‘Tis the season for a sustainable scarf. 10 Magazine contributor and visual artist, Rachel Rutt has put her pro knitting skills into action in a collaboration with sustainable knitwear label Wolfgang Scout. Known for her woven and knitted artworks, as well as her ongoing commitment to sustainability initiatives, Rachel has created three scarves using sustainably sourced merino wool yarn from Victorian farm Kia Ora, which is Responsible Wool Standard certified. Each scarf has been produced entirely by hand by Rachel in her special studio and is made to order. We spoke to Rachel all about the collaboration and being a conscious consumer:
10: Perfect timing for a scarf collab! How did this collaboration come about?
Rachel Rutt: “We seem to have have plenty of mutual friends who have told us at one point or another that we needed to connect. I think when that starts happening, you know it’s meant to be. In a way I think like-minded people are drawn together magnetically, and collaborating definitely feels like an extension of meeting on the same wavelength.”
10: You wrote in our current issue: “Craft is a time traveller, suspended between the modern and the ancient. Its language transcends common boundaries, connecting us to our shared history, our fragility.” How has the craft of knitting impacted your life? What does it bring to you?
RR: “Weaving and knitting have provided me with an excellent resource for self expression and inspiration, one that I can no longer see myself without. I love that these practices are highly innovative, mathematical, yet with a great potential for free form, and universally and modestly part of the everyday experience. This perspective was my entry into thinking about how things are made and the impact of our choices as consumers, without which, I would not be pursuing my current path.”
10: Where do you do most of your knitting?
RR: “I’ve been lucky to have a studio space now for the past six years, which has been a great addition to my life. I have a knitting machine, loom, and spinning wheel, amongst other tools, so having a dedicated space is really focusing, not to mention practical.”
10: How did you choose the colours for the scarves?
RR: “When meeting the incredible women behind Wolfgang Scout, I was immersed in a special hands on experience with some of the raw wool and the pieces of current collection. All the colours are particularly unique because they are hand dyed, and have a brightness which really drew me in. I couldn’t wait to see them mixed together, so a plaid for the scarves seemed an obvious choice. After some experimentation and deliberating with the team, the citrine and sky blue, being my favourite colours of the collection, found their way into each variation. They playfully accent the more subdued natural colours of the wool, the cream and the sand. For me, this reflects the ultimate goal of anything hand made or processed: refining and celebrating what is already found in nature.”
10: The yarn is made from merino wool – can you explain to our readers how the wool is sustainable and ethically sourced?
RR: “It’s grown by a wool growing family called Finnigan’s in Victoria under RWS (Responsible Wool Standards) meaning the process thoroughly looks after the land, people and animals. Then Wolfgang Scout takes care of the cleaning, spinning, and dying, free from harmful chemicals, which makes the yarn especially pure, soft and very close to it’s original state.”
10: How are you navigating a world where people are becoming more conscious of waste and hesitating to buy new pieces?
RR: “I feel like it is creating more opportunity for makers and artists like myself who are not having to prove as much the value of their time within their work, because it is being validated more readily by consumers who want a quality garment that they can love for years. Consumers are also able to see their investment immediately in a local and small business, which is one of the core aspects of building a circular economy. So this growing harmony is very encouraging.”
10: Do you have a favourite of the three scarves?
RR: “The navy. When it came off the loom it just had that balance, and it seems to match everything.”
10: Is there a soundtrack to this scarf collaboration…?
RR: “Batteaux’s self titled album.”
10: Please give us your best Rachel Rutt styling tip to wear the scarves!
RR: “You can never go wrong with a head wrap.”
10: What has been the best part of this collaboration?
RR: Playing with all of the delightful colours. I’m in awe of Marianne’s exquisite dying and so fascinated by what dye can achieve.
by Roxy Lola
The Wolfgang Scout x Rachel Rutt collaboration is available this week.