bee is slowly moving away from British alpaca and sourcing luxury yarns with stringent environmental certifications. From 2017 a Cradle to Cradle® certified cashmere merino yarn was used in the collection, described by Alison Baker as 'a revelation and a joy to work with.'
ALLY BEE uses an established knitwear manufacturer in the Scottish Borders - the heart of the renowned Scottish knitwear industry. The factory specialises in the highly skilled 'fully-fashioned' style of knit production and uses industrial manually operated hand-frame knitting machines. Production for some aspects of the collection are also sent to a small manufacturing unit England where a line of jumpers, accessories and luxury knitted blankets have been manufactured for the collection using the 'seamless' knit process.
COLD CLIMATE COLLECTION
The Ally Bee cold climate collection for 2019 continues with contemporary styles including the classic Ally Bee Alpaca & Wool fisherman's rib jumper, a sleeveless V-neck jumpers, scarves, hats and gloves, and a small range of homewares. Ally Bee Knitwear is available online at ally-bee.com and part of the collection is stocked at the Henri Store in Hackney in London.