Innovation That Matters

Knitted accessory collection made entirely by retirees


Luxury knitware company Wooln employs retired New York-based women to create each piece in its alpaca, cashmere and merino wool collections.

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The founders of Wooln wanted to help some of the amazing older women they knew find a way to re-enter the workforce. They did just that by setting up a company selling accessories that showcase the New York women’s fantastic knitting skills. Made from sustainable alpaca, cashmere and merino wool, each Wooln piece comes with a story. A tag attached to the item tells the customer who knitted it and some information about her life.

Each knitter was retired and is now earning money from a skill she enjoys practicing. Details about each knitter are on the Wooln website. So far, the Wooln collection consists of snoods, hats and headbands all available in different colors and mixes of wools. Prices range from USD 65 to 195, depending on the wools chosen. The Wooln team is open to expansion and encourages interested, New York-based knitters to get in touch.

Helping marginalized people find employment contributes to improved wellbeing for everyone. In Albuquerque, New Mexico, a nonprofit hires homeless people for a better than minimum wage rate to help improve the city’s public spaces. In Italy, prisoners learn about social media while incorporating the tech into products they make and sell. How could some of the most successful initiatives be linked for even broader benefits?



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