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When we say heirloom quality, we mean it. After experiencing first-hand the sentiment of receiving a passed-down, treasured sweater from a grandmother, we set out to bring life-long quality back to cashmere so that others could do the same. We searched relentlessly for only the best materials and makers to bring our heirlooms to life. Our sweaters are made to be loved well, and worn by those you love for generations – it’s just about the slowest form of fashion you can find.
We know that luxury quality comes down to the details, so when it comes to our cashmere, we only use the greatest from our goat friends. Our ISO 14001 Certified yarn is spun in Italy by Cariaggi, one of the most widely renowned cashmere producers with the highest standards in the industry for quality, sustainability, and transparency. Their yarn is ethically made, powered entirely by renewable energy, and is 100% traceable to its source. Plus, they’re pro recyclers – their water gets cleaned and reused after the dying process, and all leftover fiber waste is made into new yarn. While making our yarn, Cariaggi only uses fibers that are 38-42mm in length (the average for others is 32). Why? Longer fibers = less pilling = sweaters that only get softer with time.
Why cashmere? In short, it’s nice to the earth, super soft, and lasts a really long time. As a natural fiber, cashmere is cozy but breathable, making it easy to rewear throughout the year. Plus, it’s wrinkle-resistant (see ya steamers), and is a sustainable option for the earth thanks to our responsible sourcing. Cashmere keeps it au naturale, being 100% biodegradable when it finally says bye. In contrast, synthetic fibers take 70x longer to biodegrade, and release hundreds of thousands of micro-plastic fibers into the ocean each time they’re washed. Our goats are traditionally herded to maintain their wild lifestyle, and just get an annual cashmere combing during their natural shedding cycle. This is the best sourcing practice, as shearing can leave the goats vulnerable to harsh weather (brr).
Our sweaters become sweaters thanks to Johnstons of Elgin, a family-owned factory in Scotland. For over 200 years they have created luxury pieces with a great emphasis on honoring and upholding traditional craftsmanship. Based in the charming town of Hawick, they’re the largest employer in their community, craft garments for some of the most prominent fashion houses in the world, and are known for their socially responsible practices. A few of these include water recycling technology (sans pollution), organic dyes, fair wages, and preparing all Frances Austen goods in 100% recycled packaging.
Did you know you that Frances Austen will repair your sweater if it gets a hole? We design our sweaters to be worn forever, and don’t want a little extra wear to get in the way of that. If in time your sweater gets a hole smaller than a quarter, we will gladly send it to Scotland for you to be repaired within about 6-10 weeks. To coordinate this process with us, please reach out to email@example.com.