Neva is the founder of a small local business called NotYet, which offers handmade knitwear from Vienna, Austria. Here is her reply to five interview questions with the Fair Fashion Blog.
What was your initial idea for producing your own knitwear?
All the women in my family are talented in so many ways and I’m the least talented and most impatient one among them. I was around 5 years old when my grandma first taught me how to cast on and knit the basic garter stitch. I remember thinking that it was super complicated to follow, and that was the end of my learning attempt.
Years later, my enthusiasm for wool and knitting got triggered by many things spontaneously. I like to learn from people that I really admire. These can be people that I know or don’t know, it doesn’t matter. Knitting is great for passing on knowledge, because every knitter has their own stories and tips which makes it an endless learning path, a huge culture. Another trigger for me was the unavoidable need of slowing-down and my interest in creating a holistic approach to self-making and exploring natural materials. The whole process is quite slow. From the design and pattern making, to the yarn selection. One jumper takes a lot of time, sometimes weeks. I love how hand knitting is unique for each garment. A jumper pattern can come out completely different when knitted by different people. Although every piece is hand knitted by me, none of them are exactly the same. There are small differences in each one of them, which makes them unique.
How did you find the brand name “NotYet”? Does it stand for a special meaning?
Yes, actually it does. Not Yet implies the slowness of the whole process. I chose this name as a reminder to stay out of the constantly forced fast-living and self-destructive addiction of faster living.
Which materials do you use for your knitwear?
I mostly use sheep wool. But I also like to work with Cashmere, Mohair and Alpaca wool. I research so much about good quality natural fibers and their production processes. After I moved to Vienna, I spent months and a lot of money finding and sourcing the most amazing yarns for my handmade designs. For me it’s crucial to build a trust-relationship with the wool farms/producers and know their processes in which no human or animals were exploited.
You’re living in Vienna for two years now. Do you have a favorite sustainable fashion store?
I like Margaret & Hermione, they’re an upcycling brand, producing very beautiful swimwear and sportswear items from fish nets. Zerum is also one of the young-minded conscious fashion stores here in Vienna, they produce fair and sustainable garments. Shakkei is a very visionary sustainable fashion brand store where you can find good quality delicate fabrics of organic local production. Madaleine Alizadeh, owner of the “dariadaria” blog, recently founded a new mindful fashion brand dariadéh, with every order 50 cents is donated to charity.
Image source: © NotYet