Baby It’s Warm Under Here

By Jo Phillips

It may be cold outside right now but there are some good solutions to keeping warm in these rather frosty times.

Starting with cashmere, this natural yarn is actually hollow. This makes it keep you warm in winter and (if a fine gauge) cool in summer, making it a bit of a miracle wool.

So whilst we pile up on our layers, preferably the softest of yarns, and keep warm in the coldest months, can we at the same time help others around this small world of ours? Especially at this time of year, the idea of helping others as we help ourselves is just more and more appealing.

Step up cashmere brand Duffy NYC a global knitwear brand that uses luxurious cashmere yarns and premium yarn blends to create one-of-a-kind pieces of the highest quality. At the same time, this quality brand supports the charity One Sky. Every garment sold helps to transform the lives of some of the world’s most disadvantaged children and facilitates positive changes in their communities.

Founded in 2009 and named after the owner, the charity has created teams all around the world, including NYC and China. Now as we know cashmere (if it is proper quality cashmere) comes from the Mongolian cashmere goats. A goat can be brushed up to 10 times in order to get the fleece from it. However, it is usually not until the third brush that the softest yarn can be combed. The first few brushes are about taking out the corse hairs and by usually the third brushing the softest of the threads can be taken.

The brand, it’s good to know, work with yarn suppliers that are hands-on in training their goat herders, helping them with best practice on how to raise and comb their goats with care, making sure they are never harmed in any manner. They are also taught sustainable farming practices that support the well-being of animals and promote the regeneration of grasslands while helping protect the earth’s natural resources. For example, the herds are moved around to ensure they always have fresh grass to graze on.

As well as ethically sourcing their yarns, they also use only non-toxic dyes and they design their packaging, that reaches the end consumer, to be bio-degradable.

Also, and maybe equally important, they have partnered with one of the first mills in China to introduce recycled cashmere yarns to the market, which has been a significant step. This has been done via their full use of all wastage accrued during the yarn spinning and production processes as well as utilising recycled products in the market. This practice produces tons of certified, high-quality grade, recycled yarns annually.

So yes, the brand has a clear green footprint and is committed to search for new paths to sustainability, believing that it’s all of our duty to be in the forefront of this critical movement to protect the planet for future generations.

As for giving back on top of all of this, they partner with the charity One Sky. This charity trains communities and caregivers on how to unlock the potential in our world’s most vulnerable young children. They began by creating Infant Nurture Centers and Preschools for orphaned children in China. As they expanded from two government welfare institutions to 20, then more than 50, it became clear that, even though their centers were flourishing, it was not the way to reach all the children who needed help. China is just too big. Now the company works across China, Vietnam and Mongolia. So any purchase from Duffy supports a child in need.

As well as creating items from this luxury yarn, they also do pieces in Merino wool and now Yak has been added to the collection. One real signature of the brand is detailing, the little extra design features that give another layer of luxury to the brand. They also talk of inspiration taken from ‘art, urban landscapes, and cultural references’. Look out for ribbing detail, slouchy pieces, waffle stitch, reversible coats that are beyond luxurious, as well as key accessories like beanie hats, fingerless gloves, wraps and scarves.

Look out for clever design features, soft colour palettes, detailing and elegant luxurious textures. Whilst knowing that you are contributing to a company with good ethics and green values (which they will keep on building on) and at the same time helping a child in need through One Sky. A beautiful engagement for all.

The DUFFY collection is available from Selfridges London selfridges. com, Harvey Nichols The range can also be found in independent boutiques across the UK including Trilogy and Katherine Draisey.

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