#SustainablistDesignVote: What Inspires Us?


It's a cardigan! And: the second #SustainablistDesignVote voting is now open!

EDIT: The second voting is now closed and we have a winner! 30.2 % of you voted for Photo 1, 32.6 % for Photo 2, 10.5 % for Photo 3, and 26.7 % for Photo 4, so the cardigan design will be based on the story behind Photo 2!

"What's the inspiration for this design?" has to be one of the most popular knitwear design related questions people ask me. And I totally get it, the stories behind the "things" in our lives is something I'm always interested in, too! Now what all Sustainablist designs (and everything else we do, for that matter) have in common is that they're inspired by the idea of a mindful, sustainable approach to everyday life as well as to our clothes. For me, this also means that I don't deliberately aim to follow trends when designing, though that being said, of course the time we live in and what we see around us on the street and online will probably always have some sort of influence. Many of our designs have another layer of meaning to them, some from personal stories, memories and bits and pieces of our own life, others from impulses I come accross. For me, often it's something visual; something I saw out in nature, on a photo or in the city. But inspiration can come in so many other ways, too, like from a poem or thought piece, a conversation I had with a loved one or a feeling I'd love to capture.

Whether it's a loose train of thought or something rather tangible, I always try to take down at least a few words, snap a quick photo or pin something onto my designated inspiration board on Pinterest so I don't end up searching for that one idea I really wanted to work on when I get to it. Whenever an inspiration sparks specific ideas for translating it into knitwear design deatils right away, I'll jot those down, too. There are tons of ideas floating around, that's for sure! So organizing them in a way that makes coming back to them at a later point easy has proven to be essential for me. Every so often, I will revisit my collection of inspirational words, thoughts and visualy and evaluate which ones of them I still want to work on, so I always have a curated selection on hand that gets me excited about designing rather than feeling overwhelming.

You decided on a cardigan for me to design for #SustainablistDesignVote, and for today's voting, I put together four options for the inspiration the design will be based on! I've tried to find photos and words that capture what inspired me lately – this proved to be less easy than I anticipated since it's a step of the process I usually don't necessarily verbalize or discuss with friends and family to seek advice on. Actually the fact that I often find it hard to put an idea or inspiration behing a design into words that really capture what I'm aiming to convey might contribute to me not sharing all that much about it in the first place, but I appreciate that you would love to hear more about this step of the process, and I'll try to share more about it from now on! I do hope the ideas I curated speak to you, and I can't wait to see which one you'd like to proceed with for our #SustainablistDesignVote cardigan! This week, you can win a copy of "In The Company Of Women", a book by Grace Bonney that I find oh so inspiring. Please find the four options below, and then vote for your favourite! Also if you have any inspiration related questions, just comment under this post and I'd be more than happy to answer them.

Illustration above by Camille Romano


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Photo by Alan Labisch through Unplash

Cosy cabins, bonfires, winter walks – there's probably no feeling that I aim to capture with our designs more often, and still this kind of scenery never ceases to inspire me! While I absolutely adore city life and can't really see us leaving Berlin, I'm also so in awe of nature and enjoy time away from the city buzz a lot, too. Translated into knitwear design, this photo makes me want to design what I like to call "a hug to wear" - the kind of cardigan that feels like time spent with a loved one and hugs you in all the right places, perfect to cuddle up in in front of a bonfire like this one.


Photo by Braden Jarvis through Unsplash

If you asked me to describe what New Year's Eve feels like to me, I couldn't find words to express it better than this photo does. The magic of the days between the end of the old year and the beginning of a new one always gets me. No matter how busy the winter gets, I'll make an effort to take those days off and enjoy some (usually much needed, after the December craze) quality time with loved ones, often somewhere in the mountains. There's just something about this feeling of time having stopped, all worries of everyday life far away. Translated into knitwear design, this scenery inspires me to think about that one very special sweater, wearable yet with a few details that make it stand out, carefully handmade without rushing, that you'll reach for when you just want to feel wonderful and that'll make you feel proud to be a maker.


Photo by Daniel von Appen through Unsplash

This year, I've probably taken more random city photos than ever, my phone is full of them! There's just something inspiring to see on basically every corner, often motivating me to get creative with colours and experiment with using them to capture geometric shapes. Translated into knitwear design, I see a variation of stripes or boxes (or maybe a combination?), either using colourwork or textures, in this photo.


Photo by Christine Makhlouf through Unsplash

Even if you don't like winter, you'll probably admit that there's something special about a new winter's first snow, right? Covering trees, making everything just a tad more calm and relaxed, detailed, flower-like close up and like giant, fluffy clouds from afar (can you tell that I love snow?). Translated into knitwear design, snow-covered trees and landscapes make me think of dainty stitches, maybe incoporating a tiny bit of winter-appropriate lace, calm allover patterning or subtle colour play.