travel made cozy with zady.

November 24, 2015

zady chunky knit | reading my tea leavesThis post is sponsored by Zady, standard-bearers for ethical fashion.

Tomorrow we pack our bags, shuffle our way to Penn Station, and board a train that’s going to have us choo-choo-chooing all the way across the state of New York to visit James’s family. 

The best thing about train travel is that barring unexpected delays or frozen tracks, you just keep going. Even if there’s a toddler who gets hungry. Or a parent who needs to take a breather with a cup of terrible hot chocolate in the dining car. Or a fifth diaper change. The train keeps moving, ever forward. 

Then there’s the romance. As happens before any cold-weather train ride that I take, I’ve got visions of sugar plums dancing in my head. As far as I’m concerned, Rochester is kind of like the North Pole, and the Empire Service might as well be called the Polar Express. No matter that we’re not even in December yet. I’ve got high hopes that we might see a snowflake or two.
zady chunky knit | reading my tea leavesThe train ride from the city is fairly long one: seven hours give or take. It’s a ride that necessitates a bit of settling in. A loosening of the shoelaces, a tying up of the ponytail, a fluffing of the jacket to serve as de facto pillow. It means toting books and games and various things for munching. Maybe most of all, and certainly for me, it’s a ride that demands the passengers to wear something cozy. So while I can’t bring myself to go full-on PDOP (public display of pajamas), I did plan on bringing along something I could snuggle into. 

And when Zady asked me to try their Chunky Knit sweater on for size, I knew just what that snuggly something would be. More of a cocoon than a sweater, the chunky knit exudes cozy in every oversized stitch. It seems made for snuggling up with in front of the fire, but it’s more than lovely enough to wear in public. Like everything in the Zady Essentials Collection, the chunky knit sweater takes transparency in manufacturing to a new level.zady chunky knit | reading my tea leavesI might be planning to take the Chunky Knit on a journey across New York, but Zady’s already sent the raw materials criss-crossing the country in search of the best folks in the business.

The brief biography of the Chunky Knit goes something like this: It was born of a collaboration between Zady and rancher, Jeanne Carver of Imperial Stock Ranch in Shaniko, Oregon. Shorn from sheep on the Carters’ sustainably managed ranch, the wool makes its way to Chargeurs Wool in Jamestown, South Carolina, where it is cleaned, carded, and combed. In the words of Zady, by working with Chargeurs, “they’re making sure that the wool isn’t getting clean by making everything else filthy.” Next stop, G.J. Littlewood & Sons in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There, the fifth-generation dye house uses reactive dyes that stay with the fiber instead of getting flushed into the water system. Once dyed, the wool heads to Kraemer Mills in Nazareth, Pennsylvania to get turned into yarn. Finally, all of that yarn goes to Commerce, California where the folks at Ball of Cotton turn it into the sweater you see here.

If it sounds labor-intensive, that’s because it is. Zady’s been working tirelessly to make sure that the clothes they produce pass their own rigorous tests and exceed industry standards as related to the environment, labor, and quality of goods. To learn more about Zady’s New Standard, head herezady sweaters | reading my tea leavesIf you’ve got other sweaterly needs this winter, the Essential Collection that Zady announced this fall has you covered there, too. There’s the classic .01 The Sweater which they released last year, the new .06 Lightweight Alpaca Sweater, complete with pocket and beautiful crew neck, and the ever practical (and still stylish) .07 Alpaca Cardigan.zady chunky knit | reading my tea leavesBest of all, you’re in luck: This week only, Zady is offering RTML readers a 20% discount with the code simple. The offer expires Sunday, November 29 at 11:59 pm EST.

This post was sponsored by Zady. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that support Reading My Tea Leaves.

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22 Comments

  • Reply Katie November 24, 2015 at 8:01 am

    I live in Rochester, and I can tell you it is snowing right now! Hope you enjoy your trip.

    • Reply Erin Boyle November 24, 2015 at 10:15 am

      YESSSSSS!

  • Reply Julia November 24, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Here, just outside of Syracuse, there are some flakes in the air now, so you might just see some snow this weekend. Safe travels and Happy Thanksgiving!

    • Reply Erin Boyle November 24, 2015 at 10:16 am

      Hooray! We’ll wave hello as we pass through town!

  • Reply Kris November 24, 2015 at 10:22 am

    Just curious if that adorable sweater is itchy at all?! Thanks

    • Reply Erin Boyle November 24, 2015 at 10:26 am

      Not in the slightest! Wool tolerance changes so much person to person, but this sweater isn’t itchy on me at all. (By contrast, I do feel the need to wear a light layer underneath the alpaca sweaters!)

  • Reply Roopali November 24, 2015 at 10:56 am

    Love the styles and thanks to Zady you for the discount. just picked up an oil that you had spoken about in an earlier post!

  • Reply Archana November 24, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Excellent company to work with. I love their activism and their blog. Do link their blog if you can. I think more people should be aware of the effect of our clothing on the planet.

    I see you slowly building up your wardrobe. Nice picks !

    • Reply Erin Boyle November 24, 2015 at 11:34 am

      Agreed. Such a great newsletter, too!

  • Reply Kristen November 24, 2015 at 11:42 am

    They have beautiful items. Safe travels and a Blessed Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  • Reply Jenna November 24, 2015 at 12:40 pm

    Ooooh, this is making me want to pull the trigger on buying their new Alpaca Cardigan! I was debating between that and one of Everlane’s chunky knit or cashmere options, so now I’m even more torn! I’ve just never worn alpaca before…is it soft??

    • Reply Erin Boyle November 24, 2015 at 12:53 pm

      It is soft, but I’d personally like to wear a shirt underneath it. Unless your style errs on the side of riské, with a cardigan you’d likely be doing that anyway;) Happy deciding!

  • Reply Leslie November 24, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Lovely sweater, can you also tell me where you bought your bag? Thanks!

    • Reply Erin Boyle November 24, 2015 at 3:32 pm

      I bought my bag from Portland, Oregon company, Beckel Canvas!

  • Reply Stacey November 25, 2015 at 6:55 am

    I’m from Rochester and so sad I’m not making the trek north for the holiday. Be sure to enjoy a hike on the Bird Song Trail in Mendon Ponds. The trails are beautiful with a dusting of snow. Safe travels. Also – I love the sweater – thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Sam-c December 1, 2015 at 12:23 am

    Maybe i misunderstood the post but the sweater (materials) travel across the county twice before it’s completed ? That doesn’t seem to be very sustainable. It is a pretty sweater though.

    • Reply Erin Boyle December 1, 2015 at 6:48 am

      Hi Sam, No, you understood! Fascinating isn’t it? With the exception of a person dedicated to making each step of a sweater on their own, this kind of hunt for the right factories to perform all of the necessary steps is always a part of the manufacturing process. And in fact, some of the movement of this pArticular sweater comes from a commitment to finding the best in the industry instead of compromising on environmental or labor fronts. Even though the footprint seems large, that all of that is happening within the same country is kind of incredible. But yes: there’s a lot of traveling. How awesome would it be if all of these steps could be supported in one place? It’s an issue that the sustainable food movement faces too! You can raise sustainable meat on one farm, for instance, but you might not have a sustainable processing plant anywhere near by! Complex and complicated for sure, but Zady seems to be taking their commitment to finding the best possible solution pretty seriously!

  • Reply Jessica December 15, 2015 at 5:59 pm

    I love your minimalist wardrobe posts, and you’re advice about ethical clothing sources- they’ve completely changed my outlook on my closet. I would love to buy sweaters and such from Zady, but since I’m a student, my wallet can’t stretch far enough to accommodate their prices. Do you know of a less expensive source for warm sweaters or other ethically-created clothes? I’ve been looking at Everlane’s products recently, but I’m not sure whether I should take the plunge and buy from them.

    • Reply Erin Boyle December 15, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      I really understand you on this point! One of the issues is that we’ve all gotten used to a system where the true cost of clothing isn’t reflected in the prices that we pay. And so clothing options that *are* more ethical are often also considerably more expensive. I think the only solution is to do our best. I wrote a little more about the topic in this post on affordability: https://readingmytealeaves.com/2015/04/growing-minimalist-wardrobe-affordability.html And a promise: I’m not holding out on you! If I knew of a more affordable alternative, I would help spread that word too!

    • Reply Erin Boyle December 15, 2015 at 8:36 pm

      I really understand you on this point! One of the issues is that we’ve all gotten used to a system where the true cost of clothing isn’t reflected in the prices that we pay. And so clothing options that *are* more ethical are often also considerably more expensive. I think the only solution is to do our best. I wrote a little more about the topic in this post on affordability: https://readingmytealeaves.com/2015/04/growing-minimalist-wardrobe-affordability.html And a promise: I’m not holding out on you! If I knew of a more affordable alternative, I would help spread that word too!

      • Reply Jessica December 16, 2015 at 1:41 pm

        Thank you! That makes a lot of sense!

        • Reply Mo July 12, 2016 at 8:39 am

          Jessica, my wardrobe was probably more sustainable when I was a student and bought almost all my clothes except for underwear second hand than it is now when I don’t have time and energy to scour my local second hand shops.

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