The Lowie Jumpigan
Back in 2002, colourful hand knitted pieces from Turkey were the inspiration for starting the brand and now we love to use colour and texture, together with the softest natural yarns to make our cosy jumpers. We like to think of our knits as a hug in a piece of clothing! The story of Lowie is woven into every piece of knitwear we make, especially our Jumpigans.
The Jumpigan is one of our most beloved and popular pieces. We’ve even trademarked the term Jumpigan - our first trademark - woop! Dual function, the Jumpigan can be worn as either a cardigan or a jumper. Its unique knitted triangle detail and soft cashmere make it absolutely irresistible.
When first designing the Jumpigan, we wanted a piece of knitwear that felt a little more modern. With a lot of our knitwear the styling is a somewhat traditional and knitted in classic shapes and patterns. The Jumpigan was originally designed as the Buttonback Jumper with a neck that was higher at the back. It had a knitted moss stitch triangle pattern across the body of the jumper and around the sleeve cuffs – a pattern we've used to inspire our new swing tags (more on that another time) and recycled tissue paper. Up the back of the jumper ran a column of buttons.
One day in our Herne Hill shop, one of our staff was wearing the jumper backward, with the buttons up the front like a cardigan. That’s when it hit us. Why not design this jumper with both functionalities in mind? And the Jumpigan was born.
We’re always thinking about sustainability and how we can be better. One thing we advocate is buying less and buying better, really considering functionality and longevity. The Jumpigan is a piece that helps us highlight that mindset.
For us, it partially comes down to cost per wear. Take for example a £15 synthetic jumper from a high street store. It’s not a garment that was made to last. Maybe you wear it once a week for 3 months and then it goes out of shape. That’s 12 wears, so it’ll cost £1.25 per wear. Now, take for instance one of our Jumpigans. Since we offer free repairs and our quality products in natural yarns are made to last, let’s give it a minimum life span of 10 years. If you wear it once a week for 10 years, that’s 520 wears over a lifespan. At £175 for the 100% recycled cashmere version, the cost per wear is £0.33. Making an investment in something of better quality will end up saving you money in the long run.
Buying pieces with longer life spans and dual functionality not only gets you a better cost per wear, but you’ll also be doing your part to reduce clothing waste and help the planet. And if you want to know more about how to best care for your knitwear, read about our handy hints here.
Last year we decided to move our Jumpigan production out of Mongolia and to Bulgaria, now using Italian yarns and all transported by road instead of air. We wanted to reduce the distance our products have to travel to try and reduce our eco-footprint so moving production to Europe felt like an obvious move towards becoming more sustainable.
This year are extra excited to have found a 100% cashmere recycled yarn coming from Italy. So how does recycled cashmere work? Great question. Our yarn is certified by the Textile Exchange which is a global non-profit organisation that sets and shares best practice standards in regards to recycling fabrics and fibres. The yarn is collected and sorted by fibre content, colour, and quality. Then the fibres are divided into smaller batches to prepare for dying and spinning. The smaller batches are dyed and respun into good as new yarn that is ready to use in knitwear.
As we're small, we don't make enough quantity of each colour to have ultimate choice over the shades available so the yarns have to be chosen from a shade card, essentially like a Dulux paint colour board but with less options. As you might know, we love bright colours here at Lowie however this shade card was a bit more conservative so we've gone for a test run of two of our favourite colours: a lovely forest green and classic black. If you guys like them (and buy them!), we'll extend our range of colours in the spring. If you really want a brighter colour jumpigan, we have still made a great selection in our 'standard' yarn of 30% cashmere and 70% lambswool blend.