Wool and the Gang — Knitting for a Cause
Our new partnership with Wool and the Gang (WATG) is creating cozy opportunities to knit, crochet and purchase sustainable fashion that supports Every Mother Counts.
WATG offers kits for knitters of all levels, plus instruction, community events and gorgeous handmade sweaters, hats, scarves and baby clothes. 25% of every sale of their “Oh Baby Set” (kit or finished products) is being donated to EMC.
To further show their commitment to improving the lives of pregnant women around the world, co-founder, Jade Harwood and design director, Ben Schwab are also among Team EMC’s newest members. They joined us on the streets of New York City, yesterday to run the TCS New York City Marathon.
We got a chance to chat with Jade & Ben to learn more about WATG.
EMC: How did Wool and the Gang get started?
Jade: Seven years ago, my co-founder, Aurelie Popper, and I met at St. Martins Design School in London and it’s been a crazy, wooly adventure ever since. Back then, we couldn’t go into knitting shops and buy something hand-knit that we liked. Everything came in mushy pea colors and we never felt confident that we could actually make something beautiful. We were also passionate about sustainable design and upset with how the fashion industry was operating. As consumers, we had different values. As a company, we wanted to deliver products that reconnected people with their clothes. Once you’re part of the creation process, you value your clothes and where they come from more. Wool And The Gang isn’t just a fashion brand. It’s a fashion experience. It’s a knitting experience that’s accessible, fresh and fun. Our collection of five finished pieces are handmade by someone in our network of knitters. We also sell complete kits so you can create the same garments yourself.
EMC: What was the thinking behind your company name?
Jade: Wool and the Gang came out of a silly brainstorming session. Creating the best product names is part of our company culture. The wool we use is called, Crazy, Sexy Wool. You see the TLC reference there? We’ve got our Knit Jagger Jumper and our Beastly Boys Beanie. It’s just fun. Our wool is really chunky so you get instant gratification when you’re knitting. When I learned to knit, my Nan taught me with tiny needles and really thin yarn. It gave me a headache. When you work with chunky wool and big needles though, you get an instant fix and confidence that you can complete a project.
EMC: Ben, how are your knitting skills?
Ben: I’m learning. I’m impatient, so I like how our kits let me create a finished product quickly. I made a bag for my mom that I’m really proud of.
Jade: He finished it in a weekend and it was perfect.
EMC: How did you team up with EMC?
Jade: We were inspired by the cause from the start. We were originally based in New York and introduced to EMC through different contacts. Knitters are a kind, giving bunch by nature. Knitting baby clothes is iconic so designing a product for EMC was natural. People can create something for a new mom and participate in EMC’s mission at the same.
Ben: Knitting for a cause is kind of big right now.
EMC: You two are also running the marathon for Team EMC. That’s a big commitment.
Jade: I still think I’m crazy to be doing it. I’d been speaking with the team at EMC for a while and in a moment of pure adrenalin, I decided, “Yeah! I’m doing it!”
EMC: Any regrets or have you come to love training?
Jade: I’ve always been into running. The training has been very consuming, but it’s interesting how much you can progress over time. I think my biggest discovery is what a mental challenge it is.
EMC: What’s the one thing you want to do to improve maternal health?
Ben: I think it’s primarily to raise awareness. When we looked into the work
EMC does, we were surprised that maternal deaths are happening not only in Africa and India, but also in the US.
Jade:People are shocked by that.
EMC: Did you know the UK has much better maternal health outcomes than the US does?
Jade: Well I believe one of the reasons is because we have the National Health System.
Ben: In the UK, people take healthcare for granted. Our partnership with EMC has helped us bring that conversation to the table in our communities.
EMC: Thank you both for being part of Team EMC.
Click here to purchase an “Oh Baby” set or kit and 25% of your purchase will be donated to EMC. 100% of every donation goes directly to fund programs that improve maternal health and reduce maternal deaths around the world.