Designer Karelle Levy always had body issues since she was a little girl. Shopping was an issue because of her curves. She grew this struggle into a love of making fabric and engineered a knit technique making each piece tubular so that the fabric can hug all the curves as they are.
Knowing the amount of waste fashion produces, she uses sustainable techniques and yarns and exclusive techniques to produce her zero-waste, body inclusive brand, making full-fashion clothes that have no pattern cut waste and only minimal sewing.
Each piece is individually knit on our Shima Seiki industrial knitting machine in our shop in Miami, FL. After 20 years in the business with her first brand KRELwear, production has always been an issue. As a small business it was hard to meet the demand of the factories while keeping with a small batch orders. Many times the factories would produce incorrectly or they would run super late and she would have boutiques cancel. Now with her own "factory" she has full control of her production time as long as the yarn is in stock.
Living in Miami as a knitwear designer is both an oxymoron and a gift. Because of our hot nature, we focus on plant-based and synthetic fibers to create unique breathable fabrics. Our ever so sexy city allow for use to wear body hugging clothes with minimal coverage. Breathable, sexy and chic is what we strive for.
Due to my Scandinavian influence, sustainable practices have always been central to the brand’s mission and my artistic and design process. The majority of artworks are made with recycled materials including yarn remnants and fabric scraps. Prototypes, samples, and other pieces are sold separately or, if not viable as a garment, repurposed into shopping bags, totes, toys, or even art pieces. Even yarn cuttings from our process are reused as stuffing for the toys we occasionally make. Yarn cones are donated to local artists and schools for special projects. Even the shipping materials are reused for outgoing shipments. The weekly industrial waste fits into a tiny trash container the size of a 1-gallon milk carton, a feat simply unmatched in this industry.
All other products are knitted on-demand, finished in store and hand washed in small containers with high-efficiency dry detergent strips and air-dried to protect fibers from damage. Each of these steps not only makes the absolutely best garments but also does its part to protect the fragile environment that is South Florida.
The Karelle Levy Collection recycled cotton hangtags are printed locally by a BIPOC female-owned print company using Heidelberg print presses from the 1950s. When we have needs outside of our many skill sets, we hire local artists, builders, and doers. We value their local manufacturers and will always reinvest money in the local creative community.