A fledgling startup specializing in knitwear is now expanding from custom orders and art fairs into a full Fall 2012 product line. What had been Myrrhia Resneck's one-woman operation at the 25th Street Collective and local business incubator in Oakland, Myrrhia Fine Knitwear has grown to supply wholesalers as demand spreads, so far mainly by word-of-mouth.
Aesthetics aside, the use of locally-sourced Merino wool and the rejection of the cut-and-sew technique yields virtually no waste, and the brand maintains a commitment to fair trade in every step of the production line. While more labor intensive—and expensive—the thoughtful process reinforces Myrrhia's dedication to ecological practices and social responsibility. “A huge percentage of our landfills are fabric as well as the chemical pollution in our waterways from fabric dying processes,” says Resneck. “The carbon footprint of the apparel industry is significant.”
The 32-year-old entrepreneur from Santa Cruz, California abandoned a lucrative legal career to focus full-time on creating her own line of knitwear, drawing inspiration from creating pieces that emphasize individuality. "People's form of expression is too often in what they buy and there are often limited options: Whether it's the blue one or the black one on the rack," she says. "I'd like to help foster self-expression and individuality if I can. And the products I make are trying to show the dynamic energy in each person."
Her pieces continue to gain popularity. Aside from selling direct at Oakland's monthly Art Murmur street exhibition she also sells internationally from her online store with a customer base already established across North America, Britain and Scandinavia.