Januarys Yarn Store of the Month is Ecoknitting of Haslev, Denmark. Ecoknitting has been a retailer of HiyaHiya Europe since 2017, bringing the knitters of Denmark our products for the last 4 years. We had a chat with Maria Jensen and Shanice Abalos.
What was the inspiration for opening Ecoknitting?
Ecoknitting was to change the world, no less. We wanted to bring attention to the way that yarn is produced from the raw material through to the dyeing process. Our goal is to provide people with a shop where they can buy yarn without having to worry about how the plants are harvested, the animals are fed and treated, how the dyeing is done and if the product is full of plastic and chemicals. This means that our yarn consists of natural fibers, is organic and we know where the raw materials come from and how they are processed (and where).
How popular is knitting/crocheting in the Haslev (Denmark) area?
Knitting and crocheting are immensely popular today – not only in Haslev but in all of Denmark. When we started 5-6 years ago, knitting and crocheting were shifting from being something that only interested the older generation to covering all generations. We saw a lot of young and upcoming designers creating absolutely stunning patterns and fortunately this trend continues today. No doubt, the corona situation has added to the interest in knitting and crocheting, and many have also discovered that working with your hands eases tension and stress.
Since opening, how far has the business developed?
We are in the process of publishing our own brand of pure organic merino wool, which is a dream come true for us. This will be published during December and was one of our biggest ambitions, to begin with. We are not a big company, but we are proud that we have managed to stick to our values, keep focus on knowing all about our products and deliver quality yarn that we can vouch for.
What is the secret to your success?
We have a small selection of carefully chosen products of high quality and we pride ourselves on first-class customer service. If you are looking for something very specific, we always help and we handle specific requests from customers personally to make sure they get what they need.
How has HiyaHiya helped your business to flourish?
Stocking knitting needles quickly becomes a necessity when you have a webshop for knitting and crocheting, and there are a lot of products on the market. As with our yarn, we had some very specific requirements for needles – the first very specific one being no nickel whatsoever. Even though most producers claim that there is no nickel in their products, we often found – when testing – that there was actually nickel in the product – especially in bamboo/wooden needles, where the fix to the wire is made of metal. HiyaHiya turned out to deliver 100% on this specific requirement, and we could find absolutely no traces of nickel – neither in Sharp nor in Bamboo. Especially stocking the Sharp collection turned out to be a very good idea indeed, as they are understandably immensely popular and once a knitter (including ourselves) has started using them, there is no going back to anything else.
What do you love most about your line of work?
We love chatting with our customers – helping them find the best yarn for an upcoming project or assisting when they are stuck with a pattern. Or when someone calls us because they need a present for a friend or a relative in 2 days, and they found our site, and can we help?
What trends do you see happening in the craft industry in the future?
The focus on animal welfare and the origin of raw materials are the main trends right now and we believe that they will expand in the future.
We also see a focus on how the product is manufactured and that there is a stronger commitment in the craft industry to adhere to the 17 UN goals. And we hope that the consumers will persist to focus on that as well.
What are your plans for Ecoknitting in the future?
We will shortly release our very own brand of yarn and we have just acquired a series of patterns for baby blankets and shawls that we will be promoting in 2022. To keep up to date with EcoKnitting follow them on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/ecok... or head over to their webpage https://www.ecoknitting.dk/