Introducing a brand we love: Navygrey.
This month, we are celebrating self-care with one of our favourite like-minded sustainable brands: Navygrey.
Navygrey is a sustainable knitwear brand celebrated for creating luxury products crafted entirely from 100% natural and traceable wools. Prioritising sustainability, the team behind the brand create quality, timeless designs that have real purpose in your wardrobe and will stand the test of time.
In this blog, we meet Rachel Carvell-Spedding, who founded Navygrey. The brand was born as Rachel longed to recreate the feeling of warmth and comfort as you pull on your favourite jumper, after 20 years of trying to find a jumper as comforting as her mums. Rachel wanted to create luxury knitwear, hand crafted with the purest of wool and a process that doesn’t harm the planet.
Remember the feeling? That sensation you get when you pull on your favourite jumper? The warmth. The comfort. Like you’ve come back home and everything’s going to be all right. It was that feeling.
The funny thing is – the favourite jumper wasn’t even mine. It was my mum’s. A navy lambswool with a round neck. A classic. I spent the 20 years trying to find a jumper that felt that good. I couldn’t. Not new. Not vintage. Not anywhere. But I wanted that feeling again. Which is why I decided to recreate it.
And so, inspired by the jumpers we’ve loved throughout our lives, we make things that make you feel good, look good, and allow you to do good. Natural, traceable, increasingly regenerative – crafted by the best people.
Navygrey is about taking the time to create things that bring that feeling of home, and of comfort back.
Every time you create something, you have an impact – which will, on the whole, involve taking something from the environment. We’ve been applying the rules that nature’s resources are infinite – and rewarding businesses when they scale – deeming that ‘true’ success. But nature doesn’t scale indefinitely. Nature creates its own model that is inherently sustainable and regenerative. Yet we’ve designed our business systems to treat nature as a resource we could exploit without consequence. There is no such thing as sustainable production without a sustainable landscape.
To me personally and as a brand, we need to look to create a model whereby we create value for the landscape and not extract value from it – and all businesses, whether they’re big or small – need to work together to create the solutions. We can still create beautiful products for people to buy, love and cherish – we can still create innovative products – but that needs to be driven from the landscape. And if we do that, we will create less things. But they, and our environment, will be better for it.
We start with three principles – the fibre, the purpose and the woman. 100% natural and traceable wools – that’s a given. But can it be even better, more local, more regenerative? Then it’s the purpose – everything we create has to have a real place in your wardrobe. We’re not designing and creating things for the sake of it. We’re on an eternal quest for those pieces that you’ll turn to year after year. Trusty companions that bring joy. We look through old family photographs and archive imagery – taking inspiration from those pieces that we just wished we had in our wardrobes today. And then of course, above all there is the Navygrey woman – our customer. Confident, resilient – forging her own path. She is focused. A problem solver. Pragmatic, practical and highly motivated. Craving effortless, she does not dwell, she gets on with it. And the clothes she wears have to fit in with her life. Once we’ve worked through these three core pillars, then the design and the making can really begin.
Overproduction. The whole industry is set up to support high-levels of production at the lowest possible price. Long term, that isn’t sustainable environmentally, not to mention how difficult it is for smaller producers and makers to be valued. But progress is being made.
Accept that it’s OK to not be 100% perfect, no one is and just start breaking it down. Focus on a few things. Say, perhaps that when buying cotton - be it a t shirt or a makeup removal pad, that you always make sure it’s made organically. It will be more expensive, but not horrendously so. A small move like that can make a big difference. It’s the same with wool - shopping from a brand where they tell you where the wool is from is a big first step - if a brand is giving detailed information about the source of origin - the farms, the mills, the countries where things are made - that’s important.
The RELAXED in Navy. It’s where our journey began, inspired by a 20-year-old navy jumper, recreated for today. A gorgeous and flattering mid-weight knit that works all year round, year after year. And it’s made in the UK from 100% Scottish-spun certified Lamb’s wool.
I have been using Dr. Hauschka products for over 15 years. A good nutritionist friend recommended the brand and I quickly fell in love! Simplicity that just works.
My favourites are:
-Rose Day Cream
-and I love the new Cleansing Balm!
Goodness - I feel very lucky that there are too many to choose. There are certainly stand out moments like seeing some people on holiday in Cornwall wearing their Navygrey jumpers after we had just launched. The sheer thrill I feel when I see someone wear a Navygrey jumper never tires.
Then there was the way our customers rallied around and raised over £10,000 in 10 minutes for the Red Cross as part of a sample sale. Making our first jumpers within a 200 mile radius from sheep to finished piece here in the UK.
We’re really excited to be increasing the amount of work we’re doing with British farmers and their wool. British wool has been neglected and undervalued for so long - so to be looking at creating new products and potentially bringing new fibres to market is an innovation that we can’t wait to make happen.
If you are looking to update your wardrobe with a timeless, ethical piece that will see you through a lifetime, we recommend browsing Navygrey’s ethically produced offering.