MiVT: Muriel’s of Vermont
GRAND ISLE, Vt. (WCAX) - Muriel’s of Vermont is a local company producing knitwear just as cozy as the state it comes from.
Vermont’s farm economy is something important to owner Laura Jacoby. Growing up, she tapped her own trees, and bought local eggs and raw milk.
“I grew up in Underhill and very much we grew up appreciating the agriculture in Vermont, even though my parents didn’t play an active role in it,” she said.
After years of living overseas, she came home to notice a decline in local agriculture.
“When I researched it, there are a lot of Vermont farms that they raise sheep for milk and meat and they didn’t have a good market for the fiber,” she said, describing barns full of unused wool.
Feeling inclined to help local farmers, but uninterested in getting into food products, she began exploring the unfamiliar territory of knitwear.
“But, you know what’s so nice about Vermont, is that everybody wants to help you,” she laughed.
She roped in her son, Cyrus Brooks.
“This seemed like a fun, exciting thing to do if I could help my mom out and make an impact on the Vermont economy, and the Vermont environment,” Brooks explained.
They purchased the machines they needed to make it happen and launched. The company is named after Laura’s mom, Muriel. They still use her old sewing machine to attach labels.
It’s been about three years since they got their start, but they continually expand their products, colors and styles.
Any cotton they use is organic and recycled. All of the yarn comes from local producers, and the colored yarns are dyed with plant dyes.
“We have wool that is like gray and brown and these are the color of the sheep, so they’re all-natural these colors,” Jacoby explained.
Brooks is in charge of the design and execution on their garment knitting machine. He says it was a learning curve, especially with no background in fashion. Now, he says he’s happy to have learned it.
Together, this duo is working to create sustainable, beautiful clothes while supporting local farmers in a way that doesn’t break the bank.
“We try to be as low impact as possible while producing a product that people want to wear,” Jacoby said.
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