We’re so on trend right now.

Has anyone else noticed the incredible amount of varied crochet designs there are on the Highstreet this season? Well, I have, and it’s ruddy brilliant that crochet is FINALLY being seen as the stylish and versatile craft that it is – and seems to have lost the gross granny rep that we, as Frank&Olive, have tried so so hard to shake off.

I’m not gonna lie, some of the stuff available right now is really cool, and I’d totally rock it BUT it’s such a disastrous shame that they are literally all made out of the yuckiest yarn known to man. As a designer, and absolute yarn addict, it frustrates me no end thinking “Gah, imagine if that was made using Debbie Bliss Paloma…” . But let’s get real. There’s no way in hell that these massive companies mass produce these garments, using quality yarns, and give their makers the wage and recognition that they deserve. I mean, an entirely crocheted, multicoloured dress for £9.99? I wouldn’t even be able to source enough yarn to make the thing for that money.

I’m so chuffed to see that crochet is now cool, because I’ve already known that for some time now, and of course, it’s going to help our brand and our designs reach the mainstream fashion market evenually….I just hope this doesn’t mean the end of Indie designers being able to sell their handcrafted work. It’s important that people understand that this type of crochet can’t be produced on, or by, a machine and that it simply HAS to be made by hand. If you’re paying a tenner for an entirely handmade item, do you really, honestly, believe that you’re doing the right thing by saving a few quid? Support indie designers! And I’m not just talking about crochet – seen something awesome in a Highstreet store? Somebody, somewhere will be handcrafting something similar, but with oh so much more love, sweat and care. Why not commission an incredible, handmade design from a small business that is, not only truly unique, but also made using luxurious, quality materials. Sure, it may be twice the amount (or more), but so what? We all need to look after eachother.

Ok, sorry, I’ve gone off on one a bit. I’m not trying to guilt trip anyone (I too occasionally shop in Primark…) I’m just trying to air my frustrations and my worries. What I’m trying to say is this:

Yay for crochet. Nay to unfair pay.

3 thoughts on “We’re so on trend right now.

  1. I couldn’t agree more, be it crochet or sewing cheap clothes are generally made by cheap labour. We are not realistic about the price we should pay for hand crafted goods. That said, some independent makers employ others to make some of their garments and pay then a tiny amount, way below minimum wage. For example earning 10% of a jumper which is sold for £100 means that the actual maker would be paid very little per hour. It serves us all well to think about how what we buy is made.

    1. Agreed. I can’t help but sense that this comment is aimed directly at me, which I can appreciate as you perhaps don’t know the full story. Anyway, despite the fact that our contributors simply wanted to help, LOVED to crochet, receive free patterns and were more than happy with the commission rates, Kimberley and I had felt uncomfortable about the set up from the start. We no longer have any help, and haven’t done for quite some time, because we just couldn’t accept the help of these wonderful people without being able to repay them in a way that we felt was appropriate and a true reflection of their amazing work. We are still brilliant friends with our helpers and although we still get inundated with offers and asked if we’ll have them back, we just can’t do it because we know they deserve so much more recognition than we could ever realistically give (as much as we desperately want to). If it wasn’t for the help of our fantastic crocheters over that period of time, Frank&Olive would have been no more – and for that, as they know, I’m eternally humbled and grateful.

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