Thursday, 10 November 2011

Stone Cold Gorgeous

I talk a lot on this blog about the way technology and the internet is transforming the marketplace, bringing small artisan communities closer to customers across the world. This is as true in Western Kerala as it is in West Wales, the home of Monkstone Knitwear.
Designer Anna Felton is working with her boyfriend, Richard Reed to create a new range of high quality woollen clothing and accessories on a lovely part of the Pembrokeshire coastline. Richard runs Trevayne, the family sheep farm, and has used the opportunity to develop sustainable methods of permaculture, enhancing biodiversity in the valley he and his flock call home.
Anna's designs are informed by the yarns she can get hold of each year, which include fleeces donated from local farmers. She's careful to credit the farmers who help her out with wool from Welsh Black Mountain, Coloured Dorset and Natural Dorset breeds, and Monkstone uses local shearers, spinners and hand knitters to help create the pieces. The clothes are beautifully textured and detailed, and the insistence by Anna and Richard of keeping their community at the forefront of what they do means that the garments have a real sense of place. Grounded and gorgeous, Monkstone Kniitwear shows that sometimes you don't have to stray far from home to find the best.
In fact, you don't have to shift your bum off the sofa. Everything Monkstone make is available in their online shop.
But if you do fancy seeing what else the region has to offer, they even have camping facilities. How about that for getting up close with your suppliers?

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