KnitLab North is the brainchild of Jo Lennon and Jo Storie, and it is the first knitwear prototyping facility in the region.

North East knitwear design firm launches studio with crowdfunder support

Two north east entrepreneurs have launched a design and prototyping studio for aspiring knitwear brands.

KnitLab North is the brainchild of Jo Lennon and Jo Storie, and it is the first knitwear prototyping facility in the region. The duo aims to support clients bring their products to market.

KnitLab North has recently opened office premises at B. Village in Cramlington in the hope of promoting responsible and sustainable manufacturing to anyone who designs and creates knitwear in Britain. KnitLab’s crowdfunder, which runs until 24 December, will help to expand its prototyping and manufacturing capacity.

Jo Lennon said: “We want to nurture and foster anyone looking to build a knitwear business whilst championing British design with a specific focus on promoting sustainable and quality yarn.”

She continued: “We can offer support in a number of ways from design consultancy through to brand building or a fully integrated service guiding a client from conception and design through to launch.”

Jo Storie, who has over 25 years of experience as a knitwear designer in New York and the UK, said: “The British knitwear industry has a steady supply of designers and manufacturers, yet our most talented designers look to manufacture offshore as it is often easier and cheaper to develop and experiment outside of the UK.”

She continued: “We want to keep that talent at home and cater for their needs with design focused development, small batch production and a practical approach to brand marketing.”

Jo Storie added: “We’re looking to partner with larger manufacturers as support brands that are ready to grow having had a chance to road test their products reducing the risk and headache for them.

“Joining with British yarn mills and manufacturers resonates with our core values of keeping things local and sustainable.”

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