Born out of a dream to make a difference. First Born is a luxurious, bespoke Australian knitwear label with a conscience.
Karolina Roze is the designer and creative mind behind First Born Knits. After graduating with honours from the Whitehouse Institue of Design Sydney in 2004, Karolina began working for various fashion houses in Australia. It was here that she started to doubt her career choice as she saw firsthand the unethical way fashion was produced, the poor wages involved and immense waste, especially in the fast fashion industry. In 2008 she decided she wanted to change her life path and took a sabbatical overseas. After travelling the world extensively, Karolina found what she was always dreaming of in South America. In Argentina and Peru she discovered the most luxurious and beautiful fibres and best hand craftsmanship in the world.
This inspired her to return to her design roots and create a bespoke line of hand knitted garments where she could personally control every aspect of the design and production processes and make sure that each element is sustainable and ethical. She now divides her time between cosmopolitan Buenos Aires - where the First Born Knits creations come to life - and Sydney, which she calls home. "Buenos Aires is the Paris of South America with inspiration around every corner" says Karolina. "It's a pleasure to live and work with so many local talendted artisans in an environment so rich in culture, colour and life. Bringing my creations to the rest of world is a dream."
Karolina's pieces have a story behind them - an energy, experience and preciousness which comes from the history of creating something by hand over a long period of time.
First Born Knits is about creating hand crafted clothing with luxurious comfort and directional style, without compromise. Fucsing on fair trade, Karolina and the label, support the talented local weavers, indigenous artists and people in the pre-Andean and Andean mountains of Peru and Argentina.
First Born represents an approach to the design, sourcing and manufacture of clothing which maximises benefits to people and communites, while minimising impact on the environment.
Celebrating and supporting traditional handmade practices from Peru and Argentina is one of First Born's foremost commitments. Pieces are crafted using artisan skills such as hand knitting, hand crocheting and embroidery, which preserve ancestral traditions and perpetuate the indigenous crafts and skills passed on through generations. The team truly believe that by re-integrating artisanal products into the global market they are able to offer better economic, personal and community development opportunities for women and marginalised groups, while expanding the audience for handcrafted ,special and unique pieces.
To produce a responsibly handmade product First Born choose each fibre with attention and care. They only use 100% natural fibres, organic cotton where possible, prioritize natural botanical dyes and aim to minimize waste and energy use throughout the design and production process.
All wool washing and spinning is done in a factory completely run by solar power.