019 Sweater Shop launches new online store
18th October 2012, Thurmaston
Innovative fashion knitwear brand 019 Sweater Shop has launched a new online store to complement its popular Sheffield and Leicester retail outlets, giving the company not just a national, but a global presence and enabling its rapidly growing band of customers to browse and shop 24 hours a day, online.
"We're a company that's all about style and we've worked hard to ensure that the new website reflects this fact, as well as being fast and easy for our customers to use,” says operations director Ben de Zille Butler.
As the trend for production to return to the UK grows, 019 Sweater Shop has rapidly built a reputation for its elegant, completely seamless knitted garments, all of which are created in the company's Leicester factory, using Shima Seiki Wholegarment technology.
"Traditionally, knitwear has been produced in separate pieces - for example, the two arms and the body section of a sweater - which have then been seamed together," says Ben de Zille. "But with the astonishing versatility that Wholegarment technology now offers us, we can knit highly creative garments in one piece, with no seams whatsoever."
"This revolutionary technique has brought many advantages to us and most importantly, to our customers," Ben continues. "019 Sweater Shop one-piece garments have a much smoother overall appearance than can be achieved using conventional production methods. With no lumpy seams to protrude or interrupt the overall flow of the design, or to interfere with the natural elasticity of the garment, our customers can enjoy vastly superior stretch and much better fit."
According to Ben de Zille Butler, Wholegarment technology also offers a raft of opportunities to 019 Sweater Shop's design team, a fact, he says, is clearly evident in the distinctive collection of seamless knitwear on sale in the company's stores and now the new website.
"Having eliminated the limiting need to seam everything," explains development director Alan Hodges, "design-critical details such as patterns can be totally uninterrupted right around the wearer's body, from front to back, over the shoulders and down the sleeves. By using 3D shaping, our Leicester factory can reproduce our design team's concepts exactly as they envisage them without all the weight and bulk associated with double-knits. It's a designers dream come true."
The company says that in addition to all of these creative advantages, Wholegarment technology is also hyper-efficient in terms of the resources it requires - or rather, does not require - to make each garment. Production costs and wastage are absolutely minimised, resulting in savings that 019 Sweater Shop says it is pleased to pass on to customers, with prices kept competitively low.
The original Sweater Shop was founded by Brian de Zille, who created the nationally popular brand. He sold that business at its peak, in 1995. "The new 019 Sweater Shop brings back the quality, variety and outstanding value we became so famous for all those years ago," he says," but in a way that very much answer's today's knitwear needs with the latest technology."
"Between us," says 019 Sweater Shop Development Director, Alan Hodges, "we have over 100 years of knitting experience to draw upon. But above all, it's the fact that we have embraced and are actively using Wholegarment technology that means we can bring our customers knitwear that suits their tastes and their budget so well."
In addition to seamless knitwear, 019 Sweater Shop also has a range of traditionally produced printed t-shirts and sweatshirts. And although most of the company’s knitwear is totally seamless there are still a few styles that have to be made traditionally such as the traditional ‘Fair Isle’ and ‘Aztec’ pattern sweaters.
"But we're already developing Wholegarment technology to enable us to produce all these items seamlessly as well," says Ben de Zille Butler, "and it shouldn't be long until they are in our shops and online store, too. In addition, we're developing a mail order business. So, 019 Sweater Shop knitwear will be available through every purchasing channel our customers love to use."
The company's new website is live now at www.019sweatershop.com
Author: Billy Hunter