How + Why
Quince & Co. was launched in 2010 by handknitting designer Pam Allen in partnership with a historic mill in Maine. Pam set out to delight and inspire knitters with materials of integrity and beauty.
Before starting Quince & Co., as Creative Director at a large handknitting yarn company, Pam found that the traditional way that yarn companies produce new yarns—going to trade shows and choosing from yarns designed by spinning mills—was unsatisfying and ultimately did not yield the yarns she desired. She wanted to work with mills to design yarns from the ground up. Pam was also frustrated by how difficult it was to have yarns made in the US, where there was once a venerable textile tradition.
Pam recruited fellow designer and yarnophile Carrie Bostick Hoge and, together with inventive and resourceful folks at spinning mills around the northeast, they created a line of classic, beautiful yarns from wool sourced and spun in the US. With those yarns they designed a line of modern knitting patterns for sweaters and accessories lovely in their simplicity, which echoed the “thoughtful essentials” nature of the yarn.
Since then, Quince has grown its offerings well beyond its core wool yarns and a few patterns, while maintaining the dedication to quality, history, and the modern, clean aesthetic that started it all.
What's Important to Us
Businesses do not exist in a vacuum. Every business is dependent on, and in turn is depended upon by the people, businesses and organizations around it. We think businesses can be good citizens—should be good citizens—without making too much of a fuss about it.
Humans are taking more than Earth can give, and we are wounding our small planet faster than it can heal. With nearly eight billion people trying to thrive here, we all need to consider how we can help. As a business with wide reach, though, we have an even greater responsibility—and opportunity—to positively impact our planet and its ecosystems.
We strive for stewardship up and down our yarn supply chain. We use responsibly farmed natural, renewable fibers, work with mills and dye houses that share our values, and minimize transit distances as much as we can. See more about our focus on sustainability in our yarn supply here.
The continuous flood of cheaply and often inhumanely produced clothing, often referred to as “fast fashion,” does little to support or sustain the communities around it. From those who labor to make the items to the customers, “fast fashion” is unsustainable and exploitative. Americans on average throw away 68 pounds of textiles each year, per person. That “garbage” took roughly 145 million tons of coal and more than 1.5 trillion gallons of water to make.
We are delighted to see an increase in ready-to-wear companies interested in slow fashion, clothing meant to be appreciated, worn and maintained for a long time. We think that the care and effort that goes into knitting your own garment is the ultimate cure to cheap, disposable clothing. The process of knitting strands of yarn into beautiful garments forms a connection with the clothing. We make it our own, and we make it to wear, cherish, mend, and last.
Diversity is inherent in the fabric of our community of makers. Through craft and by skill, we honor creativity and expression—these gifts of the human experience are universal and, for each and every one of us, our right to experience to the fullest. At Quince & Co. we believe that differences should be valued and celebrated. We are dedicated to ensuring an environment of inclusivity and equality for all customers, colleagues, and partners.
Quince & Co recognizes and honors that we are on indigenous land. In addition to the Abenaki, the broader place we now call Maine is home to the sovereign people of the Wabanaki Confederacy: the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, and Mi'kmaq peoples. We exist on their traditional, ancestral and unceded homelands. We respect the traditional values of these Tribes and affirm their inherent sovereignty in this territory. We support their efforts for land and water protection, and for cultural healing and recovery.