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February 2017

Home / 2017 / February

We are four friends, two pairs of siblings. Today, we are based in different European countries but we are sharing the same roots. Our aim is to gather our diverse know-how in order to shape a new player in the knitting industry: a brand new project, a fresh entity to which everyone of us cooperates personally with interest, passion and dedication in order to reach the final aim.

We are born to revolutionise the knitting industry.

Preserving the tradition of the Italian yarn-makers and combining it with our innovate platform – our mission is to bring a positive and bold change to the textile sector.

To be more precise, U/Knit is the continuation of a journey among the textile world started decades ago in the North-West of Italy which is known for its textiles and wool companies worldwide. U/Knit is a digital platform that enables the yarn-makers to meet their customers all over the world in few simple passages, providing the best quality of yarns to create unique pieces of knitwear.

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U/Knit comes from a wordplay with its homophone word unit, which again comes from unity and represents the concurrence of the idea of four friends or two families, now and for the first time combined in a brand new entity.
In addition, U/Knit refers to knit and knitting which is the main focus of U/Knit – yarns.
The U/Knit work environment is open, collaborative and family oriented.

“We are the third generation of a company in the textile industry, tells Alessandro, co-founder of U/Knit where he is known for taking the lead. “We are proud of our roots and we believe in the potentiality of our territory. However, we are convinced that the textile industry in our hometown particularly, needs some support to stay on track; it needs to be renovated”, he continues. Owning a triple degree in Management, Strategy and Corporate Finance, he started his career covering both strategic and M&A positions for international companies both in London and Paris, collecting a number of experiences in the field that lead him to acquire the knowledge he needs to develop his company.

U/Knit is the online destination for the finest yarns.

“We built our unique selling proposition by combining traditions and expertise with an innovative approach”, explains Alessandro. “We are committed to revolutionise the knitting world, he continues, “by bringing innovation in every phase of the value chain: from the production of natural fibres towards the shopping experience”.

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If we focus on the latest trends in fashion, it is easy to see that in the last three years the knitting industry has increased its value and famous brands such as Zara, Cos, And Other Stories among others, have been including more and more knitwear garments into their collections. While evaluating the development of the knitting trends over the last years, Carola says, “I have always liked art and craft as well as DIY (Do it yourself) and I have gradually learnt to knit by chance. Suddenly, I discovered I enjoyed it. Most of the times we take for granted the fact that in a crafting environment you can become expert through your own experiences. this sentence is unclear to me You don’t always know where you’re going, but you try until something actually works and hence involves learning by doing. Crafting in a social context creates natural opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, and this aspect is one of those that I love most about knitting. It’s quite unusual to see young people knitting, – unfortunately – at least in Italy, but I personally like it, it makes me happy”. After a Master degree in Finance, and a number of experiences between London and Milan, she dedicated herself to lead the product and business management, finally combining her two passions.

In a world of continuous changes, rapidity and hyperactivity, we love making things slowly and gently, relearning to gain pleasure through doing it with love for those we love. “We select the finest yarns with the aim of bringing the best quality to our clients’ hands”, states Marta. “We look for perfection in every step of the way, from the careful selection of our suppliers to the collection of the finest yarns for our clients all around the world”. After graduating in international languages and cultures, Marta decided to follow her love for contemporary art and photography, making her way gradually into the art gallery field. By taking care of luxurious limited edition products, she learnt to pay attention to detail in order to obtain supreme quality items that are made carefully and tending to excellence. At U/Knit she shares the same philosophy and considers each and every yarn as an artwork made to create unique pieces of knitwear. As an art curator, she gives meaning to the stories of artisans and manufacturers in order to discover the art of their traditions and the tricks of the trade. Marta is quite determined to defend their commitment: “We provide fine quality yarns for fine quality tastes, through an exclusive shopping experience with curated editorial content and attention to detail”.

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“One of the biggest challenges we have to face”, tells Sofia, creative director at U/Knit, “is to redefine the traditional image of ‘our grandmothers knitting beside the fireplace’ that comes to everybody’s mind when thinking about knitting. To be honest, I still have this association as well and I do love to think back at it. When I was a child, I spent hours seeing my grandmother knitting at the window, all seasons of the year, from winter to summer, and whispering to herself to keep the number of stitches she was knitting. This memory is like a therapy for me, it helps me to relax and breath in the most chaotic days, those ones I spend working and running around, nearly losing focus of my life. I miss her, and her gentle touch. I miss the soft sweaters and socks she made for us, and I’m pretty sure she would have loved our new business”. After her degree in Fashion Design, with a focus on knitwear, she kicked her career off with interesting experiences for famous international brands, such as Max Mara in Italy and Inditex in Spain deepening her practices in the fashion field. Now, she is determined to alter the vintage image that one has in mind while thinking about knitwear and to breath fresh life into the knitting world. She is now based in Barcelona, the hometown of a number of independent designers and creative minds, full of ideas but struggling to bring them to life because of the minimum quantity that suppliers demand from them. On the contrary, U/Knit Lab is happy to support them and is ready to listen to their needs for the purpose of  seeing their projects coming to life.

“Dealing with old style procedures and ways of thinking is again a quite difficult challenge”, Alessandro adds, “most of the time, people we talk to are hard to persuade, not too keen on changing  their traditional processes and way of thinking; it is therefore hard for them to trust us and believe in the new opportunities that we are offering. This project is quite an ambitious one, but we are fully prepared to take up this challenge.

“We believe in traditions, in things made with love, to those we love. We are the online destination for all people caring about fine knitting and fineyarns. We create new traditions”.